IPE at CHHS: Working Together. Improving Lives.

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Anyone who has ever worked in the Health and Human Services industry knows that interdisciplinary collaboration is a critical component of caring for our patients/clients. Rarely do we work independently. Collaboration is how the College of Health and Human Services at EMU sets itself apart.

We are committed to helping our students understand their own professional identity as well as understand and appreciate the roles of other health and human services professionals. We accomplish this through Interprofessional Education (IPE). IPE is a collaborative approach to developing health and human services pre-professional students.The World Health Organization (2010) defined IPE as “When students from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.” This represents the very essence of the College of Health and Human Services: Working Together. Improving Lives. Our students work together to understand each other’s professions and use their combined knowledge to improve the quality of care given to their patients and clients.

Nursing and Athletic Training Students

Athletic Training and Nursing students participating in an IPE simulation.

In 2014, we established The Office for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education, Research and Practice. Its role is to support CHHS faculty members as they plan and implement IPE activities and events for their students.

During the past year, a number of interprofessional simulations have taken place. Typically in a session the students work collaboratively on a diagnosis and treatment plan, as well as interact with patient models and their family members. This is followed by a debriefing session.

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O&P and OT students with Durran Hillard and his custom protective faceguard

Students from multiple programs have also participated in joint clinical experiences. Orthotics and Prosthetics and Occupational Therapy students worked collaboratively at the Michigan Hand and Sports Rehab Center. They worked with Jeremy Murray, the Director of Orthotics (and a graduate of EMU’s O&P Program) to create a custom protective faceguard for Detroit Piston rookie, Darrun Hilliard.

Additional IPE events that have taken place include:

  • Flu pandemic table top discussions
  • Patient panels
  • Healthy cooking demonstrations
  • Book/movie clubs
  • Campus and community outreach (Tobacco cessation program for EMU students)
  • Study abroad opportunity to shadow health care providers in a developing country

The College of Health and Human Services aims to provide the infrastructure and the resources necessary to enhance IPE opportunities for students enrolled in all of our programs. In May 2014, the college received an estate gift from Donald F.N. Brown of nearly $500,000. This money has been earmarked for IPE.

If you’d like more information on IPE, our upcoming events, or to find out how you can help grow Interprofessional Education at the College of Health and Human Services at EMU, contact Dan Burns at 734.487.1250 or!

For more information about estate giving at EMU, contact Rae Anne Yuskowatz at 734.487.8040 or!

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