On Thursday June 25, the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP), which is comprised of 14 health professions associations including the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), 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 the goal was to raise awareness 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.
Dr. Stephen C. Shannon, president and CEO, AACOM served as the moderator of the briefing, providing opening remarks about the increasing value and role of IPE. His experiences emphasized some of the challenges in health care, and how interprofessional practice has the potential to address these issues. Dr. Linda A. McCauley, dean and professor, Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing followed with a discussion about the value of IPE. She provided examples of a current federally-funded programs, and the potential for such programs to enhance the quality of patient care. Dr. Jay Perman, president, University of Maryland, Baltimore explained that the aim of team-based care is high quality patient care and that IPE helps to achieve such care. He spoke from his clinical experience, that team-based care improved patient outcomes and reduced preventable medical care. Ms. Sierra Dickman Cuppett physician assistant student, Shenandoah University, Class of 2015 delivered a student perspective of IPE, providing testimony to the value of interprofessional learning to her education and future professional care.