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Welcome to the Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education, Research and Practice

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Rowing - IPE event

UW's Center for Health Sciences IPE, Research & Practice is dedicated to:

  • Collaboration between health care professions
  • Faculty Development in technology and IPE
  • Interprofessional communication to improve patient safety

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Team Building ER Flow Game on February 2nd

All Health Sciences students are welcome to join the IHI Open School UW Chapter on Monday, February 2nd for an interprofessional "Team Building ER Flow Game" from 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM in room T530 of the Health Sciences Building. Students are invited to work as an interprofessional team to understand the flow of the emergency department. Food will be provided. For more information about the IHI Open School, click on their link at the bottom of our homepage.


2015 Telluride Patient Safety Summer Camps

Applications for the 2015 Telluride Patient Safety Student and Resident Summer Camp are now available. Beginning in 2010, the Telluride Patient Safety Summer Camps bring together health sciences students and resident physicians over four days to gain a greater understanding of patient safety, how to apply quality and risk reduction concepts, and build an alumni network for support. Over 300 health sciences students and resident physicians have participated and worked with a faculty comprised of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, healthcare leaders, lawyers as well as patient advocates–all focused on making healthcare safer.  

Become part of a growing and preeminent patient safety and healthcare quality education alumni network by attending one of the IHI Open School 2015 sessions in Telluride, CO; Napa, CA; and Turf Valley Resort, MD. Sessions in Telluride for Health Science Students run from June 7 – 11 and for Resident Physicians from June 12 – 16. A session in Napa for Health Science Students runs July 26 – 30. At Turf Valley Resort, a combined session for Resident Physicians and Health Science Students runs July 8 – 12. Students who are accepted receive a full scholarship covering room, board, transportation voucher & all educational costs. Resident physicians accepted to attend should be sponsored by their program. Applications are due by February 15

For more information and to apply, visit the 2015 Telluride Patient Safety Summer Camps website.


IHI West Coast Region Conference is Open for Registration

The IHI West Coast Region Conference has recently opened for registration. This is the first ever IHI conference on the west coast! The conference will take place on Friday, April 17 - Saturday, April 18 in Portland, OR. Tickets are a refundable $35 and scholarships are available to help cover the cost of travel and lodging.

Please see this link ( for speaker information and the registration portal.

Several members of the UW IHI Exec team will be attendance and we hope to see you there!

IHI Leadership ​


New Funding for Oral Health IPE

Ira Kantrowitz-Gordon, PhD, CNM, assistant professor in Family and Child Nursing specializing in Midwifery and Women’s Health, and colleagues recently received funding for an Interprofessional Oral-Systemic Health Curricular Innovation Development project from the New York University College of Nursing’s Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP) initiative. Dr. Kantrowitz-Gordon will lead the project along with colleagues Amy Kim, DDS, and Donald Chi, DDS, PhD from the School of Dentistry, and Mayumi Willgerodt, PhD, MPH from the School of Nursing at the Bothell campus. All four have been involved in a variety of interprofessional education initiatives at the University of Washington aimed at building collaborative skills and meeting the Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (Interprofessional Education Collaborative, 2011).

Early childhood caries is the most common disease among children ages 1–3, occurring in approximately 1 out of 4 children, disproportionately impacting socioeconomically disadvantaged and minority populations. Working together, nurse-midwifery and dental students will gain competency in content from Smiles for Life modules on pregnant and child oral health, interprofessional practice, and presentation of health information to public audiences through an interprofessional practice experience for the benefit of patients and their own health care practices. Utilizing CenteringPregnancy (Centering Healthcare Institute, Silver Spring, MD), an evidence-based model for group prenatal care, pairs of nurse-midwifery and dental students will present a structured and interactive presentation to families at a CenteringPregnancy session. Students will present content regarding self-care during pregnancy and postpartum as well as important oral health information for the care of the future infant.

After participation in this activity, pregnant women and their families will have increased knowledge of strategies to maintain oral health during pregnancy and early childhood and an increased likelihood of identifying a dental home for the family and initiating dental care by 12 months of age. These outcomes are important first steps towards achieving improved oral health during pregnancy and early childhood.


Health Professionals Learn About Animals and Human Health

On November 1, 2014, the Zoobiquity 2014 conference was held at the University of Washington and the Woodland Park Zoo.  The conference theme was “Human and animal health in a changing global environment.”  Human and animal health professionals participated in lecture-style case presentations and interactive discussions as well as in “Walking Rounds” at the Woodland Park Zoo on topics ranging from diagnosis and treatment of obesity in humans and their pets to Ebola to management of arthritis pain in humans and gorillas.  Much of the dialogue focused on the concept of “One Health” which was recently described in an IPE Faculty Feature on Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, MD, MPH, the founder of the newly launched Center for One Health Research in the UW School of Public Health Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.  The next U.S. Zoobiquity conference will be held in Boston, MA in April 2015.


Enroll in an Interprofessional Course this Winter

  • Registering for winter quarter?
  • Do you need a one-credit elective?
  • Are you interested in community organizing and health equity?
  • Do you care about farmworker justice and health?

This winter, there will be two courses offered to all health sciences students that focus on health equity, social justice, and community based learning and action: the common book course, UCONJ 532, and health equity and community organizing, UCONJ 624. Please see attached fliers and read below:

UCONJ 523: Making Science Public: Improving Farmworker Health through Community-Engaged Research and Storytelling

This year’s common book Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies by Seth Holmes, opens up important discussions on topics like structural violence, farmworker justice, and how we can participate in proactive responses that improve farmworker health.  Through this course, health science students will engage in collaborative community-based projects that will reduce the harm of groundwater toxins, which is an ongoing issue facing communities in the Yakima Valley.   This course meets six Monday evenings over the course of the quarter (5:30-7:20) and will include a day-trip to Yakima (TBD).  This visit to Yakima will include a tour of a Confined Animal Feeding Operation (a major source of groundwater contamination) and an opportunity to meet local community activists who are working on this issue.   Email Kelsen Caldwell for more information or to request an add code.

UCONJ 624: Health Equity and Community Organizing

The second course, health equity and community organizing (UCONJ 624) will be taught in collaboration with Sound Alliance and will help students to learn the skills to develop effective, winnable community organizing campaigns that produce greater health equity.  The goal of this course is for students to be able to work upstream to address the social determinants of health—so we don’t have to keep doing direct service and charity forever without ever addressing the reason why needs exist in the first place.   The course meets Thursdays (from 5:30-7:20) and the bulk of the coursework is oriented toward actually getting involved in a Health Equity Circle campaign so you can apply your new skills and frameworks.   If you’re interested, you can email David Fernando for more information or to request an add code.


IHI Open School UW 2014-2015 Kick-off

On Thursday, October 9th, students from the UW Chapter of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School gathered for the 2014 Fall Symposium event. There was a diverse attendance from the schools of pharmacy, health administration, medicine, and business. The evening began with a brief presentation from all the members of the IHI leadership team who spoke about the mission and vision of IHI, ways to get involved, opportunities for learning, and some information regarding prior events.

Then, participants transitioned to the specific "teddy bear surgery" learning activity where interprofessional student teams worked on a hypothetical patient case called, "Teddy". Teams went through a set of challenging and mistake ridden surgery instructions that demonstrated the importance of clear communication and interprofessional collaboration. Important takeaways included the ease of making a mistake in a surgical environment, the importance of double checking patient information, and the clear definition of roles and responsibilities. At the conclusion of the activity, IHI leadership hosted a Q&A session to discuss specific learnings and the importance of quality improvement in healthcare. 

A couple of participants shared personal experiences. One student shared a story about speaking up in the OR when she was just observing and it played a role in preventing a wrong site surgery from moving forward. Another student shared a story about how she assisted in completing a post-surgery instrument count and how her willingness to speak up about noticing an obscured instrument likely prevented the patient from having to go through an X-ray to find it. 

Participants said the event actually forced them to think about and appreciate the importance of surgical time outs and constant double checks due to human error. They also appreciated the notion of how easy it was to make mistake even down to making sure the right patient is on the table, among many others. 

Contributed by Sergio Vincenti, IHI Open School-UW Chapter, VP of Marketing and Communications


UW IPE Faculty Scholar Receives Leadership Award

Congratulations to UW IPE Faculty Scholar Brenda Zierler, PhD, RN, FAAN on receiving the 2014 Leadership Award from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis on Tuesday, September 22! UC Davis School of Nursing Dean Heather Young shared that "Dr. Zierler has worked with both the School of Nursing and the School of Medicine to help us identify how we can improve our curriculum so that students are exposed to more interprofessional opportunities throughout their education." To read the full article from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing news webpage, click here.

Common Book

UW Health Sciences Common Book Series

Opportunities for students to increase knowledge about reducing medical errors and improving patient care in interprofessional settings, especially in cases when cultures clash. The kick-off meeting is at Rotunda (Magnuson Health Sciences Center) from 5:30pm to 8:00pm on Wednesday, October 3, 2012. Please come join us for the keynote addressed by Dr. Noel Chrisman, Professor of Psychosocial & Pommunity Health in the School of Nursing. Dinner will be provided!

Upcoming Discussion Sessions:
  • 2012/10/16 5:00-7:00PM
    School of Social Work Building, Room 305 AB (Hosted by School of Social Work & School of Nursing)
  • 2012/10/22 11:00AM-1:00PM
    Health Sciences Building, Room H105 (Hosted by School of Medex & School of Pharmacy)
  • 2012/11/15 5:00-7:00PM
    Health Sciences Building, Room T661 (Hosted by School of Dentistry & School of Rehab Medicine)
  • 2012/11/27 5:00-7:00PM
    Health Sciences Building, Room T553 (Hosted by School of Medicine & School of Public Health)

rock and roll 1

UW School of Dentistry Forms Marathon Team to Support Oral Health


UW Oral health PhD candidate Wenjie Li  has formed a UW School of Dentistry team to participate in the annual 26-mile Rock and Roll Marathon on June 22 to raise funds to support a community outreach program that promotes oral health for women and children in need. Anyone interested in participating in either the marathon or the half-marathon is cordially invited to join the team.

The marathon begins at 7:00am at the Seattle Center. Participants of this team will not only be supporting oral heath, but they will also be experiencing beautiful scenery, live local bands, spirited cheer squads and other benefits along the way.

For more information about joining the UW School of Dentistry in this cause, please contact either Wenjii Li ( or Heidi Sarff  ( For more information about the Rock and Roll Marathon, please visit the site.

Donations for the event are also welcome. Please visit this site to make a donation.


nursing simulation event

Free Upcoming "Nursing Simulation Instructor Course"

On May 4th and June 8th, a free “Nursing Simulation Instructor Course” will be hosted by The Community Health Education and Simulation Center, Northwest Hospital and Medical Center, and UW Medicine. This opportunity allows participants to spend a full day gaining beneficial learning experience from simulation experts. The objectives of this course are to:

1.      1. Discuss integrating simulation into curriculum

2.      2. Demonstrate debriefing methods

3.      3. Discuss steps to scenario development

4.      4. Identify equipment needs for scenario

5.      5. Develop and debrief a simulation scenario

Not only will participating students receive valuable training and a free lunch, but they will also earn 7 contact hours for continuing education credit. Registration is on a first-serve basis so be sure to sign up as soon as possible. Register today!



Erin Abu-Rish Blakeney RN, PhD-C: 2012 Baldwin Award Winner

Congratulations to Erin Abu-Rish Blakeney, RN, PhD-C for being announced the 2012 Baldwin Award Winner for being lead author on the manuscript titled “Current trends in interprofessional education of health sciences students: a literature review.” 

According to the Journal of Interprofessional Care Editor-In-Chief Scott Reeves, her IPE literature review is recognized as “research that will have the most influential impact on interprofessional education, research, or practice.” This paper was carefully selected by a panel of judges at the Journal of Interprofessional Care because it ‘not only makes a significant contribution to IPE literature but will also provoke questions and critiques, and will have a lasting value.’”  

Special thanks to everyone who collaborated on this project: Sara Kim, Lapio Choe, Lara Varpio, Andrew White, Karen Craddick, Katherine Blondon, Lynne Robins, Pamela Nagasawa, Elisabeth Malik, Lee-Ling Chen, Allison Thigpen, Joanne Rich, and Brenda Zierler.



IPE Initiative Emphasizes Health Care Collaboration

by A. Jion Kim

Reprinted from The Daily

Early last month, nearly 600 students in the UW’s six health sciences schools — dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and social work — formed teams and discussed the fictitious case of patient “Gregory,” a 31-year-old male seen in the UW Dental Urgent Care Clinic for tooth pain. Each team generated ideas for the best methods of treatment, as well as ways to increase patient compliance and address possible barriers to Gregory’s health care.

The activity, “Providing Care Across Settings,” is the second in the seven-session series of the new Foundations of Interprofessional Practice (FIP)- — a year-long pilot curriculum emphasizing solving real health challenges in collaborative teams. FIP was established through the new Interprofessional Education (IPE) Initiative: Vision for a Collaborative Future, a team-based approach to teaching and delivering health care, which was launched last year.

While the IPE Initiative is new, interprofessional education has been a part of the UW for decades. Dr. Brenda Zierler, the Inaugural UW Health Sciences IPE Faculty Scholar and professor of biobehavioral nursing and health systems, said interprofessional education in the health-related fields has been ongoing since 1997. It was formally funded in 2000 from a University Initiatives Fund grant from the provost, with the establishment of the Center for Health Science Interprofessional Education under founding director Dr. Pamela Mitchell.

“The new initiative is based on a vision of the current health science deans, new accreditation standards and health care reform,” Zierler said. She is the principal investigator on the grants from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, which were instrumental in funding the early IPE activities and faculty development for IPE.

The deans of the pharmacy, public health, and nursing schools are relatively new, and Dr. Joel Berg was selected as the dean of the School of Dentistry in 2012. Despite the turnover in positions, all six health sciences deans quickly united in throwing their support behind the initiative.

“The fact that we have six deans working together because they believe in this concept shows great leadership,” Zierler said. “We couldn’t do this without them. They’re modeling the behavior we’re trying to teach.”

Zierler said a key goal of the initiative is to address the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Triple Aim. The IHI is an independent, not-for-profit organization that advocates health care improvement worldwide through the “triple aim”: improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the cost of health care.

Another purpose of the IPE Initiative is to keep up with the changes in the health care field. As a member of the IPE envisioning committee the past year, Zierler examined trends in health care both nationally and internationally and worked with fellow committee members to create a vision for the initiative.

“[The IPE Initiative] is a reflection of the way the delivery of health care is changing, in going from a much more siloed, compartmentalized mode of health care to one which is really based on the provision of team participation, essentially,” School of Pharmacy Dean Dr. Thomas Baillie said. “The interprofessional education initiative is a way … to make students more familiar with the concerns and activities of colleagues in other health sciences schools to promote more of a team approach.”

The health sciences students will be obtaining part of their interprofessional training through the seven sessions of the FIP curriculum. An interdisciplinary team of health sciences faculty designed each session to focus on at least one of four core competencies: values and ethics for interprofessional practice, roles and responsibilities, interprofessional communication, and teams and teamwork.

“As health practices become increasingly interdisciplinary, the IPE curriculum is giving students a framework and the skills to actually use in practice,” said assistant professor of social work Megan Moore, who was involved in the IPE curriculum planning. “The IPE goal is really to teach students from different professions how to work together to achieve excellent patient outcomes and deliver high quality care.”

The seven sessions are spread out over the course of the academic year.

The IPE Initiative will extend beyond the FIP curriculum. The bigger goal, Baillie said, is to gradually introduce interprofessional courses to students in all six health sciences schools over a period of time.

“All health care professionals are involved in working with other health care professionals,” said Dr. Paul Ramsey, the dean of the School of Medicine. “Even, for example, a doctor or family physician in a very small town … will still be interacting with nurses and physician assistants and pharmacists and dentists … so regardless of the nature of the practice — whether it is in private practice or an academic setting of a teaching hospital like Harborview — all health professionals work in teams now.”

Reach Special Sections Editor A. Jion Kim at Twitter: @AJionKim


“Speed Networking Social”- Hosted by the IHI Open School

The IHI Open School- UW Chapter kicked off Spring quarter on Thursday, April 3rd, with an interprofessional “Speed Networking” event. Students gathered at Mod Pizza on University Avenue for an opportunity to get to know their peers in the different health science professions. Similar to “speed dating”, students were split into pairs to “speed network.” In order to help elicit conversation between the pairs, students were provided a list of questions to refer to.  Sample questions included:

1.       How long is your program and what does it entail? Are there internship, fellowship, residency, etc. opportunities?

2.       How did you choose your program and what do you want to do in the future? What about this career appeals to you?

3.       What are some pros and cons for careers in your field?

4.       Why did you join IHI and what do you hope to gain as a member of the IHI chapter?

5.       In what ways do professionals in your field interact with other healthcare professionals?

After getting to know each other, the pairs were split again and each person was matched up with someone new. Over the course of the evening, all of the participants got the opportunity to chat and network with everyone who attended. During the event, students commented on how the setup was an excellent way to learn more about their peers and other disciplines. A special thanks to the IHI Open School regional organization for providing funding for pizza and beverages.



TeamBITS Team Communication Training

For the fifth year in a row, the University of Washington hosted healthcare professional students for a week of immersive team-training simulation in the areas of Adult, Pediatric and OB/GYN Acute Care. The innovative Team-Based Interprofessional Training Simulations (TeamBITS) program allows students who typically train in specialty-specific environments to practice their skills together as they would in a real-world setting. Over four days, from May 19–22, 352 students came together from the Schools of Medicine (180 students), Nursing (123 BSN students), and Pharmacy (49 students) to participate in a total of 13 four-hour team training sessions at ISIS Simulation Centers at Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington Medical Center.

During the course of a team-training session, students have opportunities to discuss care options with simulated patients and their families (played by actors) and other health professionals participating in the simulation, voice concerns and make decisions in “real time”. Then, students and faculty debrief at the conclusion of the session. Faculty ask for feedback, “What went well? What could have gone better? How realistic was the scenario? How could we have provided a better/more relevant/more realistic experience?” Students overwhelmingly gave positive responses to their experiences.

“Very useful skills! I didn't realize the deficits in my knowledge of each person’s roles until we started working as a team—this will help me so much in future,” said a medical student.

“This type of IPE was the most useful of all and this should be done multiple times,” shared a pharmacy student.

Said another medical student, “I feel that I haven't had much exposure [up] to this point and feel it's an important piece of medical education.  It would be wonderful to do this earlier in our curriculum and several times, as opposed to just this one time.”

A nursing student shared, “Excellent prep for interprofessional settings.  I think this is so important for us about to graduate.”

In response to the need for effective communication training for health professions students, the University of Washington received funding in 2008 from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and Hearst Foundation (over $1 million) to develop an interprofessional curriculum for healthcare professional students based on the Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) model of effective communication (Project Co-PIs: Dr. Brenda Zierler, PhD, RN, FAAN and Dr. Brian Ross, PhD, MD). Since this time, faculty and other representatives from the UW Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and MEDEX (Physician’s Assistant) program have developed a truly interprofessional training curriculum for these students. Led by the efforts of Dr. Brian Ross, PhD, MD, Karen McDonough, MD, and Dr. Brenda Zierler, PhD, RN, FAAN, and additionally supported by faculty and staff from Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical Center and Health Sciences Schools, and Seattle Children’s Hospital, the resulting experience combines both clinical practice and team skills in a simulated training environment. The goal of this training program is to promote high-quality, patient-centered healthcare by training healthcare professionals to communicate more effectively with each other and with patients during challenging clinical situations. This format of interprofessional education is quickly becoming a model for healthcare professional training across the country.


New Faculty Development Guide for IPE Facilitation

University of Washington IPE faculty member Brenda Zierler from the School of Nursing and Leslie Hall from the University of Missouri School of Medicine published an introductory guide to IPE faculty development for facilitation of IPE and collaborative care training in the August issue of the Journal of Interprofessional Care. The need for IPE and collaborative care training experiences for health professions students is increasing as more health professions schools are required to incorporate IPE training into curriculum to meet national accreditation standards. In turn, the need for faculty training in IPE and collaborative care facilitation is increasing. 

Hall and Zierler’s guide focuses on strategies for developing faculty to effectively facilitate IPE using a series of didactic presentations, small group activities, and immersion experiences with direct involvement in IPE facilitation to build interprofessional leadership skills. Click here to read their full article.

Featured Faculty


Highlighting IPE Faculty at UW

Janice A. Sabin, PhD, MSW, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education

Janice Sabin, PhD, MSW is a Research Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, at the University of Washington and social work faculty in the Pediatric Pulmonary Center, an interprofessional education training program at Seattle Children's Hospital, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine. She is also a former PPC social work trainee. Her area of expertise is racial/ethnic health care disparities with an emphasis on understanding mechanisms and pathways that lead to unequal treatment in health care. Her research lies at the intersection of social psychology, social inequality, social justice, and health services. For the past ten years, she has been building a program of original research using primary data collection methods to investigate the role of implicit bias in health care. She is one of the earliest investigators in the nation to apply the science of unconscious bias to health care disparities research.

What is IPE?

IPE (Interprofessoinal Education) is an approach to teaching and learning that brings together students from two or more professions to learn about, from and with each other in service of enabling effective collaboration. Its goal is to improve health outcomes through the education of a collaborative practice-ready workforce that is prepared to respond to local health needs. (WHO, 2010)

Contact Us

Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education
Box 357266
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-221-7697
Fax: 206-543-4771

Can you guess the biggest complaint consumers have about their healthcare providers? No, it is not about the long waiting hours. Neither is it about rushed office visits.  According to a 2013 Consumer Reports’ survey of 1,000 patients, unclear explanations of medical problems by physicians was the number one thing that bothered people the most, with an averaged rating of 8.1, on a scale of 1 to 10.   In another words, the number one thing that bothers patients is that their doctors do not inform them adequately about their medical conditions and treatment recommendations. Certainly, it takes time to explain healthcare information. That can be tough when doctors’ schedules are packed nowadays. But, busy schedules aside, there is something else that is missing, i.e., the art of...
A perspective from Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, creator and director of the Heart Failure Program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, on the state of the American medical system. Click here to read the full interview on the NPR Health News Blog.

IHI Open School — UW Chapter

IHI Open School LogoIHI Open School Logo
The IHI Open School is a free, multidisciplinary organization for students who are interested in advancing skills in patient safety and quality improvement. The IHI Open School - UW Chapter is a student organization on the University of Washington campus. It seeks to promote ways to improve patient safety and quality of care, to recognize the importance of interprofessional collaboration in both education and practice, and to provide a venue for networking.