Six Leading Health Education Associations Unite to Form a New Organization Focused on Interprofessional Education and Practice


Susan Beach
Senior Director of Strategic Communications
Association of American Medical Colleges

Rachel Reynolds
Communications and Project Coordinator
Association of Schools of Public Health
202-296-1099, ext. 140  

Bana Qashu
Director of Marketing and Communications
American Dental Education Association

Gerry Romano
Director of Communications and Marketing
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
703-739-2330, ext. 1010

Wendy Fernando
Vice President for Communications and Marketing
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

Robert Rosseter
Chief Communications Officer
American Association of Colleges of Nursing

For Immediate Release   

Six Leading Health Education Associations Unite to Form a New Organization Focused on Interprofessional Education and Practice 

Washington, D.C., February 15, 2012— Six national health professions associations have formally joined to create the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC), a new national organization that will focus on better integrating and coordinating the education of nurses, physicians, dentists, pharmacists, public health professionals, and other members of the patient health care team to provide more collaborative and patient-centered care. The founding members include the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the American Dental Education Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Association of Schools of Public Health. 

The new IPEC organization will formalize the collaborative work that began three years ago and led to the release of a May 2011 report, “Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice.”  This seminal document identified individual-level core competencies needed by all health professionals to provide integrated, high-quality care. Disseminated broadly to health professions schools, the report has sparked a wave of implementation efforts by educators looking to prepare clinicians to meet contemporary practice standards.

As a stand-alone entity, the new IPEC will provide leadership around national initiatives to advance interprofessional education (IPE) and share information on IPE best practices and collaborative practice innovations. A growing body of work demonstrates that shared learning experiences among health professions students across disciplines can improve health outcomes. Leading authorities including the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, among others, have all identified IPE as an effective way to enhance the preparation of the health care workforce and improve care delivery.

In May, IPEC will sponsor its first faculty development institute, “Building Your Foundation for Interprofessional Education.”  The program will enable faculty from across the health professions to meet with peers in plenary and interactive learning sessions focused on building strong programs for team-based learning. Registration will open on February 22. 

The six IPEC organizations also are founding members of the Institute of Medicine’s Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education, which is set to launch later this month.  Inspired in large part by the 2010 Lancet Commission report, “Health Professionals for a New Century,” this forum will convene stakeholders to illuminate issues in health professions education and support an ongoing, innovative mechanism to incubate and evaluate new ideas.

Quotes from the Interprofessional Education Collaborative Leaders

“Facilitating shared clinical experiences among health profession students is important to their educational development and engenders respect for the contribution each provider makes to quality health care. The AACN welcomes the opportunity to represent nursing in this national collaboration focused on enhancing patient care and improving health outcomes.”
Geraldine Bednash, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
CEO and Executive Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing

“Interprofessional education is a critical component of raising the competencies of aspiring physicians and other health professions students, and enabling them to collaborate on meeting the national mandate to provide effective, efficient team-based care. Such care will help ensure the future health and well-being of the nation’s populace.”
Stephen C. Shannon, D.O., M.P.H.
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine 

“The AACP contribution to this unique collaborative is attention to pharmacy educators as key players on the health care team. Because proper use of medicine cuts across the entire spectrum of health care services, it’s essential that pharmacy students learn—and share their knowledge—in an interprofessional academic environment.”
Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph.
Executive Vice President and CEO
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

“The movement toward collaborative, patient-centered care is driving rapid change within oral health care and other health professions. ADEA is committed to supporting academic dental institutions as they reshape their curricula to better prepare students for practicing under this rapidly evolving paradigm. To that end, ADEA views IPEC as a unique opportunity to better oral health care, and we are pleased to be one of the founding organizations of the collaborative.”
Richard W. Valachovic, D.M.D., M.P.H.
Executive Director
American Dental Education Association

“Better patient care depends on all members of the health care team understanding each other’s roles and knowing how to work together effectively.  America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals are pleased to be part of this important effort to help transform the nation’s health care system.”
Darrell G. Kirch, M.D.
President and CEO
Association of American Medical Colleges

“We at ASPH are pleased to be part of this innovative and collaborative work, which will ultimately improve health outcomes for all Americans. Through this formalized agreement, we will work with our fellow health professions partners to address the needs of the health system and empower educators to equip the next generation of health professionals with an interprofessional skill set. Public health is a unifying concept for interprofessional education, important for all health professionals and critical for achieving healthier outcomes.”
Harrison Spencer, M.D., M.P.H., D.T.M.H., C.P.H.
President and CEO
Association of Schools of Public Health