An Educational Continuum for Professionals Interested in Interprofessional Teaching, Innovations, Practice and Research

health care professional hands coming together
May 10, 2024
Since 2022, the Center for Interprofessional Health’s Affiliate Faculty & Ambassador Program has brought together health professionals from the community and the University to enrich their understanding and experience in interprofessional education, practice and research. 
This year’s participants enjoyed getting to know other health care professionals and participating in the many interprofessional programs that reinforce the benefits of collaboration.
Jennifer Brown
Jennifer Brown, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CMSCCM

“Facilitating the Phase III Advanced Escape Room has been one of my highlights as I love puzzles, puns, and working with learners in the rotation phase of their education and training,” said Jennifer Brown, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CMSCCM, assistant professor of Medical Laboratory Sciences. “I also have enjoyed the mentoring I have received from Senior Affiliate Faculty in the program. They are really committed to professional development at all levels.”

Laura Kirk, PhD, RN, was drawn to the program because of the increasing importance of knowing and knowledgeable-relationships with interdisciplinary colleagues within the health care setting. 

Laura Kirk, PhD, RN
Laura Kirk, PhD, RN

“Recognition of the impact of true collaborative relationships across disciplines on outcomes for both patients and health care providers requires interprofessional education and practice,” said Kirk, who is a clinical associate professor in the School of Nursing. “Participation as an Affiliate Faculty in the Center for Interprofessional Health has provided unique opportunities to develop greater understanding and to form meaningful relationships.”

Program Lead Sasha Zagoloff, PhD, LP, says she enjoyed watching the new Affiliate Faculty members engage with and receive mentorship from the Senior Affiliate Faculty during this past academic year.

Sasha Zagoloff, PhD, LP
Sasha Zagoloff, PhD, LP

“Moving forward, we will have three cohorts of faculty: new Affiliates, new Senior Affiliates, and our newly launched CIH Ambassador Program. The latter category will recognize those who have demonstrated a commitment to our Affiliate program for three or more consecutive years,” said Zagoloff, who is also an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Brown says she’d encourage others to participate “as a way to connect with other health professionals and positively impact interprofessional practice through training learners from varied backgrounds and professions.”

Some key takeaways of the program for Kirk included gaining perspective from other disciplinary providers, understanding what each professional "brings to the table," meeting and developing relationships, and project opportunities with interprofessional colleagues.

“I will continue to incorporate the learnings and experiences from this program to my teaching and support of the next generation of health care providers,” said Kirk. “I truly believe that if we can facilitate genuine, authentic relationships both within and across disciplines and professions that everyone wins. Patient care improves and the practice environment improves.”

Brown says she is applying what she learned and the connections she made in the program into her current work. 

“I appreciate the opportunity to see the positive examples of those who developed the curriculum with the next generation of practitioners learning to apply these practices of integrity, humility, respect, compassion, and collegiality,” Brown said. “The connections to other faculty are valuable as a health profession educator. I also understand the training and scope of practice for more professions than I had before my time in the program. I will take these expectations and experiences into my teaching practice.”

"All of our Affiliates deepen the richness of what CIH offers and I look forward to continuing to learn with, from, and about all of them,” said Zagoloff.