IPE in Action: U-M hosts transformative chapter in health care education


Close to 80 crowded tables covered the basketball court at Crisler Center, while another 35 discussion groups settled into the stands for the first-ever Interprofessional Education in Action event Wednesday.

More than 1,200 health science students and faculty — 125 of them from U-M’s Flint and Dearborn campuses — also gathered for the event, which was considered a watershed moment in the relatively new IPE initiative at U-M. The goal was — and continues to be — nothing less than transforming the future of collaborative health care.

“This is truly a unique, special and amazing event,” James Holloway, vice provost for global engagement and interdisciplinary academic affairs, said in opening remarks. “This interprofessional health education initiative is vitally important to the University of Michigan. Why? Because we’re an institution focused on impact, and we know the delivery of health care is focused on teamwork.”

“We are truly stronger together, and efforts that build up important facets of our community make us all better,” Deputy Chief Diversity Officer Katrina Wade-Golden told the faculty-led groups of intermingled health professional students.

Students came from areas including dentistry, kinesiology, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical and respiratory therapy, public health and social work.

Brent Williams, professor of internal medicine and a member of the U-M Complex Care Management Program, which coordinates care for patients at Michigan Medicine, makes a presentation at Wednesday’s IPE in Action event as other members of the interprofessional team of care providers who also presented look on. (Photo by Scott C. Soderberg, Michigan Photography)

At events such as IPE in Action, “We get to see the advantages of working together, overcoming differences, and focusing on common values, goals and outcomes,” Golden said, adding that part of what unites the diversity, equity and inclusion initiative with IPE at U-M is a focus on the value of “diversity of thought and background.”

Lynn Videka, dean of social work and current chair of the Health Sciences Council, celebrated the event and reminded faculty that interprofessional funding is available from the IP-X pilot grants, through the Mcubed Diamond program.

After a warmup “health care bingo” game, students spent the bulk of their IPE in Action time sharing various approaches to a patient scenario, as presented by the Michigan Medicine Complex Care Management Program. The multiple medical and psychosocial barriers to care encountered by 63-year-old “Mary” gave students from each discipline chances to examine ways they could collaborate, for the best possible outcomes.

IPE in Action is part of a series of foundational IPE experiences at U-M designed to further students’ abilities to work in teams, with the ultimate goal of improving patient and health system outcomes, as well as population health.

It occurred right after the online Introduction to IPE was completed by 1,600 U-M health science student participants — up from 564 students in the first year — and included representation from all of the 10 health science schools on U-M‘s three campuses, plus LSA.

The foundational experience helps students understand the current health care landscape via perspectives of real patients, families and practitioners, and how collaborating interprofessional teams can achieve the “quadruple aim” of health care: improved patient experience, improved population health, increased workforce satisfaction and reduced cost of care.

“Together, our foundational experiences represent U-M’s visionary approach to IPE and the importance of team-based care,” said Frank Ascione, director of the Michigan Center for IPE. “As our health science schools recruit students, they are emphasizing the growing interprofessional elements of a Michigan education.”


Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.