Center for Interprofessional Health Partners with Other Minnesota Schools to Expand Access to Interprofessional Education for Health Professions Students

Nov. 1, 2022

group of health sciences learners

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Interprofessional Health (CIH) is partnering with the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth and Augsburg University to help integrate interprofessional education into their health professions programs.

CIH has partnered with the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth since 2019 to provide health professions students from both the Twin Cities and Duluth with richer, more interprofessional learning experiences through the inclusion of a greater variety of professional programs.

Each fall, College of St. Scholastica students from physician assistant (PA), occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy, and health informatics programs participate in CIH’s Better Together course. Better Together is an interprofessional learning experience that introduces health professional students to foundational concepts of interprofessional education and collaboration. The course was conducted via live Zoom sessions, which made it easy for students from various locations to engage with one another.

College of St. Scholastica OT students also participate in CIH’s academic year-long Community Teacher program along with U of M College of Pharmacy, Duluth students to further develop and refine their interprofessional communication and teamwork skills.

This fall PA students from Augsburg also participated in the Better Together course, along with U of M students from 17 different health professional programs from the Twin Cities, Rochester and Duluth campuses, and College of St. Scholastica students.

“These cross-institutional partnerships allow health professions students from a broad variety of programs to interact and learn with, from and about one another—even if not all of those professional programs are offered at their own educational institution. This increases students' exposure to a broader variety of professions, helps all students to better understand the roles and responsibilities of more professions, and allows students an opportunity to understand how they might work with those professions as they continue to work toward becoming licensed health professionals,” said Heather Mead Kim, CIH operations director. “These cross-institutional partnerships also signify a willingness to engage with non-U of M institutions not only to create richer learning experiences for students, but also to openly share innovative interprofessional experiences and models that have been developed by the CIH.”