Health Professions Education Day highlights interprofessional education, collaborative care and the scholarship of learning and teaching at annual event

Health Professions Education Day (HPE Day) returned fully in-person and included inspirational speeches, a student-led panel with HEART, poster presentations and lightning talks.

The annual event, now in its eighth year, brought nearly 200 faculty, staff and student attendees from all three U-M campuses to the Michigan League on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. This year marked the return to the first fully in-person event since 2019, and the energy in the room was notable.

“The IPE community’s opportunity to come together for what was our 8th annual HPE Day is such an important milestone,” shared Caren M. Stalburg, M.D., M.A., associate professor in the Department of Learning Health Sciences, physician in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and faculty lead for the HPE Day planning team. “We initially envisioned a meeting where educational experts from across our health science schools could come together to share best practices, develop connections and engage in crafting our IPE movement. We have done that and more together!” 

The day began with a welcome and opening remarks by U-M President Santa J. Ono, who spoke about the important role health professions education, IPE and teamwork has played in U-M’s history and will continue to play in the future vision of our campus.

“I really, truly believe that the University of Michigan is the right place to move forward this incredibly important initiative,” he stated in his remarks. “It has an incredible history and an incredible group of deans that are leading the different schools that can really make us a world leader in interprofessional education.”

Following President Ono’s remarks, a panel shared how IPE is making a real difference in the lives of patients and their families through a student and patient panel discussion. HEART (Health, Equity, Action, Research, Teaching) is a student and faculty collaborative pro-bono health service based in the College of Health Sciences at University of Michigan-Flint. HEART offers interprofessional collaborative care to members of the Flint community, while allowing students to engage in interprofessional practice with peers in physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and nursing disciplines.

The panel included students, faculty and a patient and caregiver who had been participating in HEART’s initiative. The students shared that participating in the program has helped them grow in confidence while learning from their peers in other disciplines. Cindy Hawkins, who sat beside her husband Craig Hawkins on the panel, shared the story of how his stroke impacted their entire family. She credited HEART and the students for helping with Craig’s recovery, and hopes that by allowing students to work with real patients and across disciplines, health care will continue to get better. Hawkins found the entire experience to be very emotional for her family, a sentiment that carried into the audience as they were reminded of the impact of the work they are doing in IPE. 

Another highlight of the event was the State of IPE at Michigan presentation by Rajesh Mangrulkar, M.D., director of the Michigan Center for Interprofessional Education (C-IPE). He shared how IPE activities have continued to expand and grow over the past year, while also surfacing challenges that have required the team to widen their efforts. He highlighted that C-IPE’s Strategic Blueprint outlined a path forward, centered on the single mission of improving the quadruple aims of health. Mangrulkar shared his excitement for what lies ahead thanks to the strong leadership and participation among members of the Center’s committees and workgroups.

Attendees took time to network and explore the approximately 50 poster presentations and demonstrations, which covered topic areas such as augmented reality in education, interprofessional education innovations, new teaching techniques, wellness and resilience and many more. Several presenters took to the stage after lunch to share their work in a series of lightning talks. The C-IPE also presented two awards as part of the IPE Awards for Innovation & Excellence.

“I loved the energy among the attendees at this year’s HPE Day,” shared Mangrulkar. “The interprofessional work on display was remarkable and hearing from presenters was informative and also quite moving. IPE and collaborative practice has a great future ahead at U-M and I’m proud of the progress we’ve made.”

“The student-led and directed patient panel highlighting the efforts of the teams at HEART, the wide range of posters shared and the exceptional efforts described in the lightning talks all point towards a wonderful future as our community commits to amplifying the educational opportunities within the experiential IPE space. As always, I left the day feeling gratitude for our community and great expectations for future endeavors!” Stalburg added.

Social media was also buzzing about the event, with many participants utilizing the #UMHPEDay hashtag and sharing their impressions on Twitter.

“So proud the way @UMichPharmacy was represented at the 8th annual health professionals day @umich. Congrats Dr Erickson and team for your so well deserved IPE award and job well done to PharmD student Natalya Salganik on moderating the student panel,” tweeted Vicki Ellingrod, dean of the College of Pharmacy.

After the formal event concluded, a small group of participants stayed on site to participate in an IPE facilitation workshop, adding a skill building component to the day for the first time. 

HPE Day is a joint effort of two units, the medical school’s Department of Learning Health Sciences and the Michigan Center for Interprofessional Education, who serve as co-hosts for the event.

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