IPE Profile

Beverly Mihalko

Brief professional 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.

How and why did you get involved?

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.

What do you believe are the benefits?

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.

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. 

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