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The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation
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Our Grantees

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.

Faculty Development for the Interprofessional Teaching of Humanism

Theme: Interprofessional Education and Teamwork, New Curriculum Content

Institution: Emory University

Grant Type: Board Grant

Award Amount: $224,400

Grant Awarded: January 2016

Principal Investigator: William T. Branch Jr., MD, MACP, FAACH

For fifteen years Dr. Branch at Emory University and colleagues at other US medical schools have created an ongoing project to develop humanistic faculty role models and teachers. The number of schools involved has grown from an initial group of five to twenty-three and engagement by busy faculty members participating in the groups has remained consistent, which has led to few drop-outs and high attendance.  Utilizing this curriculum, Dr. Branch and colleagues at Emory have successfully translated the model to create a pilot interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum and have used it for an interprofessional group of faculty at Emory. IPE is widely accepted and considered crucially important for the future of the health practice. But IPE has been slow to develop at many health sciences institutions; and Dr. Branch believes it requires strong collaborative relationships between teaching faculty members in the different professions to lay the groundwork for more effective IPE. 

Through this grant, the pilot curriculum will expand to an additional seven universities. The proposed IPE curriculum will begin and end with personal reflective narrative-writing sessions to take advantage of synergies between reflective learning and the mastery of the skills and topics. The purpose of including this type of appreciative inquiry is to help the participants get to know each other and learn of the shared goals, values and motivations. Each university’s groups will be required to conceive, plan, implement, and report on at least one IPE project in humanism by the end of the two years. The groups should end their curricula by discussing additional initiatives they might mount in IPE. At the end of each year of the project, an evaluation will be administered to each site. The first questionnaire will ask individual participating faculty member’s experiences in the group and the likely impact of the project on the individual regarding IPE. The second questionnaire will record detailed demographics and track faculty career trajectory especially regarding IPE-related work and projects before, during, and after participation in the group.

All institutions have the support of the project and of IPE by their senior leadership, with a commitment to support group-participants by the leaders of three different disciplines at the university or health sciences institution. Like the pilot project, co-facilitation of the groups by professionals from two different disciplines and inclusion of eight to ten volunteers drawn from at least three different disciplines and recommended by the leadership of their schools will be required.