Representatives of four of the Colleges of ETSU’s Academic Health Sciences Center recently published an article titled “Community Partnership Interprofessional Program as Pedagogy: Process Outcomes and Faculty Impressions” in the Journal of Research in Interprofessional Practice and Education. http://www.jripe.org/index.php/journal/article/view/167/105
Two College of Public Health faculty members: Dr. Mary Ann Littleton from the Department of Community and Behavioral Health, and Dr. Ken Silver from the Department of Environmental Health were joined by recent DrPH Alumna Dr, Rachel Ward and by Dr. Susan Grover (Nursing), Dr. Randy Byington (Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences) and Dr. Joe Florence (Medicine).
The article reviewed ETSU’s experience with with community-based experiential learning through the Community Partnership Interprofessional Rural Health Program, referred to the “Rural Track.”
The two-semester course sequence, which can include students and faculty from all five Academic Health Science Center Colleges, as well as students from the departments of psychology and social work, includes a community health needs assessment activities in the first semester and the implementation and evaluation of a community-based project in the second semester.
Significant attention is paid to the unique socioeconomic, cultural, and political factors of central Appalachia throughout the two-course sequence.
By combining both an inter-professional learning opportunity, and an emphasis on community involvement, the program is seen as a successful way to educate health science students; an important mechanism to keep faculty involved with community activities; and an effective vehicle to address the health challenges of rural and underserved communities. Over the past six years, forty programs and services were implemented in various communities in central Appalachia.