A group of interprofessional health care providers speaks to students as part of the conference

UNE hosts 2023 Northeast Interprofessional Leadership Conference

The University of New England played host to the 2023 Northeast Interprofessional Leadership Conference on Saturday, March 25. The student-organized event was presented by the Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS) pharmacy honors society and UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.

More than 30 students from various health professions programs gathered in Arthur P. Girard Innovation Hall on UNE’s Portland Campus for a day of building skills in communication and leadership while hearing from interprofessional health providers about the value of working across disciplines to improve patient outcomes.

“We all come to the table with different experiences and training, and it's very important to see what everyone else is doing so that we can incorporate that insight into our own practice,” said Benjamin Pastore (Pharm.D., ’24), one of the organizers. “Everyone’s getting the chance to ask questions of leaders not only in their own profession, but in every other profession. We have the opportunity to learn how to lead and become better practitioners.”

Watch: Highlights from the conference

A female student uses a mirror to draw a shape using only oral instructions
A panel of interprofessional health care practitioners gives advice to attendees
A student gives another student breakout room instructions
Osteopathic medical students try to unwind a "human knot" as part of a communication exercise
Pharmacy students simulate a patient interview

In addition to breakout rooms and interactive activities to build communication skills, conference attendees heard a virtual keynote address from Lisa Letourneau, M.D., M.P.H., FACP, senior advisor to Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. They also engaged in an interprofessional panel of health providers from both the University and the community.

Participants in the panel included:

Ben Pastore holds up two drawings

Benjamin Pastore (Pharm.D., ’24)

“Having faculty who both practice medicine and teach represented on our interprofessional panel is huge for us as students,” Pastore said. “They bring not only clinical skills, but leadership skills as well. They’re the ones doing the work in the field every day, so that’s just as important, if not more important, in having them here to give their perspectives.”