Annual interprofessional poster session reflects lessons learned from pandemic

Alumni Hall, Portland Campus
Students from 12 health professions programs showcased their work on May 5.

The University of New England Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education (CECE) recently hosted its 10th annual Interprofessional Student Poster Session on Wednesday, May 5.

The annual event highlights students’ cumulative interprofessional education (IPE) teamwork, in which UNE is a national leader. Posters represented students’ IPE experiences during their time at the University, including interprofessional team immersion, student-led events and competitions, collaborative research and clinical experiences, and service-learning community projects. 

CECE serves as a University-wide hub for cross-disciplinary education and collaborative practices across academic programs. This year’s annual poster session, once again held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, saw 17 poster presentations assembled by student teams from 12 different graduate and undergraduate health professions programs.

There were, in total, 135 participants in attendance. Student presenters represented the University's College of Osteopathic Medicine, College of Dental Medicine, and the following programs from the Westbrook College of Health Professionsnursingpharmacydental hygiene; health, wellness, and occupational studies; occupational therapy; physician assistant; physical therapy; public health; and social work.

Student posters reflected the many challenges of the 2020-2021 academic year, with focuses on telehealth, pandemic planning, and examples of transformative leadership. Student research posters represented projects done in conjunction with UNE’s Center for Excellence in Aging and Health, among others.

The Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education’s innovative interprofessional team immersion (IPTI) — a longitudinal, case-based, simulation experience — was the subject of seven posters, including a parody of telecommunication mishaps, which garnered one of three presentation awards.

Student poster award winners included:

  • Morgan Benjamin, Nora Connors, Emily Cathey, Faye DiBella, Anna Holmblad, Victoria Mitchell, Rebecca Ocana, and Jordan Simpson: “Pain Clinic: The Benefits and Challenges of Telehealth”
  • Marissa Clifford-Biederman, Mariel Connolly, Wesley Covey, Jaia Hudson, Becca Kryceski, and Dorothy Enomoto: “The Technical Difficulties Associated with Interprofessional Healthcare through Telehealth Medicine”
  • Casey-John Keyes, Wyatt Blackstone, Bethany Gruskin, John Caswell, and Chris Eidson: “Protest Medicine: “How to Leverage your Role as a Provider During Civil Unrest”

This year, the center hosted a record 10 IPTI student teams in collaboration with students and faculty from Chicago’s Rosalind Franklin University. In addition, 79 students from 11 professional programs were announced as recipients of CECE Interprofessional Education Honors, which will be bestowed upon their graduation this spring.

To earn the IPE Honors distinction, students must attend three or more CECE events and write reflections about them, participate in an interprofessional project and presentation, and complete a portfolio documenting their experiences. 

In remarks, UNE President James D. Herbert, Ph.D., emphasized the importance of relationships made across disciplines and programs, some of which will prove to be lifelong and serve to benefit future patients. Herbert read aloud the words of one alum, who stated: “Opportunities at UNE made more of a difference than I realized. My colleagues from other institutions envied my experience; it set me apart.

Karen Pardue, Ph.D., M.S., RN, CNE, ANEF, interim provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs, also greeted session attendees, commenting on how learning together prepares graduates to be emerging leaders and health care advocates.

“No one discipline can tackle the challenges and opportunities inherent in health care,” she said. “Instead, this complexity requires that all of us gather and listen, learn, and respond together in a well-coordinated way to achieve the best possible outcomes for our patients, their families, and our communities.”

At the event, Shelley Cohen Konrad, Ph.D., LCSW, FNAP, CECE director, presented Emily Dornblaser, Pharm.D., M.S., BCPS, with the Lisa Pagnucco Interprofessional Faculty Award, which recognizes outstanding collaborative service.

Student presentations may be viewed at DigitalUNE (DUNE).