The University of New England received a four-year Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation grant in 2015. The grant will help UNE build upon its strong foundation of interprofessional education (IPE) with the goal of developing a four-year curriculum that ensures UNE's healthcare students will graduate with interprofessional competencies, and with a focus on rural primary care, public health and patient engagement. The objectives of the grant are to:
- Integrate osteopathic medical students located on the UNE Biddeford campus into UNE's existing robust IPE programming
- Develop and implement clinical IPE curricula in outpatient rural community health centers that care for the underserved
- Integrate public health competencies into UNE's IPE curriculum
- Evaluate and disseminate findings on UNE's statewide IPE model
By implementing a comprehensive on-campus curriculum and clinical IPE curriculum in Maine's network of rural community health centers with related public health competencies and using patient engagement strategies, these objectives will work synergistically to not only improve the education and training of health professionals but ultimately to also improve health care delivery and the health of the public, especially those in rural underserved areas.
Through collaborations with two key clinical partners, UNE health professions students are gaining valuable clinical interprofessional experience — working with students and providers from several disciplines to provide quality patient care and improve patient outcomes and experience.
UNE's Center for Health Innovation offers an opportunity for health professions students to participate in a Rural Health Immersion that focuses on the unique public health and health care challenges and strategies of rural communities in Maine. The opportunity combines in-class sessions with rural immersion opportunities.