Nexus Summit 2023: Reflections from University of Michigan presenters and participants

Missed out on Nexus Summit 2023? Read on for key takeaways from those who attended.

University of Michigan leaders and students in interprofessional education recently participated in Nexus Summit 2023: Working for Impact. 

Participants gathered virtually from September 18-19 and 27-29 to discuss ideas and learn from fellow colleagues working in interprofessional practice and education across the United States.

View a full list of University of Michigan presentations.

Overall, U-M presenters were left with a sense of accomplishment at sharing the unique work happening at the university. This included the collaboration happening between the Center for Interprofessional Practice (C-IPE) and units within both Michigan Medicine and the University of Michigan. A key component of this is relationship building, where stakeholders are not only providing advice but are engaged with the work taking place, whether they are patients, learners, faculty, staff or community partners. These relationships are built on trust and allow us to do great things together, rather than in our siloes. This, of course, is foundational to C-IPE’s approach and existence. This work will allow C-IPE to create better experiences and initiatives that work toward the ultimate goal of improving health. 

U-M participants were also left inspired by the work happening at fellow institutions, which served as a reminder that there is still a lot that we can learn from others. A notable example included the robust data systems that exist at other institutions which keep C-suite leaders informed of IP activities. Hearing how others integrate the patient and student voice also reinforced the working being done in C-IPE initiatives such as LIFE and SAC.

Below are reflections from University of Michigan participants and presenters who attended Nexus Summit 2023.

On successful health systems partnerships:

“It was a privilege to be on the Health Systems Partnerships panel with the other institutions and showcase the building, development and leadership in this space. Overall, it is clear that success depends on data, process and partnerships to influence long-term impact among our leaders and each other for the benefit of our patients and all provider types.” – Sandy Goel, Pharm.D., Interim Chief Wellness Officer & Administrative Director of the Wellness Office

“We define our ultimate goal as improved HEALTH, not just health care. That allows us to create really awesome community initiatives, working with so many more specialties than those traditionally found in health care environments. We are engaging students and patients as partners in this work, they are not just here giving us advice. They are rolling up their sleeves with us to help design new experiences and train educators so that learners are trained in settings that allow them to be vibrant members of the health care team.” – Rajesh Mangrulkar, M.D., Director of the Center for IPE 

Relationship building:

“The uniqueness of what we are doing here at U-M is building a movement, a community of practice, of innovation and creativity around interprofessional education and practice. We invest a lot in attracting people to do work that they feel is important and it shows by the over 100 people we have working on this. That is very different from other institutions.” – Rajesh Mangrulkar, M.D., Director of the Center for IPE 

“Remaining uni-institutional with regard to our IPE work can often prohibit us in seeing our blind spots as student leaders. The Conversation Cafe was an excellent way for us to reflect upon those blind spots together and share ongoing efforts across various institutions.” – Natalya Salganik, Pharm.D. candidate, C-IPE Student Advisory Committee Co-Chair 

“I strongly heard the need for both student and patient voices to be integrated into the development and implementation of IPE. The conference underscored the pivotal role that both students and patients play as key stakeholders in health and health care. It was a reminder that, regardless of whether we approach the conversation from a didactic or experiential/practice education lens, our ultimate goal is always to improve care and outcomes for our patients.” – Hannah Edwards, M.H.M., Curriculum Administrative Specialist of the Center for IPE

Engaging students: 

“Being a part of the student panel for the Nexus Summit Conversation Cafe was a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon and share my experience as a health science student engaged in IPE. By developing strong IPE skills now as students, we can take them with us into our careers and help shape the next generation(s) of health professionals.” – Taylor Bringard, Family Nurse Practitioner D.N.P. candidate,  C-IPE Student Advisory Committee Co-Chair 

“Among all attendees, including national leaders within the IPE space, there was tremendous energy and excitement towards integrating the student voice. As a learner, it can be intimidating to approach these kinds of conversations, as there is uncertainty surrounding the weight and importance of your ideas. However, members were genuinely interested in understanding our experiences and implementing the student voice to improve upon them; furthermore, this improvement process is collaborative, joining the faculty and the students as allies.” – Natalya Salganik, Pharm.D. candidate, C-IPE Student Advisory Committee Co-Chair 

“Teams that have trust and psychological safety extend that climate to their students, empowering students to be full members of the team and even change agents within teams. Students approach their work with curiosity without assumptions of why things are the way they are or historical bruises that some of us have. A simple question of asking why we do something the way we do it can be transformative, but it is our responsibility to create the culture to enable students to fully engage and lead. Another takeaway was that we have established a deliberate infrastructure to engage students in our work which is not the reality nationally. Our infrastructure supports the development of student leaders but it also supports student-student recruitment and mentorship.” – Vani Patterson, M.P.H., Administrative Director of the Center for IPE

Participants from the C-IPE led Conversation Café: Students as Partners in Transforming Health Care Practice Now engaged in an active discussion around engaging students as IPE partners and collaborators.

The patient perspective: 

“Engaging patients in a meaningful and appropriate way can be a challenge for many institutions, and many conversations throughout the conference highlighted the importance of addressing this. While it is not always easy, it is absolutely imperative that we make concerted efforts to involve patients in the development and evaluation of our educational programs. Patients – and their loved ones – engaged in the education of students can help learners to understand the need and best practices for interprofessional practice.” – Hannah Edwards, M.H.M., Curriculum Administrative Specialist of the Center for IPE

“I appreciated hearing a patient’s perspective on how much they value IPE and how important it is to engage in IPE at the start of our education. This reinforces the idea that the work we are doing within IPE is meaningful and makes an impact on the care we provide to patients.” – Taylor Bringard, Family Nurse Practitioner D.N.P. candidate,  C-IPE Student Advisory Committee Co-Chair 

Impacting the work happening in C-IPE:

“These conversations have solidified my passion for scaling our LIFE (Longitudinal Interprofessional Family-Based Experience) offering, as we strongly engage with our Office of Patient Experience to bring in patients as educators for our students. This is only one of many steps our Center is taking to bring the patient to the team table.” – Hannah Edwards, M.H.M., Curriculum Administrative Specialist of the Center for IPE

“For the future of the Student Advisory Committee (SAC), we continue to challenge ourselves and ask the following: How can we improve our sustainability? How can we intentionally foster collaborative processes of students and faculty within IPE at our institution? These questions allow us to be better listeners of the student voice throughout IPE improvement processes at U-M.” – Natalya Salganik, Pharm.D. candidate, C-IPE Student Advisory Committee Co-Chair 

New opportunities and challenges ahead:

“What we are learning from others is the value of strong buy-in and proactive collaboration from the senior-most leaders of the health system that partner with the Center for IPE. This results in IPE leaders being actually included in the C-suite of these health systems, such as what is found at Ohio State and Minnesota. They also then invest in robust data infrastructure that helps us measure the impact of high functioning teams on patient outcomes, and on the learners themselves. The other institutions at the plenary had built really robust data systems that push data on IP teams right to the C-suite of these major health organizations, building an accountability loop that we have not yet created. But we are on that road.” – Rajesh Mangrulkar, M.D., Director of the Center for IPE 

“One of the most captivating discussions centered around the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into interprofessional education. The notion of harnessing AI’s capabilities to enhance the educational process and potentially improve medical decision-making is both innovative and intriguing. It underscores the need for us to stay at the forefront of technological advancements, not only in health care but also in education. This is especially crucial as we pilot and scale experiential IPE programs in clinical and community settings. Engaging AI leaders in education processes will be pivotal in ensuring that we harness the full potential of this technology while maintaining its ethical and educational integrity.” – Hannah Edwards, M.H.M., Curriculum Administrative Specialist of the Center for IPE