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Saint Louis University Center for Interprofessional Education and Research
Saint Louis University formally integrated IPE curriculum into health professions programs in 2006. In 2011, Saint Louis University established the Center for Interprofessional Education and Research (SLU-CIER) and has become a leader in interprofessional education and collaborative practice research. Reflective of the mission of Saint Louis University, the SLU-CIER is at the forefront of innovative initiatives for educating today’s health care workforce for working in interprofessional settings and providing interprofessional, patient- and client-centered care.
The purpose of the SLU-CIER is to prepare students with knowledge, attitudes, and skills of collaboration-ready practitioners, ready to engage in interprofessional collaborative practice. Interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) leads to:
• Enhanced patient/client-centered care
An essential role of the health care providers of the future is assisting patients with knowledge, skills, and behaviors that allow them to maintain their wellness and minimize the complications of their medical condition. Interprofessional patient-centered care is viewed as a critical element in achieving optimal patient outcomes and is considered to be the model for practice in the future.
“Interprofessional education occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes” (World Health Organization, 2010).
The History of Interprofessional Education at SLU
In 2005, the President of Saint Louis University challenged the Doisy College of Health Sciences and the School of Nursing to work together to enhance the quality of existing programs and provide unique educational offerings to students. Faculty from multiple programs collaborated to evaluate curriculum synergies, identify IPE and practice literature, and develop new IPE curriculum to meet program accreditation requirements.
In 2006, SLU began offering a new IPE curriculum with five courses integrated into nursing and health sciences freshman entry programs. By 2008, the IPE program had expanded to include an Interprofessional Team Seminar course for students at the professional training level from seven professions: Medicine, nursing, physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, and pharmacy.
In 2011, the Center for Interprofessional Education and Research was established to develop comprehensive IPE and collaborative practice across three tracks: freshman-entry programs, post-baccalaureate programs, and clinical practice programs. Additionally, the CIER works to improve the documentation of outcomes and facilitate research in interprofessional education and collaborative care. In 2012, the CIER launched an undergraduate minor in Interprofessional Practice available to students across the university.