The OUHSC College Deans, Senior Officers, and Provosts have supported the development and implementation of interdisciplinary and interprofessional programs for over 25 years.
Dr. Peggy Wisdom, with the Wisdom Family Foundation, provided support to evaluate the need and the feasibility of OUHSC developing a formal interprofessional education program for health professions students. A core group of faculty volunteered to engage in the creation of current interdisciplinary initiatives.
The initial pilot clinically-focused program was called EPIC (Empowering Patients Through Interprofessional Collaboration) which allowed 80 students from the 6 OUHSC Colleges and the OU Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work to deliver supervised student-provided patient care at the Good Shepherd Community Clinic in Oklahoma City. EPIC programming continues to be available under the term IPE Clinical Experience as part of our two-year curriculum plan to provide experiential immersion to advanced learners.
In order to expand the interprofessional education opportunity to more students, All Professions Day was developed. APD programming is now available to all first-year learners on campus and is intended as the first didactic exposure to the IPEC Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice.
The initiative was offered a home in the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs, within the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs & Faculty Development.This move demonstrated the commitment of OUHSC administration and leadership to support interprofessional programming.
Following a retreat hosted by the Vice Provost, the loosely formed core faculty reorganized and named the volunteer group the Interprofessional Educators & Practitioners Association (IEPA). IEPA established three working committees: Curriculum, Faculty Development, and Research.
Later in the year, a Regents approved mandatory university fee was instituted to provide budgetary support for the continued development, implementation and evaluation of interdisciplinary learning opportunities for HSC students.
IEPA adopted a new, two-year curriculum plan including core programming committed to the development and expansion of a comprehensive, cohesive, and competency-driven menu of interdisciplinary learning experiences for every student at every level.
The IEPA also added a Student-Faculty Committee charged with developing student-led initiatives.
As part of the OUHSC Academic Strategic Plan, there is a campus-wide initiative to enhance related faculty capacity building for interdisciplinary/interprofessional education. The work of OIDP and IEPA seek to operationalize the systemic goals supporting our shift from cylinders of excellence to comprehensive and meaningful interdisciplinary education.