There is growing recognition that complex health issues are best addressed by interprofessional teams of health care providers. For the past few years, WSU has been providing opportunities for students from different health disciplines to learn and work together. A new grant-funded project is going to take this to the next level while improving care for patients with multiple chronic conditions who live in rural or medically underserved areas.
“This program is really going to let us build out our rural focus to an even greater degree,” said assistant professor of nursing Cindy Fitzgerald, the program director on the project.
As part of this project, a cohort of faculty from different disciplines will be trained on interprofessional education methods related to collaborative care. In turn, they will educate teams of students to provide this type of care to patients with multiple chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, and behavioral health issues, such as depression. The program will provide simulation-based and classroom experiences to 380 master’s and doctoral students in WSU’s nursing, medicine, pharmacy, and nutrition and exercise physiology programs and EWU’s social work program. Subsequently, student teams will go out and practice their skills in rural settings, including Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic locations throughout the state. The project is funded by a three-year $1.1 million Advanced Nursing Education grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration that was awarded in July.
College of Nursing, PO Box 1495 Spokane WA 992