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Welcoming IPE into the Fold: How Faculty Integrate Interprofessional Education into their Curriculum

Faculty and support staff worked in groups to come up with ideas for integrating IPE across their programs.

Kerchel William, lab technologist at Humber College's North Campus.

Sarah Wilkinson, IPE program coordinator, speaks with faculty Anna Dix & Genevieve Mailloux about IPE ideas.

Written by: Eli J. Ridder

What does it mean to collaborate across programs in a meaningful way?

Representatives from multiple programs in the Faculty of Health Sciences & Wellness gathered at Humber College’s North campus on Wednesday, May 4 to answer that question for the year ahead.

This large-scale interprofessional education planning effort will lay the groundwork for years to come.

Over 20 faculty and staff from the Integrative and Allied Health cluster shared ideas for enhancing their students’ Interprofessional Collaboration competence through Interprofessional Education (IPE) at the Heads Together session.

“Students will benefit from our work today,” said IPE Coordinator Sarah Wilkinson, who co-facilitated the session.

“By participating in regular Interprofessional Education, they will be prepared to enter a career where interprofessional collaboration is expected.”

In the room were program coordinators, both full and part-time faculty and support staff, all with the aim of learning about each other's programs, approaches to teaching and IPE experiences.

The Wednesday meeting was Kerchell William’s first time learning about how Interprofessional Education can be applied. William is the lab technologist for several FHSW programs.

“It inspired me to look at my position and how I can implement the IPE activities that are happening around the college within the open lab spaces,” William said of the conference.

At the end of the day, the faculty identified several projects they will develop in their cluster’s IPE Curriculum Working Group.

They want students to analyze current health intake forms to co-create a new client-centered intake form that promotes inclusive care and can be used across multiple programs.

An idea brought up by William to create open-labs for students from multiple IAH programs to learn and practice skills together is now being worked on as a result of the planning day.

The IAH cluster has already planned IPE activities for all first semester students through which they will learn about each other’s professions through discussion and shadowing.

The Integrative and Allied Health cluster includes Hearing Instrument Specialist, Massage Therapy, Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant, Systems Navigator, Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Wellness Coaching, Workplace Health and Wellness programs.

Sometimes all it takes is people in a space putting their heads together to work towards a more inclusive approach to interprofessional education.