On Friday, September 14, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) named the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center as the home for its new national Center for Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice. Focused on accelerating team work and collaboration among doctors, nurses and other health professionals, the Center aims to break down the traditional silo approach to health professions education and practice that is prevalent in American medicine.
“This is a great step forward in advancing interprofessional education and collaboration and moving them into the mainstream of training practice,” said George Thibault, MD, President of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. “We are grateful for the wisdom of HRSA in creating such a center as an enabling step in health care reform, and we are looking forward to working with the newly designated center.”
Grant applications became available in June, and eligible applicants had to be a “consortia or a partnership of entities such as a health professions school and a healthcare facility” identified by the Public Health Service Act. HRSA aimed to identify the appropriate institution that could provide the infrastructure needed to advance health professions education across the U.S. The Center located at the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center will begin its work this fall.
“Health care delivered by well-functioning coordinated teams leads to better patient and family outcomes, more efficient health care services, and higher levels of satisfaction among health care providers,” said HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N. “We all share the vision of a U.S. health care system that engages patients, families, and communities in collaborative, team-based care. This coordinating center will help us move forward to achieve that goal.”
The Macy Foundation, along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and The John A. Hartford Foundation, have all pledged to work with the Center as it undertakes its work.
For more information about the Center for Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice and the selection criteria that was used, please visit HHS’ grant page. Finally, to learn more about Macy’s role in advancing health professions education, read about our April 2012 conference on interprofessional education.