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Exclusive Interviews With College Executive Leaders On Importance of Interprofessional Education: “The future is here and IPE is the future”

The ASU Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation is one of many colleges across the US  and around the world that is taking steps to provide their graduates with the skills needed to be a successful member of a high-performing healthcare team.

Exclusive interviews with the Edson College executive leadership tell a story of the changing landscape of healthcare today, the critical role of interprofessional education (IPE), and a vision for the future.

Educating for Patients and Outcomes

Judith Karshmer“We are focused on the end point being better patient outcomes,” said Dr. Judy Karshmer, Edson College Dean and Professor.

“We see ASU as the signature place for IPE because of our excellence in education and practice AND because we are focused on being able to demonstrate impact on outcomes.”

Senior Associate Dean and Professor Dr. Craig T. Thatcher adds, “Healthcare is changing so dramatically this needs to be in the forefront for all of us.  We also have to keep in our sights that the accrediting bodies for the health professions require competence in interprofessional collaboration. They want students to have this kind of experience.”

Dr. Thatcher emphasized the essential role of IPE, stating that it should be a part of all health professions training.

Collaborating for Action

Craig T. ThatcherIn the fall of 2018, Dean Karshmer called on volunteers from across the college to help lay the groundwork for infusing IPE in all majors so that every student would graduate with an interprofessional experience. She talked about integrating IPE into the college’s curriculum, saying:

“Our Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation is committed to advancing healthcare outcomes. The faculty, staff, and students believe in IPE but we haven’t fully integrated the power of the skills and all of the materials that are available in our own backyard. We’re on this journey to make sure that every single student, every single program across all of our levels in the college benefit from the expertise of our CAIPER colleagues and that they make IPE  a priority in their practice with other colleagues.” 

Three short months after the Dean’s call to action, the college’s newly formed “IPE Progress Group” consisting of faculty and staff volunteers from across the college, submitted a comprehensive report outlining the steps necessary to integrate IPE across all majors.  The report includes recommended strategies to engage all members of the college community and to sustain innovative programming.

The Future is Here

David W. CoonWhen asked about integrating IPE across the college curriculum and why it is so important, Associate Dean and Professor Dr. David W. Coon had this to say:

“The future is here and IPE is the future.  What excites me is that we have actively engaged in IPE and now we are poised to more fully integrate it throughout our college.”

Speaking about IPE and its reach beyond academic walls, Dr. Coon went on to explain:

“IPE is what is needed by people in the marketplace and their employers. It is what is needed by the people that we provide care for and it is needed in terms of our research, intervention development, and intervention delivery—all of those activities. Again, the future is here, and IPE is a critically important part of our future.” 

As the College moves forward to infuse IPE across its curriculum and advance interprofessional scholarship and research, there is tremendous excitement about what lies ahead.

Resources are Key

Katherine KennyAssociate Dean and Clinical Professor, Dr. Katherine Kenny shared her vision for IPE at the College:

“IPE practice is better for everyone we serve – for patients, families, our colleagues, our students.  Our students will graduate as experts and leaders in teamwork.  With our faculty fully engaged in IPE, it will be infused through every degree program, not as an add-on, but truly integrated.”

Dr. Kenny, like Dean Karshmer, sees CAIPER as key to advancing IPE at the College, saying, “With resources like CAIPER to interface academic programs and simulations, there can only be a strong impact on IPE.”   

Dr. Gerri Lamb, Founding Director of CAIPER, is thrilled with the strong commitment of Edson College’s leadership to IPE:

“These comments by our Dean and senior leadership at the College reflect the groundswell of support for assuring that students are prepared to be outstanding team members and collaborators. This support is rippling across our College, our clinical partners and our many colleagues in Arizona and nationally.”

Gerri LambWhat's Next

Dr. Lamb  shared that a number of initiatives are underway to take many of the IPE resources that CAIPER has developed and make them easy for faculty to incorporate in classes this coming fall. Faculty and students will get a preview of what’s coming in the next CAIPER blog.

The leadership of the Edson College are excited and confident about the future of IPE at the College. They have their sights on improving patient care and outcomes and see IPE as vital to the work ahead.




About the Author

Jody SteehlerJody Steehler is the Communications Program Coordinator for CAIPER, and the Editor of the CAIPER Blog. She has been working with interprofessional education, health care and vulnerable populations since 2012. With past experience working with homeless families and veterans, she is passionate about how high-needs communities and their health care teams can be supported by interprofessional education and collaborative practice.


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Look out for our next CAIPER Blog by CAIPER Director, Dr. Gerri Lamb, where she shares tips and tools to easily integrate IPE into courses.

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