ST. LOUIS -- Saint Louis University has received a $200,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to expand its innovative Interprofessional Education program to teach teamwork and collaboration to more medical and graduate-level health sciences students.
|Irma Ruebling is director of SLU's Interprofessional Education Program.|
"We train our students so that it becomes second nature to ask what a team member from another profession can bring to a patient's care," said Irma Ruebling, director of SLU's Interprofessional Education program. "We believe this will improve patient outcomes because they will be receiving more comprehensive care."
Recognizing that professionals from different health professions must work together to provide the best possible care for patients, SLU became an early leader in establishing an Interprofessional Education (IPE) program in 2006. Interprofessional Education teaches students from various disciplines about the specific contributions each profession makes to patient care.
SLU will use the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations grant to add IPE for more students from the School of Medicine and from other post-baccalaureate programs, including accelerated nursing, physician assistant, social work, public health and advanced occupational and physical therapy students. In addition, the St. Louis College of Pharmacy students will participate, which broadens the scope of the program for all.
The medical and graduate students will explore simulated practice cases that involve patients who have complicated medical conditions and socioeconomic problems that undermine medical care.
"For instance, patients' social economic situation may hinder their ability to carry out their prescribed medical plan and we need to teach our students how to address this issue. Once the health professionals of tomorrow understand the socio-economic concerns that impact medical conditions, patients are more likely to get the care they need," Ruebling said.
The grant also will help fund national presentations about the IPE program; teach new faculty how to integrate interprofessional education into their courses; and increase opportunities for medical, allied health and nursing students to collaborate on new health promotion programs at community agencies.
IPE currently is required for all SLU undergraduates in nursing and in Doisy College of Health Sciences, as well as for third year medical school students. It eventually will be part of all four years of medical school and residency training programs.
Saint Louis University Medical Center offers a wide range of health professions education. In addition to having the first School of Medicine west of the Mississippi River, Saint Louis University Medical Center includes the School of Nursing, Doisy College of Health Sciences, Center for Advanced Dental Education, School of Public Health and Center for Health Care Ethics.