On Thursday, June 25th, AACOM and the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP), which is comprised of 14 health professions education associations, hosted a widely-attended educational lunch briefing on Capitol Hill entitled, “Improving Health Care: An Introduction to Interprofessional Education.” The briefing was sponsored by U.S. Representative Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH) and hosted by the FASHP. It took place in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.
The goal of the briefing was to raise awareness on Capitol Hill about the value of interprofessional education (IPE) in health professions education and collaborative practice in health care. Agenda topics at the event included pertinent and broad issues such as IPE initiatives, opportunities for interprofessional collaboration, and the future of health professions education. The briefing featured the following speakers:
- Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President and CEO, AACOM
- Jay Perman, MD, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore
- Linda A. McCauley, PhD, RN, Dean and Professor, Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
- Sierra Dickman Cuppett, Physician Assistant Student, Shenandoah University, Class of 2015
Dr. Shannon served as the moderator of the briefing, providing opening remarks about the increasing value and role of interprofessional education and the osteopathic approach to IPE, followed by an introduction of each panel speaker. Dr. Perman proceeded with a general introduction of IPE, as well as anecdotal issues related to interprofessional collaboration. His experiences emphasized some of the challenges in health care, and how interprofessional practice has the potential to address these issues.
Dr. McCauley followed with a discussion about the value of IPE. She provided the examples of a current federally-funded programs, and the potential for such programs to enhance the quality of patient care. Dr. McCauley also highlighted topics like the importance of team-based care to both medical home primary care initiatives and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), as well as issues related to mental health, including the role of mental health professionals in team-based care.
Sierra delivered a student perspective of IPE, providing testimony to the value of interprofessional learning to her education and future professional care. She discussed how to best implement IPE programs and also raised concern about the lack of opportunities for medical and health professions students to learn and train in IPE programs at schools where the curricula or educators do not offer or require it leaving many students and future health professionals missing valuable knowledge and exposure, as well as opportunities to participate and specialize in IPE.
To conclude the event, Dr. Shannon led a Q&A session, for which current obstacles and future topics such as a payment model were discussed, as well as innovations, prospective research, funding, and implementation. Dr. Shannon provided closing remarks.
FASHP, formed in 1968, serves as a forum for representatives of health professions education institutions to address education’s role in organizational patterns of health care; to encourage effective collaboration among the professions in education and practice; to prepare health professions education for the future; and to serve as liaison with other organizations sharing an interest in health professions education.
FASHP members include:
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine
American Dental Education Association
Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
Association of Chiropractic Colleges
Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
Association of University Programs in Health Administration
Council on Social Work Education
Physician Assistant Education Association
AACOM, and its allied member organizations of FASHP, serves as a primary resource for IPE, and continues to work individually and collectively with Congress, policymakers, and other stakeholders on health professions education policy.
For more information and to find out ways you can get involved, visit AACOM’s Government Relations website.