The Minnesota Northstar Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program concluded the inaugural Annual Interprofessional Geriatric Case Competition on Monday, November 9, 2020, naming the University of Minnesota team the winner. Due to the need for social distancing, the competition took place virtually. The University of Minnesota team collaborated with Saint Louis University’s Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gateway Workforce Enhancement Program, host of this geriatric case competition for six years.
Students, faculty and community experts were recruited to participate in the month-long interprofessional case competition. A total of 26 teams comprised students from medicine, nursing (BSN, DNP), occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, pharmacy, dentistry, public health, medical family therapy, speech language hearing sciences, and communication sciences and disorders.
Student teams included three to five health professions students and an expert coach on a geriatric-based case, which focused on development of a care plan for an older patient with multiple chronic health challenges, including COVID-19. The students created an innovative 20-minute pre-recorded electronic case presentation. Teams of interprofessional faculty and community experts served as judges and coaches for the presentations.
“I really enjoyed working with students outside of my discipline,” said one coach. “One of my students was on my team, and this was such a valuable experience learning how to function as an interdisciplinary team. Each student learned something new about how the other disciplines approach the problem.”
Students had one month to prepare their recorded presentations, with the top three teams at each university advancing to a local semi-final round. The top-rated team from each semi-final round competed live via Zoom against the other university team. The winning team from the UMN included students Emily Feye (nursing adult health/gerontological clinical nurse specialist); Katherine Tyeryar (speech-language pathology); Kelsi Johnson (occupational therapy); Kendra Bollig (occupational therapy), and coach Lizzie Choma, PT, DPT, GCS.
One student commented: “I think the difficulty and complexity of the case really brought to light how necessary an interdisciplinary team is when caring for a geriatric patient.”
For the inter-GWEP competition, the UMN team received the highest scores. All participants of the Minnesota competition received a copy of Geriatrics at Your Fingertips 2020, an annually updated reference that provides quick and easy access to the specific information clinicians need to make decisions about the care of older adults. The winning team was awarded a cash prize, and each of the members of the top two teams received medallions for their participation.
Congratulations to the winning team and to all participants, and thank you to the coaches and judges who generously devoted their time to the participants and competition.