UMKC Increases Innovative Team Approach in Health Education

Grant funds collaborative care with Schools of Nursing and Health Studies, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Social Work

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies, in collaboration with the Schools of Dentistry, Pharmacy and Social Work, has received a three-year federal grant of $722,208 to fund the creation an interprofessional collaboration model at a Kansas City area health clinic.

The purpose of the grant is to improve interpersonal communication and ethical decision making in caring for medically underserved persons with multiple chronic conditions at Kansas City CARE Clinic, formerly Kansas City Free Health Clinic. Clinical teams will be made of faculty and students from UMKC’s Schools of Nursing and Health Studies, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Social Work and clinical staff at Kansas City CARE Clinic. The grant is from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The collaboration at Kansas City CARE Clinic, starting in the upcoming fall semester, builds on UMKC’s interprofessional education opportunities. Last year, the School of Nursing and Health Studies received a $1.5 million grant to collaborate with the Schools of Pharmacy and Dentistry to care for patients at the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center and Hope Family Care Center.

“This grant is a powerful opportunity for four UMKC schools to collaborate and aligns with our strategic efforts to alleviate the growing health disparities gap in the urban core of Kansas City,” said Ann Cary, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies. “This also provides the chance for our students to be educated in a collaborative health care team environment.”

Interprofessional education involves faculty from two or more health disciplines collaborating to provide learning opportunities for all students. The goal is create an atmosphere of seamless health care delivery in which each member of the team takes responsibility for developing or contributing to a comprehensive health care plan for patients.

“The Kansas City CARE Clinic is excited to be involved in the interprofessional grant and we look forward to enhancing the clinical experience of the UMKC practitioners,” said Carol Varland, Vice President of General Medicine at Kansas City CARE Clinic. “A team approach to patient care is so beneficial to patient outcomes.”

UMKC students will gain important skills useful during patient assessment and making patient-centered care plans, said Margaret Brommelsiek, UMKC Director of Interprofessional Education, Health Sciences, the project director for the grant.

“They will establish partnerships with their patients,”  Brommelsiek said. “Together, they will explore new ways to resolve patient uncertainty in managing multiple chronic conditions.”

The grant will help expand and enhance health sciences curriculum. The Affordable Care Act encourages team-based care.

“UMKC’s health sciences schools have a long history of community engagement and a great track record in addressing health disparities,” said Leo Morton, UMKC Chancellor. “This is another example of innovative collaboration that better serves the underserved in our community.”

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