The largest group of health professions students and faculty in the history of UConn came together on Friday, October 30 for the inaugural Dean’s Afternoon. This interprofessional workshop, developed by the Committee on Interprofessional Excellence in Healthcare, included students from Dental Medicine, Dietetics, Nursing, Medical Laboratory Science, Medicine, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, and Social Work. Programs were held on both the Storrs and Farmington campuses and concluded the school’s National Primary Care Week activities. The workshop included a “Mythbusters” session to dispel misconceptions that may be held about other health professions, and an interprofessional clinical case.
According to the World Health Organization, interprofessional education occurs when “students from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.” The interprofessional education of health professional students and interprofessional care of patients are now considered essential toward providing optimal care for patients.
The Committee on Interprofessional Excellence in Healthcare was established as the Interprofessional Task Force in fall 2013 and charged by the health sciences deans with: describing a delivery system based on interprofessional patient care that could be achieved by the end of the current decade and that could serve as the model for UConn Health 2020; and developing a 5-year interprofessional strategic plan, with annual goals & strategies, that will guide the university in the following domains: teaching; patient care; research; and community engagement. The establishment of a semi-annual Dean’s Afternoon was one of the significant interprofessional strategies included in the plan.