Research efforts of several ETSU College of Public Health faculty, staff, and alumni were highlighted in a recent issue of the International Journal of Health Sciences Education. Dr. Wilsie Bishop, Dr. Katie Baker, Dr. Rob Pack, Angie Hagaman, Sara Warfield, and Dr. Arsham Alamian contributed to articles in the Volume 3, Issue 2 (2016) Special Issue on Interprofessional Education (IPE).
In “Interprofessional education: it is more than a passing fad,” Dr. Katie Baker, Assistant Professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health, and Dr. Michael Crouch of Samford University, introduce the journal supplement. They discuss the evolution of interprofessional education from pedagogical philosophy to required component of health sciences education. They further highlight the practice-driven need for expanded interprofessional education and the emphasis placed on health teams and collaborative care networks by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Drs. Baker and Crouch explain, “The purpose of this journal supplement is twofold. A primary goal is to provide an overview of an expanding interprofessional education program within the Academic Health Sciences Center (AHSC) at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). They further state, “A second, yet equally important, goal is to offer initial evidence of the success of the program from an educational, service, and research standpoint.”
Dr. Wilsie Bishop, the Vice President of Health Affairs at East Tennessee State University and Professor in the Department of Health Services Management and Policy, describes the journey to interprofessional education that ETSU began in the early 1990s in “Integrating IPE into an Academic Health Sciences Center: A Bottom-Up and Top-Down Approach.” The article describes how the university’s focus and process has matured and expanded even as new leadership and new faculty joined the institution.
Dr. Bishop states, “We have been successful because our faculty and students embrace IPE and our deans and university leaders view themselves as facilitators who help to make it happen. We like to say, “IPE is in our DNA.” Even so, we cannot discount the hours of work and coordination it takes to make an IPE program successful and a way of doing business.”
In “Initial Feasibility and Efficacy of an Interprofessional Education Pilot Program,” Drs. Baker and Crouch, along with Dr. Kerry Proctor-Williams, Dr. Brian Cross, and Elizabeth Alley of ETSU, describe “the concept of the program, the initial feasibility and efficacy, and subsequent transformations occurring based on the growing experience.” They provide a list of lessons learned from the program and discuss the student pre- and post-activity ratings for proficiencies.
To outline the service and research component of interprofessional growth at ETSU, the supplement includes an article authored by Dr. Rob Pack, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, along with NIDA-DIDARP Program DIrector Angie Hagaman, College of Public Health alumna Sara Warfield, and Drs. Jeffry Gray and Fred Tudiver of ETSU. “Interprofessional Research, Training and Outreach: The ETSU Prescription Drug Abuse/Misuse Working Group” recounts the history of the working group, its reason for forming, and the reason its work is vital to the East Tennessee region. The authors state, “The purpose of this manuscript is to describe the experience of creating and maintaining this highly interprofessional research team, with the aim of encouraging purposeful cultivation of similar interprofessional teams to address significant public health needs.”
The International Journal of Health Sciences Education (IJHSE) provides an open forum that allows health care professionals an opportunity to share their knowledge and innovations across disciplines, national borders, and cultures to create a community of shared knowledge.