OACA Interprofessional Internship Highlight: National Center Project Team

Allison Au, BS, MHA, and Tara Dillon, MA, from the School of Nursing, and Julia Ngep, BASc, MPH ‘22, from the School of Public Health, are curating a resource collection and toolkit for the National Center of Interprofessional Practice & Education Resource Center focused on the intersection of patient, family, community, and caregiver (PFCC) centered care and health education. The team has engaged in a literature review and environmental scan, and are beginning to select specific resources for inclusion on the site and creating the web page components.

“I learned more about interprofessional education and different models of care, like having the patient as a teacher,” said Au. “This is especially helpful with chronic conditions. As a future nurse, I am more aware of what other professions' expertise is and am better able to guide patients with inquiries.”

When asked about her favorite part of the experience thus far, Au replied, “I really enjoy interacting with other students. I have only attended school during the pandemic and have never had classes in person, so it's nice to feel like I am not going through graduate school alone.”

Dillon said this project has encouraged the entire team to be bold and open to unexpected partnerships when designing solutions to public health challenges. It has highlighted the importance of empowering patients, families, and communities as active members of the health care team, and of continuing to center empathy as the root of their work.

“This project has helped hone my skills in taking a large problem or process and breaking it down into actionable steps,” said Dillon. “I have really enjoyed digging into the literature and learning more about how health systems are engaging with the people and communities they serve to improve processes and outcomes. I'm looking forward to continuing to analyze how work in other sectors could inform PFCC-centered changes in health education.”

“My favorite part of the OACA internship experience has been the fireside chat leadership conversations that Dr. Porta hosts,” said Dillon. “We have been able to learn from the lived experiences and expertise of incredible leaders and get to engage in genuine, empathic conversations that are also filled with humor. I also really enjoyed participating in the NEXUS Innovation Challenge, in which we got to see three teams present their prototypes for creating meaningful clinical learning and educational environments while addressing health equity challenges in their local communities.”

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