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Students from eight different UNE programs participate in CLARION competition

The team comprised of students Adrian Hale, Sarah Barbay, Bethany Gruskin, and Dahne Yaitanes captured first place
The team comprised of students Adrian Hale, Sarah Barbay, Bethany Gruskin, and Dahne Yaitanes captured first place

March 13, 2020

Emily Cathey, Anna Herling, Esra Omeroglu, and Ivy Shen finished in second place
Emily Cathey, Anna Herling, Esra Omeroglu, and Ivy Shen finished in second place
Third place was secured by Noah Jones, Sarah Kanell, Charlotte Bloom and John Wironen
Third place was secured by Noah Jones, Sarah Kanell, Charlotte Bloom and John Wironen

Nearly 60 UNE health professions students, from eight different programs, recently participated in the CLARION Case Competition, a student-driven national initiative originating from the University of Minnesota that is dedicated to furthering interprofessional collaboration for the sake of patient safety and improved health care quality.

The competition focuses on leadership, teamwork, communication, analytical reasoning, conflict-resolution, and business practices, with the goal of giving participants a more sophisticated understanding of the health care system.

Students are given a case study and must perform a root cause analysis detailing what went wrong in the patient's situation.

Although the case has clinical components, a large portion of it focuses on issues related to public health and quality improvement.

The 2020 CLARION case focused on racial disparities in infant and maternal mortality and morbidity.

“The case pushed students to grapple with the real challenges we face in health care,” stated Emily Dornblaser, Pharm.D., assistant dean of interprofessional education and associate professor in the College of Pharmacy. “It called on them to address the implicit biases we all carry with us, create a program to address it, and prevent implicit bias from impacting the care we deliver.”

The team with the best overall score included Sarah Barbay (Physician Assistant, ’21), Adrian Hale (D.O., ’23), Bethany Gruskin (Occupational Therapy, ’21), and Dahne Yaitanes (Physical Therapy, ’21). The team’s presentation was titled “Expecting More, Delivering Change.”

“Maternal and infant health is a topic I have been passionate about for several years,” said Gruskin. “My teammates really supported this passion, and together we devised an evidence-based, yet innovative solution to this year's case.”

Participation by the Maine Area Health Education Center (AHEC) CUP Scholar Honors Distinction program, a workforce development program that prepares health professions students to work with underserved populations, was credited for bringing in a larger number of students than usual for this year’s event.

“The goals of the CLARION Case Competition align very closely with the goals of the AHEC CUP Scholar program, which is why we decided to have our students participate,” explained Ian Imbert, M.P.H., manager of the Maine AHEC CUP Scholar Program. “For many of the students, this was their first opportunity to take a health systems approach to a real health care issue.”

The CLARION Case Competition was led by Emily Dornblaser, Ian Imbert, and Jennifer Van Deusen, M.Ed., coordinator of interprofessional education for the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Each participating university will send one team to the national CLARION Case Competition on April 17 and 18 in Minneapolis.

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