UNE recognized by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations with $200,000 faculty development award for caring approach to interprofessional health education

June 05, 2013

The University of New England has announced the award of a two-year, $200,000 grant by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations (AVDF) in recognition of the University's efforts to cultivate a caring interprofessional health work force.

The award, co-authored by Shelley Cohen Konrad, director of the Center for Excellence for Interprofessional Education, and Karen Pardue, associate dean of the Westbrook College of Health Profession, serves to continue the development of flexible learning modules designed to be adaptable within curriculum across the health disciplines. The first of these modules introducing students and faculty to interprofessional education was funded by the Bingham Program and will be available to faculty in fall 2013.

The AVDF grant also includes funding to expand academic and community faculty development in caring, collaborative, interprofessional approaches and teaching methods. According to Cohen Konrad, "caring and collaborative practice relies not just on the individual preferences of clinicians but on the collective capacities of interprofessional health care teams." Training academic and community faculty together connects campus-based learning to clinical work force needs.

"UNE is committed to educating health care professionals for quality, compassionate and safe patient care.  The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations' lead award  demonstrates UNE's growing prominence in the field of interprofessional education and will prepare our faculty to educate students for optimal, team-based patient care as they enter their professional lives," said UNE President Danielle N. Ripich, Ph.D.

Cheryl Tupper of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation said: "We are impressed by UNE's leadership and innovation in educating providers that are equipped for the current and emerging needs of health care.  With the support of the UNE administrative team, the dedicated faculty has built on an impressive history to create an exemplary and integrated approach to training the interprofessional  team."

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

Now based in Jacksonville, Florida, the organization was established in 1952 by industrialist and philanthropist Arthur Vining Davis.  As manager, president and board chairman of Alcoa, Mr. Davis was instrumental in establishing aluminum as a widely useful industrial material. Since 1967, the A.V. Davis Foundations have awarded grants across all program areas totaling over $270 million. The current endowment value is approximately $220 million.

The A.V. Davis Foundations‚Äô broad goal is "Strengthening America's Future Through Education." The Foundations have always been strongly committed to improving private higher education, concentrating on private four-year, residential, liberal arts institutions that strongly emphasize teaching, and whose students choose majors primarily in the arts and sciences rather than career or vocational studies. Support generally is reserved for schools of broadly acknowledged academic excellence. It also gives grants to underserved historically Black, Native American, Appalachian and Work Colleges, as well as leading universities with innovative proposals to strengthen undergraduate education.

The Foundations' principal commitment in the field of religion is to graduate theological education in the belief that such education makes an important contribution to our nation's moral integrity and future. It is also evaluating a pilot program in interfaith understanding. In secondary education, the Foundations bolster innovative programs throughout the country aimed at strengthening professional development of high school teachers.

Since 1981, the Foundations have focused grants in health care on "caring attitudes," in the belief that advances in technology and continuing changes in the health care system have diminished the humane aspects of patient care. In public television, the foundations provide support for major series, such as documentaries by Ken Burns and others, that have lasting educational value. In addition, the Foundations sponsor children's programs that help foster early learning, literacy, science, math and other life skills. The Foundations also award grants to other selected organizations such as the Salk Institute, oceanographic institutions, and environmental and museum education programs.