The Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education, Research, and Practice (CHSIE) Steering Committee hosted the Collaborating for Better Health IPE Kick-Off Event on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at the UW Waterfront Activities Center. CHSIE was created in 1997, and in 2010, the Center merged resources with several other interprofessional initiatives being funded at the University to form a collaborative to educate students and faculty to be future leaders and facilitators in IPE. The Board of Deans from the six Health Sciences Schools provided additional funding for this initiative in 2016, which lead to the creation of new areas of focus for CHSIE and the development of a new steering committee. The CHSIE Steering Committee is composed of faculty representatives from each of the six UW health science schools: dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and social work. The goal for the kick-off event was to provide a welcoming space for those interested in interprofessional education (IPE) and collaborative practice to build connections, share existing work, and provide input to CHSIE in its planning stages as the coordinating body for IPE at UW. It was exciting to welcome nearly 100 faculty, clinicians, students, and staff from twenty disciplines across the UW campus!
Throughout the event, participants had the opportunity to meet and connect with colleagues from other disciplines, to learn about CHSIE as the coordinating body for IPE at UW, to discover common interests, and to become engaged in future work related to IPE and collaborative practice at UW and beyond. The event started a facilitated networking activity, which provided opportunities to begin making connections about potential collaborations across professions. The event concluded with a series of small group discussions facilitated by members of the Steering Committee and CHSIE affiliated faculty. In cross-disciplinary groups, participants shared their interests and the work they hope to do in collaboration with others. Small group discussions were organized by key topics of interest including: research and evaluation related to IPE, IPE in clinical learning environments, service learning and community service, global and population health, education in the classroom, crossing silos in health sciences and beyond, and faculty development for interprofessional collaborative practice and practice transformation (team training). Participants self-selected into discussion groups (with the potential to move between groups, as desired) and exchanged ideas on better ways to collaborate across professions, where they would like to see UW lead the way, the future of IPE and collaborative team efforts, and how CHSIE can help support and coordinate IPE and collaborative practice.
The exciting conversations about collaborating for better health will continue beyond the event. With new ideas and newfound connections, many attendees enthusiastically signed up for work groups related to the topics discussed at the event. The event served as a productive starting point for continued broad engagement by faculty, clinicians, staff and students in IPE efforts at UW.