Across the Foundation’s priority areas, our grantees are working to improve the health of the public through innovative research and programs. The Foundation awards up to 40 grants on a rotating schedule each year.
Reframing the Academic Medical Center through Interprofessional Effectiveness
With a prior grant, the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) created an Executive Coordinating Core to discuss what was and was not effective in health care team work, and to increase transparency and communication among the Center’s four schools. With an additional $1,041,190 grant from the foundation over a four-year period, the schools of CUMC—the dental school, medical school, nursing school, and school of public health—will maintain the Executive Coordinating Core, which will oversee various interprofessional projects. This continuing support will ultimately foster greater collaboration between the schools and provide Inter-Professional Education (IPE) to students in order to prepare them for the various interdisciplinary challenges they will face as health care professionals.
There are three major parts to this initiative. First, faculty from all four schools will launch Interprofessional Education Seminars, team-taught by faculty members of different professional schools. Students from any of the four colleges of CUMC will be able to enroll in these seminars, with titles such as Communities of Practice in Health Care Settings and Cultural Competence in Health Care.
Second, CUMC’s Mailman School of Public Health will create a new Interprofessional Certificate in Public Health Sciences. Like the Education Seminars, the opportunity to earn this certificate will be open to all students of CUMC—students will be trained in evaluating and developing their knowledge of multiple aspects of health care. By introducing such a certificate, the Executive Coordinating Core recognizes the importance of public health and students’ ability to face upcoming challenges in that area, regardless of their specific role in the health care profession.
Finally, the School of Dentistry will initiate a new interprofessional program that focuses on primary care dentistry, including its expansion. Because dentistry and oral health have been underappreciated, a routine dental visit should include screening for other medical issues that may be caused or signaled by poor oral health, the implementation of this program will stress the importance of doing so. The program will prepare not only dentists but physicians and advance practice nurses for collaboration with each other in primary care practices.