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Andrea ZakrajsekAndrea Zakrajsek

1. Brief professional self description

I am an occupational therapist and have received all three of my higher education degrees in the field of OT. However, as a graduate student, I was drawn to coursework and research projects in the areas of disability studies and aging, in part because of their interdisciplinary nature. Having the opportunity to develop knowledge within a field, such as disability or aging, by exploring the subject from a variety of disciplines, has always been exciting for me. I currently find myself seeking out opportunities to partner with faculty, staff, and students across campus in educational and research pursuits.

2. How and why did you get involved with IPE?

I would say I first became involved in IPE as a new occupational therapist. I was fortunate to work in a very collaborative interprofessional team of OTs, PTs, Speech-Language Pathologists, Recreational Therapists, Nurses, Social Workers, Physicians, Dietitians, and Psychologists at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan in Detroit. It was during that experience of working together for the health and participation of our patients, cross-training and providing instruction to one another, and partnering on various hospital initiatives, I recognized the value of interprofessional collaboration and education. As an instructor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I had the opportunity to take part of IPE initiatives, facilitating IP learning opportunities for students from various professional programs on the medical side of campus. Bringing this knowledge of interprofessional collaboration in an IP team and educating future professional students to do the same to my faculty role at EMU, I've had many opportunities within the Occupational Therapy and Aging Studies Programs to develop and enhance rich educational experiences for students for students with my colleagues from various disciplines.

3. What do you believe are the benefits of IPE?

I believe that IPE offers an opportunity for professional students and faculty to get beyond their professional silos to develop creative solutions that will ultimately support health and participation of our society. By understanding the individual knowledge and strengths that our unique professions bring to healthcare, we can develop something much better, collaboratively.

4. What has been the most memorable experience or highlight of teaching IPE so far?

I've had so many amazing IPE teaching opportunities that I'm not sure I can pick one! Collaborating with the Nursing Program, we've been able to offer great interprofessional patient simulation educational experiences to our OT and Nursing students that have changed their thinking. Partnerships with the Orthotics and Prosthetics program have led to a deeper understanding of the unique needs and resources for people with amputations for our students. Engaging in interprofessional research has allowed my colleagues and me to construct experiences for students from various professions to develop knowledge and skills to identify research questions that are valuable to multiple disciplines, design and implement studies to answer those questions, and disseminate results back to healthcare systems and other researchers to support patient care. Dialoguing with the interdisciplinary faculty in the Aging Studies Program has allowed us to develop exciting initiatives and creative solutions to support students to develop the skills they need to address issues facing elders from the perspectives of many disciplines. It's thrilling for me to be working in such an environment that EMU affords in collaborating with passionate, intelligent, and highly gifted people from multiple disciplines to support student learning!

 

Sandy PerneckySandy Pernecky

1. Brief professional self description

I've been a registered dietitian (RDN) for 30 years, and advanced my nutrition knowledge with a MS from EMU in 2004, along with becoming an EMU lecturer that same year. I was recently appointed co-director of Dietetics and Human Nutrition. My main interest is community-based dietetics and nutrition and I teach a community nutrition experience course each fall.

Initially as an RDN, I was in mostly clinical and community-based positions. As a newly graduated dietitian, I know I would have benefited greatly from understanding more about the professionals I'd be working with, side-by-side, in addition to understanding some of their unique jargon and skills. This said, I am understandably excited for our CHHS students as a whole and dietetic students specifically, as they have the opportunity to learn through IPE events at EMU, to develop their interprofessional skills even before they've graduated. 

2. How and why did you get involved with IPE?

I became involved in IPE because of my enthusiasm regarding the newly evolving Swoops Food Pantry (Fall 2015). Through conversations with Dr. Lynn Nybell initially, then Julie Harkema and Haley Moraniec, we were able to grow the idea of a dietetics/social work collaboration with support from Dr. Tana Bridge (SW) and Dr. Heather Wiese (DTC). Dr. Bridge and Dr. Wiese were already IPE Scholars at that time, and provided mentorship in reviewing and guiding the funded IPE mini grant: College Student Food Insecurity: Research, Discovery and Action (CSFIRDA). It helps that I have a lifelong love of learning and am not afraid to explore areas about which I know little to nothing. I applied for, and was accepted into the IPE Scholars Program 2016, and was able to form a collaboration with Dr. Deborah Collins-Boehler (NURS), that involved nursing and dietetic students planning a health and nutrition class together and then education seniors at a nearby independent living facility. I continue to be involved in IPE endeavors, to further enhance our dietetics and other CHHS students' experiences. 

3. What do you believe are the benefits of IPE?

Learning to communicate across the aisle (between professions) and becoming educated regarding scope of practice is key. With IPE, students learn that there are relevant areas for each health care profession and also start to understand that there may be some overlap between these professions. Knowing that there are specialized professionals available, understanding more about what they do, and knowing when to call on them for their knowledge and skills is a substantial benefit. By focusing on our own professions' skills and embracing the idea that through communication we can work productively with other health care professionals, our students are provided with a major "aha" moment. As a bonus, trusting relationships and friendships may form.

4. What has been the most memorable experience or highlight of teaching IPE so far?

My favorite IPE experience was the mini-grant funded IPE proposal: College Student Food Insecurity: Research, Discovery, and Action, which included the planning and execution of: Nutrition on a Budget and Food Insecurity Facts and Myths ~ a dietetic/social work student collaborative presentation; a Local Food Justice Bus Tour; and a qualitative and quantitative study of Food Pantry customers. There were so many "moving pieces", and opportunities to learn! I honestly felt that I learned as much as our students.

 

Wendy BeattieWendy Beattie

1. Brief professional self description

My background was in engineering, but I knew I wanted to work with people and make a difference in individuals' lives. Orthotics and Prosthetics was a perfect mix of these desires. I entered the field as a technician, returned to grad school at UCLA and Northwestern University, before entering practice in Michigan. I was fortunate to be involved in research and product development, lecturing both locally and internationally, and to be elected to national office for our professional organization, while maintaining an orthotics and prosthetics practice. After 25+ years, I was approached to fill in here as a PTL and teach a prosthetics course. The next semester, the program director retired and I was approached to take his place. 

2. How and why did you get involved with IPE?

O&P practice IS IPE. I interacted with physicians, physician assistants, nurses. OTs, PTs, speech therapists, social workers, and case managers on a daily basis. How can students be practice-ready if they are not exposed to this in school? The "how" involved serendipity. One of the faculty members and I were approached regarding a research opportunity with one of the OT faculty. The research morphed into an IPE event, involving both programs, and 10 clinical sites. It provided not only a learning opportunity but a way to build bridges between the students, between the program faculty, and between the sites and the university. 

3. What do you believe are the benefits of IPE?

Students become aware of how their professions mesh with others to the benefit of the patient, and all involved. Faculty share knowledge and develop relationships--for example, I'm meeting this week with individuals I met through IPE to discuss how to improve admissions processes.

4. What has been the most memorable experience or highlight of teaching IPE so far?

The students' response to the experience!

"[This experience] allowed us to see how decisions are made jointly between professions...The combination of these two knowledge areas allowed for devices to be made that will provide the necessary join protection and stability while honoring the client's values and allowing her to participate in meaningful occupations."

"The collaboration between students of different fields is an entirely different experience than meeting working professionals in other fields because the nature of the collaboration is really the joining of equals. Not only is my understanding of O&P enhanced, but my ability to explicate the distinct value of OT is also augmented having needed to explain this to a student-professional with a different frame of reference. I feel that my future practice is strengthened."

Stephanie Wladkowski

Stephanie Wladkowski

1. Brief professional self description.

I have several years of clinical practice as a social worker in hospice and palliative care working with families in end of life. Prior to working in hospice, I provided individual psychotherapy in a community mental health agency, college counseling center, and a residential eating disorder treatment center.

I have presented on social work practice issues in end-of-life care nationally and my current research interests include the experience of loss for caregivers of adults with dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and social work practice and policies in aging and end-of-life care. I am passionate about teaching and mentoring new clinicians and strives to create a collaborative learning environment.

2. How and why did you get involved with IPE?

Working in end-of-life care is all about collaborative teamwork (all the time) so for me, it was a no brainer. I strive to give social work students as high quality training as possible and incorporating opportunities to learn with and from other professions is at the core of my instruction. IPE does just that: allows students to learn about other professions, dispel myths or misconceptions, and highlights the often-overlooked commonalities between professions.

Also, as a faculty member new to EMU, I was interested in connecting with other faculty members of professional programs and learning how we might build collaborative learning experiences for students. Being involved in the IPE Scholars Program helped me learn more about programs on our campus that I was unfamiliar with and meet colleagues from outside my department.

3. What do you believe are the benefits of IPE?

The main benefit is for the students. They have an opportunity to integrate real life experiences of working with other professionals in the classroom, which enhances the curriculum we offer.

In addition to students engaging in a beneficial learning exercise, this was a simple way to combine instruction with scholarship! IPE requires an evaluative component, which means I was able to collect data on the classroom exercises and disseminate this research at regional and national conferences.

4. What has been the most memorable experience or highlight of teaching IPE so far?

Watching students teach each other! Students take over and explain the technical skill, the purpose of their role, and their professional goal of the patient interaction to the other profession. It happens organically and allows students to surprise themselves in realizing how much they know. 

 

Lynne Shetron-Rama Lynn Shetron-Rama

1. Brief professional self description.

I am first and foremost an educator and I enjoy teaching. I teach Immunology, Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics. I am also program director for the Clinical Lab Sciences Program, Cytogenetics, Histotechnology and the Pre-professional track. My research is mainly in Microbiology and currently I am working with the antimicrobial properties of nasal sprays as well as some collaborations with colleagues in Dietetics here at EMU and at Oakland University Medical School.

2. How and why did you get involved with IPE?

My desire stemmed from wanting to get my students involved working with other allied health professions. The labs role is significant in the diagnosis process as much as 70% of all health care decisions are based on information gathered from the lab. Unfortunately, many even in the health care field are unaware of what we do or how extensive our training is. I was hoping for possibilities to help the students from all professions see what happens in situations of preanalytical laboratory errors (these are errors in the process before the specimen makes it to the lab, a major source of revenue loss and patient problems).

3. What do you believe are the benefits of IPE?

I think having students communicate and join students from other majors to solve problems in the health care setting is eye opening and exciting for these students. It is helpful to learn from each other about the challenges each other faces as a student is well.

4. What has been the most memorable experience or highlight of teaching IPE so far?

I have enjoyed a couple of different IPE events thus far. The Pandemic Disaster Preparedness for Healthcare Professionals was a very enjoyable experience. The students worked together to solve problems as they were unfolding and to understand the roles they each might play in an emergency scenario. I also had the pleasure of taking part in a simulation exercise with the other professions in the Sim Lab at St Joe. Terry Mortier is the main person working in the simulation exercises from CLS but she was busy on the day of the simulation so I was able to attend. It was an amazing process to watch all the students together and to hear and to watch how they interact with one another for the first time. 

 

Beverly Mihalko

1. Brief professional self description.

I began my career in healthcare as a medical technologist, working in diagnostic bacteriology at Children's Hospital in Detroit. I loved my work and had some unique opportunities to participate in cutting edge research projects and train medical students about the work we did in the lab to identify human pathogens. I soon recognized however that I wanted to be more directly involved in care delivery so I pursued an MPH in epidemiologist, working my way up over time to a corporate director position in a large multi-hospital health system. In this role I had oversight responsibility for policy development, in-service training, disease surveillance, disaster planning, program compliance and accreditation, and of course all the administrative responsibilities that go along with a senior management position.

2. How and why did you get involved with IPE?

My work in hospital epidemiology and infection control required my interaction with literally every division and department in the health system, both clinical and non-clinical, to develop department-specific and organizational policies and procedures to reduce infection risks. I lead numerous interprofessional teams, committees, and work groups to achieve these goals over my 30-year career. This requires good communication, interpersonal collaboration, and of course effective teamwork. When the opportunity to become involved in the IPE initiative in the College, presented itself, I was eager to share my ideas and professional experience with other faculty and students in all health professions programs.

3. What do you believe are the benefits of IPE?

This program gives students the opportunity to engage with students from other clinical and non-clinical programs. It introduces them to the various professions, and allows them to better understand and appreciate both the commonalities as well as differences in their skill sets. IPE activities can create important learning opportunities to practice teamwork, problem-solving, and inter-professional communication skills that will be essential in the work environment.

4. What has been the most memorable experience or highlight of teaching IPE so far?

Engaging with students during and following the pandemic influenza exercises has been particularly rewarding. Students have given me very positive feedback about the experience; some have shared additional reading sources with me or gone on to seek internship or jobs in the area of emergency preparedness. 

 

Linda Myler

Linda Myler 1.     Brief professional self description

I have been an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at EMU for the past three years.  Prior to this I worked at the University of Michigan in both practice and academic roles for twenty-five years. My teaching experience includes instruction at all levels of nursing from associate degree nursing to students at the graduate level.

My passion to teach inspired me to obtain a graduate certificate of teaching in healthcare systems, a certification as a nurse educator and a certification in simulation. Currently I co-direct the nursing simulation center and am involved in the planning, scheduling and coordination of students in simulation for medical-surgical, OB and pediatric courses.

2.     How and why did you get involved with IPE?

Interprofessional education has always been a part of my role as a nurse.  I have seen the positive outcomes for patients, staff and students associated with effectively working with other disciplines. When the call went out for faculty interested in IPE, I jumped at the chance to be a part of the initiative at EMU.  The chance to help build a culture here is very exciting.

3.     What do you believe are the benefits of IPE?

IPE is a way to connect with others to achieve great things.  I can speak firsthand on the enormous effects I have seen both personally and with others just since it’s beginning at EMU.  The relationships I have formed with some really wonderful individuals in other disciplines are invaluable. IPE helps you to think beyond your own profession.

4.     What has been the most memorable experience or highlight of teaching IPE so far?

This is easy to answer because it was one of my best days in teaching since I arrived at EMU.  We were at the St. Joseph Mercy Simulation Center and had just completed the first IPE simulation pilot involving 6 disciplines.  I had worried about the coordination of the event with so many students, faculty and staff after 8 months of planning.  However, my worries were all dispelled when I watched students from all the disciplines interact and really talk to each other.  In the debriefing session, which followed the simulation, the excitement was contagious and everyone walked away wanting more. It was then I realized that no matter what the barriers, IPE initiatives need to be expanded.

 

 Jake Lindquist Jacob Lindquist

1.    Brief professional self-description?

I am an ABC Certified Prosthetist Orthotist who has worked in mid and south east Michigan.  My clinical experience has focused on addressing the needs of patients with lower extremity pathologies to improve their quality of life.  I also have a strong interest in upper extremity prosthetic care. 

2.  How and why did you get involved with IPE?

Early in clinical practice it becomes apparent that each allied health profession is only capable of addressing a small subset of the greater needs of a patient.  To achieve the best health outcomes for the patient a team based approach must be utilized.  To form that best interprofessional team to meet the needs of your patient you must first understand the capabilities and scope of practice of other health care providers, this is where Inter-Professional Education comes in.

3.  What do you believe are the benefits of IPE?

Simply put, patient-centric care with improved health outcomes and higher patient (and professional) satisfaction.  This can be achieved by having the necessary professionals participating in a clear and open dialog to assess the many dimensions of the patient as well as recognizing that the patient is also a key contributor to the health care team.

4.  What has been the most memorable experience or highlight of teaching IPE so far?

The reactions and enthusiasm of the patient models who participate in these IPE events. 

Comments from the patients such as:

"Why has this not been done sooner?",

"These students have provided me with better explanations for the their proposed treatment plan and bedside manner my usual health care providers",

"I am used to being treated as the problem but today I was treated as a person." 

Students and Patient models: 

"When can we do this again?"
The education has not been limited to just the students.  In planning these events many of the facilitators have learned that we do not truly understand the capabilities and scope of practice of other professions and as a result are changing how we will approach patient care in the future.

 

Kathy Seurynck Kathleen Seurynck

1.     Brief professional self description

Currently I am an assistant professor at EMU. I have over 20 years experience in nursing education.  My certifications include Certified Nurse Educator and Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator.  My passions include active learning, simulation and IPE education.

2.     How and why did you get involved with IPE?

I became involved with IPE through the initiative at EMU. I saw the need in practice that improved patient outcomes occur when professions actually work together instead of in silos.

3.     What do you believe are the benefits of IPE?

There are so many benefits of IPE, most important being improved care of our patients and increased safety.  It can help decrease errors by improving communication and collaboration. We learn, respect and problem solve together.

4. What has been the most memorable experience or highlight of teaching IPE so far?

My favorite teaching moment so far has been our IPE simulation with six professions at St. Joseph Mercy Simulation Center.  After a year of planning, the students did a great job!  They were so excited to be working, collaborating and learning about other professions! It was great to see the enthusiasm and excitement of the students and faculty.

 

 

 

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