Interprofessional Strategic Plan

AY 2014/2015 – 2016/2017

Statement of Purpose

The University of Connecticut is committed to excellence in health sciences education, research, patient care, and outreach. The University’s new academic vision speaks to a commitment to interdisciplinarity as one of the critical centerpieces for the institution. The broader health sciences community has widely accepted the benefits of interprofessionalism to health care professionals, students and patients and the rich research environment created when scholarship extends across professions. In recent years, there has been increasing collaboration in all of these domains among UConn faculty and students in the various health professions/sciences, consistent with the growing emphasis on interprofessionalism.

Though these efforts have been highly successful, the University has lacked a vision that articulates its goals and strategies with respect to interprofessionalism. To that end, in the fall of 2013, the health sciences deans, in asserting the University’s commitment to interprofessionalism, established the Interprofessional Task Force (IPTF), with representation from health professions programs across the university. IPTF was charged with developing an interprofessional strategic plan, consistent with the University’s academic vision, which would outline the university’s goals in four domains: health professions education, patient care, scholarship, and outreach/engagement.

Task Force Members

  • Chair, Robert McCarthy (Pharmacy)
  • Craig Denegar (Education/Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources)
  • Devra Dang (Pharmacy)
  • Ruth Goldblatt (Dental Medicine)
  • Bruce Gould (Medicine)
  • Susan Gregoire (Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources)
  • Michelle Judge (Nursing)
  • Brenda Kurz (Social Work)
  • Tina Liang (Dental Medicine)
  • Joseph Madaus (Education)
  • Paula McCauley (Nursing)
  • Ellen Nestler (Medicine)
  • Marissa Salvo (Pharmacy)

Vision Statement

The University of Connecticut is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in interprofessionalism in health care education and delivery. By the end of the decade, UConn Health will be an exemplar patient-centered medical home, with an interprofessional team-based health care delivery model that will serve as a host teaching site for interprofessional teams of health professions students, as part of the mainstream collaborative interprofessional clinical curriculum amongst all the UConn health professions schools/programs. Our commitment to and excellence in interprofessionalism will extend to our scholarship/research programs and outreach/engagement efforts.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University and the Interprofessional Task Force is:

  1. To produce and/or sponsor quality programs to ensure that all health professional students have the opportunity to engage in interprofessional experiences in the classroom, patient care setting, research laboratory, and/or broader community;
  2. To encourage the development of critical thought, clinical reasoning, and collaboration among and leadership in healthcare for all health professional students; and
  3. Through our commitment to interprofessionalism, to effect change in the lives of the communities and people health professional students and faculty come in contact with.


The term “interprofessional (IP)” refers to opportunities and experiences that involve more than one profession (e.g., pharmacy and nursing) instead of “interdisciplinary,” which may involve collaboration among different disciplines or specialties within the same profession (e.g., internal medicine and dermatology).

Goals and Objectives

  1. Culture of Interprofessionalism: To promote the advancement of and leadership in interprofessionalism at the University of Connecticut.
    • Goal: Enhance a culture of interprofessionalism at the University.
      Action Steps:

      1. Complete an inventory of all University IP programs that include a significant IP component in health professional education, patient care, scholarship/research, and outreach/engagement.
      2. Identify best practices in interprofessional education (IPE).
      3. Establish a university-wide standing committee on interprofessionalism.
      4. Develop an IP web site with appropriate linkages.
      5. Develop an institute dedicated to promoting excellence in IP education, practice, scholarship/research, and outreach/engagement.
      6. Identify/create a University IP “learning space.”
      7. Identify/create an IP ambulatory clinical curriculum laboratory (a designated clinical facility) to develop and test ambulatory IP clinical curricula and/or IP initiatives in each of the four domains (education, patient care, scholarship/research, and outreach/engagement).
  2. Health Professional Education/Patient Care: To produce and/or sponsor quality programs to ensure that all health professional students have the opportunity to engage in IP experiences in the classroom, patient care setting, research laboratory, and/or broader community;
    • Goal: Identify, develop, and sustain IPE curricula to be used in real time clinical settings in team-based healthcare education and patient care.
      Action Steps:

      1. Adoption by each health professions program of the core competencies within the four IP collaborative practice domains defined by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC).
      2. Inventory health professions programs at the University for current IPE programs that address each competency.
      3. Identify the interdependence between health professions’ education competency development for collaborative practice and practice needs.
    • Goal: Ensure that all health professions students have at least one IPE and patient care experience as a component of their professional program.
      Action Steps:

      1. Develop or expand at least two IPE classroom experiences per academic year for the next three academic years, with a focus on communications, law and ethics, and health care systems.
      2. Ensure that all schools/programs will be engaged in at least one new IPE program within two years.
      3. Develop or expand at least two IPE clinical/patient care programs per year for the next three academic years.
    • Goal: Educate/train faculty interested in providing IP /patient care experiences and them with appropriate support in order to engage in these activities.
      Action Steps:

      1. Identify UConn faculty with significant experience in IPE.
      2. Institute a faculty development program to enhance capacity in IPE program development and implementation.
      3. Perform a literature review to identify validated tools for IPE assessment.
      4. Provide adequate resources (faculty development opportunities, funding, classroom and virtual learning and collaboration space, technology, release time, etc.) to support the development, implementation, and validation of high-quality IPE innovations and activities that can be a model for other health profession programs across the country.
      5. Provide a mechanism by which IPE activities and collaborations are recognized as part of the Promotion, Tenure, and Reappointment (PTR) and merit process.
  3. Scholarship/Research: To encourage the development of critical thought, clinical reasoning, and collaboration among and leadership in IP healthcare
    • Goal: Determine the current status of IP scholarship/research at the University.
      Action Steps:

      1. Inventory the types of healthcare research with a significant IP component being done by faculty across the university.
      2. Cultivate the dissemination of findings from past and future IP research activities.
    • Goal: Identify, develop, and sustain scholarly efforts in IP healthcare, education, and service/outreach.
      Action Steps:

      1. Establish the position of coordinator of IP research as an extension of an existing position or develop a position devoted to supporting the identification and dissemination of IP scholarship opportunities.
      2. Appoint one or more faculty with appropriate IP scholarship experience to work with the Interprofessional Committee to coordinate IP scholarly efforts.
      3. Identify faculty with IP scholarly experience who are willing to serve as mentors to faculty interested in this area of research.
      4. Encourage department heads and deans to support faculty engagement in IP research, including recognition of IP scholarly activities in research, practice and teaching in the PTR and merit process.
      5. Through the Interprofessionalism Committee, widely disseminate calls for proposals and foster collaboration across professions to maximize the resources of the University.
      6. Through the Interprofessionalism Committee, support grant submission, catalog existing research expertise, and connect the faculty to research efforts where their skills are most needed.
  4. Outreach/Engagement: To effect change in the lives of the communities and people health professional students and faculty come in contact with
    • Goal: Identify the current status of IP community outreach/engagement at the University.
      Action Steps:

      1. Inventory current IP community outreach/engagement activities.
      2. Evaluate IP outreach/community engagement activities to demonstrate UConn’s impact on communities across Connecticut.
    • Goal: Expand existing and facilitate new IP community outreach/engagement activities at the university.
      Action Steps:

      1. Develop “best practices” by examining the success of existing IP programs at the University, such as the Urban Service Track.
      2. Compile a list of faculty/staff/students who lead IP community outreach/engagement activities and who are willing to serve as mentors/facilitators.
      3. Partner and sustain relationships with diverse populations and communities using IP teams.
      4. Engage in information exchange by establishing a dialog with students, stakeholders, and partners regarding how IP teams can most effectively serve communities.