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Student Health Outreach for Wellness (SHOW): A Learning Laboratory for Interprofessional Practice Innovation

Imagine that you are homeless in Phoenix. Now, imagine that you are homeless and have health needs, but there is no resource available to you because it’s the weekend.

Health professions students placed with Student Outreach for Wellness (SHOW) are filling a critical weekend gap in health services for homeless adults living in the Phoenix metropolitan area while developing leadership skills and learning to practice as a member of a high-performing interprofessional collaborative healthcare team.

At the SHOW clinical site, located at a multi-organizational hub serving homeless adults in the heart of downtown Phoenix, undergraduate and graduate students from a range of professions form and serve on teams to address the range of clinical practice, planning, policy, scheduling, outreach, and fund-development activities required to operate a free community-based health clinic. Students greet patients and help them navigate the clinic process, assess and discuss each patient’s needs as part of an interprofessional care team, provide health and behavioral health care, and facilitate community outreach and referrals for shelter, transitional housing, community resources, and follow-up care.

Faculty and community preceptors from audiology, nursing, social work, speech and language (Arizona State University); occupational therapy, physician assistant, and physical therapy (Northern Arizona University); and medicine and pharmacy (University of Arizona), work alongside health professions students to model interprofessional collaborative team practice while providing medical and psychiatric care, and fostering health promotion, community outreach, and health care literacy.

The ASU Center for Advancing Interprofessional Practice, Education & Research (CAIPER) provided support for the design and evaluation of the teamwork model at SHOW with grant funding from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education’s Nexus Innovations Incubator Initiative. Dr. Teri Kennedy, CAIPER practice lead, facilitated the introduction of a social work preceptor and students to the program, addressing social determinants of health.

The SHOW model currently is being expanded to address the needs of vulnerable adults dependent on opioids with grant funding from the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education’s Accelerating Interprofessional Community–Based Education and Practice. This new program is in collaboration with Crossroads, a Phoenix area outpatient and residential program treating adults with substance abuse disorders.

For the Center, SHOW offers an exciting and important learning laboratory for teamwork education.