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A new way of caring

December 19, 2012


Broadway Clinic 2011.

Collaboration among medical professionals is key to delivering top-quality health care. Photo: U of M

A new center makes the U a leader in health care reform

Across the country, health reform has ushered U.S. health systems into a period of great change.

Not surprisingly, it can be challenging for health care graduates to enter such an environment; the landscape in many systems looks nothing like the way it did just a few years ago.

As a result, transforming health care has become about transforming higher education. Across the country, academic institutions have started to shift to more interprofessional education models, including teaching team-based care, to augment standard curricula with the goal of better preparing the emerging health care workforce.

The University of Minnesota is nationally recognized for developing new models of interprofessional development programs, essentially setting the course for educating our nation’s health professionals.

Now, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has selected the University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center to lead a new coordinating center that will provide national leadership in the field of interprofessional education and collaborative practice among health professionals.

The National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education will be funded via HRSA grants of $800,000 annually for five years ($4 million total). Four national foundations—the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, John A. Hartford Foundation and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation—have pledged an additional $8.6 million over five years for interprofessional education and health care transformation, bringing the total grant award to $12 million.

Barbara Brandt, associate vice president for education at the Academic Health Center, is the principal investigator and will serve as the center’s director.

“With health care reform, there are new mandates that aim to reduce cost, add quality, and improve the health of the population,” Brandt says. “This center is focused on where the nation is headed with respect to health care delivery and how to design education to support that.”

The new center will coordinate programs to design new curricula and guide faculty as they learn how to teach differently for the mew care model, in which patients are cared for by teams comprising doctors, nurses, perhaps audiologists, pharmacists, and other professionals. Four new competencies—roles and responsibilities, teamwork, communication and collaboration, and ethics and values—will guide curriculum development, as well as student and resident assessments in the various health professions. 

At its core, the center will accelerate transformation of health care in the United States by creating a bridge between higher education and the rapidly transforming U.S. health care system. Check in with the Academic Health Center’s Health Talk [http://www.health.umn.edu/healthtalk/] page for updates on the center and for new interprofessional education opportunities developed at the University of Minnesota.

Tags: Academic Health Center

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Related Links

National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education

HRSA news release

Barbara Brandt

Academic Health Center

Josiah Macy Foundation

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

John A. Hartford Foundation

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation