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Faculty institute promotes team building

by Cindy Abole
Public Relations
Assembling the skills and tools faculty need to promote team building and active learning is a priority as the campus continues to develop an interprofessional environment.
Members of the 2009 Interprofessional Faculty Institute at the Feb. 20 meeting.

On Feb. 20, 19 interdisciplinary faculty members gathered at the College of Health Professions to attend the first of six sessions of the Creating Collaborative Care (C3) Interprofessional Education (IPE) Faculty Institute. These sessions were established to help train and prepare faculty in teaching and assessing interprofessional education and advanced team building skills.
In 2007, MUSC won reaccreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in an intense, two-year self-study process. As a result, the institution introduced the C3 initiative as its Quality Enhancement Plan for improving education and enhancing student learning during the next decade. Two years and several successful initiatives later, the program has progressed to preparing faculty in the development of interprofessional health care teams by teaching communications skills, developing strategies and training.
The whole effort has been a year in planning, according to Mary Mauldin, Ed.D., associate professor and director for the Center for Academic and Research Computing and leader of the C3 Faculty Development domain. It is one of four domain teams responsible for advancing training and education of faculty and students with the interprofessional experience. The institute’s curriculum was developed by Joe John, M.D., Department of Medicine; Elizabeth S. Pilcher, DMD, College of Dental Medicine; Samar Hammad, Ph.D., Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy; and Carol J. McDougall, R.N., College of Nursing.
Interested faculty applied to the program beginning in fall 2008 and, following acceptance into the institute, participated in one-on-one interviews about their personal goals for participation.
During the first session, participants were introduced to interprofessional education basics, reviewed literature and other related readings, discussed program goals and practiced team building exercises and activities.
Mulugeta Gebregziabher, Ph.D., has been an assistant professor of biostatistics, bioinformatics and epidemiology since July 2006 and a participant in the IPE institute. He was purposely seeking more training opportunities for leadership and team building skills.
“As a statistician, I’m used to working with teams of people both across campus and beyond the university. I have some career opportunities that will allow me to demonstrate leadership within my own team with other researchers and I wanted to advance my skills,” he said.
Gebregziabher learned about the IPE institute and quickly applied. He enjoyed February’s premiere session.
“The first session had skills and elements I was seeking that I can use as a collaborative researcher as well as share this knowledge with students,” he said.
In evaluating the success of their participation with the institute, most applicants offered positive responses.
“I hope to have an opportunity to meet faculty outside of my own discipline and see a core group of fellows develop something to the point that its impact and effect can be measured and that students will say, ‘I was part of this effort and it made me feel comfortable working in an interprofessional team,’” said Jean Nappi, PharmD, professor in the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCOP).
Thierry Bacro, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, hopes that any new ideas learned from the institute will help him become more involved with interprofessional efforts across campus.
As for the remaining four months, institute faculty will discuss specifics about interprofessional education, refine their team building skills, analyze the importance of interprofessional health care teams, plus create and apply new skills and knowledge toward a practical interprofessional service project.
New SCCOP faculty member Kristy Brittain, PharmD, also praised the experience. Brittain served as a facilitator for both first - and second-year MUSC student during the Jan. 23 Interprofessional Day activity on campus.
“I really enjoyed the IPE session and learned more than I had expected to,” said Brittain, who praised the collaborative role of community pharmacists and other health care professionals. “I’m interested in teaching others and helping them learn about the value of interprofessional learning. I don’t think we spend enough time dissecting the value of teams and each of the member’s roles.”
Brittain hopes to translate her experiences and skills learned from the institute to establish in fall 2009 a new diabetes elective, which possess interprofessional elements. She’s also hoping to meet and identify other faculty clinicians and researchers who can collaborate with her on this project.
“I’m excited to be part of this. I look forward to seeing what else is planned for this program,” Brittain said.
The program also will provide opportunities for networking, sharing, learning and other changes as needed, according to Mauldin. She and other C3 institute coordinators hope that matriculating faculty may want to come back and share their new knowledge by teaching and leading future sessions as the institute establishes an active interprofessional learning environment.

2009 Interprofessional Faculty Institute
Theirry Bacro, Medicine/Dental Medicine; Carla Bistrick, Health Professions; Ramita Bonadonna, MUHA Clinical Services; Kristy Brittain, Pharmacy; Laurie Charles, Student Diversity; Brenda Flanigan-Tyson, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center; Mulugeta Gebregziabher, Medicine-Biostatistics; Timothy Givens, Medicine; Cynthia Hudson, Nursing; Stephen Kinsman, Medicine; Peter Miller, Medicine/Dental Medicine; Jean Nappi, Pharmacy; Tamatha Psenka, Medicine; Kelly Ragucci, Pharmacy; Shakaib Rehman, Medicine; Tony Shackelford, Health Professions; Wanda Gonsalves, Medicine; Sarah Shrader, Pharmacy and Amy Thompson, Pharmacy.

Friday, March 13, 2009

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