Four interprofessional educators and researchers present at conference in the UK

Sally McCormack Tutt lecturing in front of other interprofessional colleagues
Sally McCormack Tutt presents on UNE's interprofessional collaboration efforts at INHWE/AoME 2023.

Four University of New England faculty and professional staff recently presented on UNE interprofessional education (IPE) research initiatives at the International Congress of Health Education and Research and AoME Annual Academic Meeting (INHWE/AoME 2023) in Cardiff, Wales, this past June.  

As the only institution in New England participating in the National Center for Interprofessional Education and Practice’s Innovation Network, UNE works to bridge the gap between health professions education and health care delivery by preparing students to work collaboratively, across disciplines, to achieve more successful outcomes as members of clinical and community teams.  

IPE, which began with students from different health care programs being taught to work together as part of larger, interdisciplinary health care teams, has proven to produce successful patient outcomes, and the model is now expanding so it can be applied to broader situations, said Kris Hall, M.F.A., program manager for the Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education at UNE. 

“Collaborative practice — the professional application of IPE — allows us to achieve more together than any one person could achieve alone,” said Elizabeth Crampsey, Ed.D, associate clinical professor of Occupational Therapy, who also presented at the INHWE/AoME 2023. “Research on our interprofessional education initiatives shows how teamwork experiences in graduate school help our alumni take the lead in delivering quality care in any setting.” 

At the conference, Hall and Crampsey presented two different ongoing research projects. The first talk, “Impact of Immersive Interprofessional Learning on Workplace Practice,” described their mixed-methods exploratory study examining knowledge and skill transfer from campus-based IPE to workforce collaborative practice. Alumni who participated in immersive IPE activities valued campus-based interprofessional learning and brought university acquired collaborative knowledge and skill into their work environments to benefit patients and practice teams, Crampsey and Hall said. 

The second presentation highlighted the simulation work that Crampsey and Hall have been conducting with Shelley Cohen Konrad, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., F.N.A.P. UNE professor in Social Work and director of the Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education; Kira Rodriguez, M.H.S., UNE research associate and adjunct instructor; and from Rosalind Franklin University in Chicago, Sarah S. Garber, Ph.D., professor and director of interprofessional studies, Professor and Tamzin Batteson, BSc, research specialist. Since 2014, the interprofessional team immersion (IPTI) has offered students across 15 health professions opportunities to apply interprofessional team-based skills in semester-long simulations. The research project found increases in IPTI students’ skills for cooperation, resource sharing, professional and interpersonal confidence, and communication. 

Also presenting at the conference, Kelli Fox, LCSW, CCS, LADC, assistant clinical professor and director of Field Education in the School of Social Work, presented “Playing well with others: Enhancing social work students’ preparedness for interprofessional collaborative learning.” Fox conducted a mixed-method evaluation to enhance social work students’ preparedness to participate in interprofessional collaborative learning (IPCL). The purpose of the intervention was to contextualize ICPL in social work education; explore benefits, challenges, and barriers to interprofessional teamwork; increase understanding of the role of social work on the team; and improve student self-efficacy for managing conflicts that may arise from professional centrism, stereotyping, hierarchical attitudes, and bias. 

Sally McCormack Tutt, PT, D.P.T., M.P.H., Ed.D., program director for the Department of Physical Therapy presented “Moroccan Immersion: Thinking Outside the Box, Semester, and Country for IPE.” The talk addressed the UNE physical therapy and occupational therapy programs’ strategy to overcome mutual learning objectives and scheduling conflicts and create an opportunity for students to be immersed in a different culture to increase awareness of global health, cultural competence, and build relationships related to interprofessional collaboration.  

Learn more about IPE and collaborative practice through the Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education. 

Elizabeth Crampsey and Kris Hall stand in front of powerpoint slide

Elizabeth Crampsey (left) and Kris Hall