IPE Scholars Program Cultivates and Nurtures Collaboration

Angela Botiba

March 14, 2024

Angela Botiba was initially drawn to the Center for Interprofessional Health (CIH) IPE Scholars Program because of its explicit focus on interprofessional education and collaboration.

“My journey into health care operations early in my career allowed me to work closely with clinicians under the guidance of a mentor, who was a clinician and my manager,” she said. “As an analyst, I immersed myself in clinical jargon and gained a unique perspective by interpreting numbers through the lens of health care practitioners. This experience significantly enriched my analytical approach.”

As a dual MHA/MBA candidate at the University of Minnesota, Botiba realized the growing importance of interdisciplinary teamwork in health care.

“The IPE Scholars Program presented a compelling opportunity to build on my background, engaging in diverse activities and collaborating with peers from various health care disciplines,” she said. “I saw it as a chance not only to enhance my skills and broaden my perspective, but also to contribute to the collaborative future of health care. The fact that the curriculum could be tailored to align with my specific interests made my decision to join the program an easy one.”

Transformative Experiences

Botiba enjoyed the program’s diverse range of interprofessional activities, particularly the Community Teacher experience and the Escape Room exercise.

“Both experiences were enlightening as they required me to step out of my comfort zone,” she said. “Working alongside students from more clinically oriented health care disciplines, I stood out as the administrator. I found myself in a challenging position to solve a patient problem without a deep understanding of the clinical procedures. The initial discomfort transformed into a sense of pride as our teams successfully navigated through complex health care scenarios.”

Botiba says those experiences helped her realize that each team member, regardless of their background, brought unique strengths to the table.

“This collaborative problem-solving approach was not only humbling but also incredibly rewarding,” she said.

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

Sasha Zagoloff, PhD, LP, says it was refreshing mentoring Botiba's IPE Scholar engagement given the perspective she brought as a MHA/MBA learner.

“Angela opted into activities that are requirements for other learners and contributed her curiosity and gratitude for all she learned,” said Zagoloff, an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. “One time her team members—from medicine, nursing, and pharmacy—designed an ideal plan for their patient only to have her ask who would pay for the plan. Financial realities impact our patients and it is fantastic for learners across disciplines to consider this prior to starting their own practice.”

Zagoloff also says Botiba was the first scholar to inquire about an alumni program, which the CIH is now considering how to make this a reality.

Harnessing the Power of Teamwork in Health Care Delivery

Botiba says the interprofessional experiences taught her the importance of embracing diversity within an interprofessional team.

“In health care administration, where collaboration between clinical and non-clinical professionals is paramount, understanding and appreciating the unique strengths each team member brings is crucial,” Botiba said. “What I found particularly appealing about IPE is the flexibility embedded in the curriculum, allowing me to pace myself and apply acquired learning to diverse projects.”

Upon graduation this spring, Botiba looks forward to a career that centers around a leadership role in which she can leverage her dual MHA/MBA background and interprofessional experiences.

“I am committed to fostering a culture that values and leverages the diverse expertise within the team,” said Botiba. “The skills cultivated through the IPE experiences are inherently transferable to any collaborative setting.”