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

About Us

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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2014 National Clarion Competition Winners!

Congratulations to students Juan Magana (MD, MHA), Eric Sid (MD, MHA), Nicole Kim (MD, MPH), and Huong Le (PharmD), the winning team from the 2014 National Clarion Competition! On April 12, they traveled to Minnesota and competed in the Annual Clarion National Case Competition at the University of Minnesota and were awarded first place and prize of $7500. The team’s faculty mentor, Dr. Brenda Zierler, the 2013-2015 UW Health Sciences IPE Faculty Scholar, shared, “They are so excited and I am SO PROUD of them. They were outstanding today and I am very confident in the future of health care based on their performance.”

Since 2005, CLARION, a University of Minnesota student organization dedicated to improving health care through interprofessional collaboration, has hosted a national case competition for health professions students. Student teams of four, comprised of at least two disciplines, are given a case and asked to create a root cause analysis. Each team presents their analysis to a panel of interprofessional judges for evaluation in the context of real world standards of practice. When asked about the event, Nicole Kim, MDc, MPHc, participant on the UW team, commented: “As health professional students, we already receive some training on interprofessional teamwork in our curriculums. However, CLARION provides a great opportunity for students to experience firsthand, what it’s like to work as an interdisciplinary team to improve healthcare for our patients. The IHI courses provided a great overview of existing quality improvement tools and as a team, we learned to depend on each other’s strengths to prepare our presentation. We also can’t thank the IHI student leadership and faculty team enough for their valuable time and feedback as we prepared for this competition."

Congratulations to the team!



“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.



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


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.


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!


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.


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)

IHI Trivia Night CROPPED

The IHI Open School- UW Chapter Trivia Night 2012

After the positive feedback from the 2012 Kick-Off event in February, the Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI) Open School- UW Chapter granted students’ requests for more interprofessional events. On the evening of May 17, 2012, Finn MacCool’s Irish Pub opened its doors to over 50 Medical, Nursing, Master of Health Administration, Pharmacy and Physician’s Assistant students for Trivia Night.

As students arrived they were greeted by the IHI officers, handed a nametag, and given the opportunity to socialize with students from other professions before the game began. Each discipline had a different nametag, allowing people to differentiate their peers by profession.

After the initial greetings, students made their way to the back of Finn’s for trivia. They divided into teams, with each profession represented on each. As students brainstormed ideas for their team names, they socialized and devised strategies for winning the Trivia Night prize.

Medical student Megan Turner hosted the evening’s game. Megan asked a wide variety of questions about pop culture, using light subject matter to encourage team members to bond with their peers and simultaneously get to know the other professions. Many faculty members also attended the event and sat together to cheer on their students.

Over the course of 50 questions, the excitement and good-natured team rivalry grew. When the game concluded and the scores were calculated, it was determined that the team “Noonan’s Loss” won and would be splitting the first-place cash prize of $50.00.

In regards to the evening, pharmacy student Michael Cusumano stated, "I think that our interprofessional collaboration in identifying rap lyrics and naming Beanie Babies proves that there is a bright future for healthcare.  In all seriousness, I really enjoyed the opportunity to get out of my pharmacy silo.  During our education, we're either going to be laying the foundation for teamwork or turf wars, and we already know that interprofessional teams provide better care.  Hopefully, events like this can close the gap formed by our isolated classes and get us excited about working on the same team."



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Visit the CHSIE Facebook page! Simply just scroll to the bottom of this website and click on the "Connect to us on Facebook" icon.

New Macy Grant News Feature

New Macy Grant for Faculty Development

UW School of Nursing Professor Brenda Zierler and co-Pi, physician Leslie Hall from University of Missouri-Columbia received a Macy Foundation grant to teach faculty from across the country how to conduct interprofessional training programs.

The new funding, received in February, allowed faculty from health sciences schools across the United States to come to the UW to learn how to implement interprofessional education, such as error disclosure training, at their own institution. More than 35 faculty members spent four days from March 5–8, 2012 at the UW and at the Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional Studies at Harborview Medical Center. There they explored ways to teach their faculty colleagues to be facilitators of interprofessional education and practice.

Leslie Hall, senior associate dean for clinical affairs at the University of Missouri-Columbia and UW’s Brenda Zierler were awarded a second Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation grant to train faculty to lead interprofessional education and practice. Twenty-two faculty members from the Universities of Virginia, North Dakota, Kentucky, Missouri School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Indiana University School of Medicine, Columbia University School of Nursing, and the Medical School of South Carolina joined five UW faculty members from the Veteran’s Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System and eight UW Health Sciences faculty members for the training last week.

“There is a national focus on training students to work together collaboratively to improve communication, but the training needs to start with faculty first,” said Zierler. “Faculty can model teamwork behaviors for students and they can create the opportunities to train health professional students together by emphasizing communication, teamwork, collaborative care, values and ethics, and role clarity.”

IHI Open School Cropped

The IHI Open School—UW Chapter 2012 Kick Off

On February 22, over 100 dental, medical, Master of Health Administration, nursing, physician assistant, and pharmacy students attended an interprofessional social event led by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School—UW Chapter in the Health Sciences Building. The evening’s purpose was to bridge the gap between the different departments while focusing on teamwork and healthcare quality. Officers from each school worked hard planning the event. According to the PharmD candidate Michael Cusumano,

"The six of us came together because we all wanted to have more contact with students in other health disciplines.  We all realized that we had been fairly ignorant about disciplines other than our own.  These students are going to be our teammates when we enter the workforce.  The foundation of a strong team starts now, just by getting to know each other.  That's the idea behind the event, and apparently, a lot of other students have been feeling the same way." 

With this goal in mind, the evening kicked off with introductions of the IHI Open School officers and an ice breaker game introducing students to their peers in other disciplines. In the game each student was given a questionnaire with healthcare-related questions—but with a catch: each question targeted the knowledge of specific schools, so that students could only answer the questions studied in their department. This game set up a low-key environment for students to mingle while learning simultaneously about the other professions. Free pizza and beverages were offered, courtesy of the IHI, for students to enjoy while socializing and completing the questionnaire.

After getting to know each another, students regrouped for a presentation by guest speaker Dr. Mike Westley, an ICU physician at Virginia Mason with 20 years of experience in the IHI. Dr. Westley’s presentation focused on the growing need for opportunities for quality improvement in healthcare. He touched upon aspects of safety, system properties, and included a demonstration highlighting for students an adage that when you are looking for something in particular, you often miss unexpected events.  With this lesson in mind, Dr. Westley challenged students to see the defacts in the healthcare system that are actually right in front of them. He ended his presentation by encouraging the audience to take action immediately by meeting with other departments and promoting content knowledge and interprofessional collaboration. 

The evening received a great turnout of both students and faculty members. Thanks to the hard work of the planners and speakers, the event provided the opportunity for everyone to learn about quality improvement in healthcare while meeting and gaining knowledge about their future teammates.


New Interprofessional HRSA Grant Awarded to UW

In September 2012 a new grant was awarded to the University of Washington focusing on interprofessional education for advanced practice students. Congratulations to principal investigator, Dr Brenda Zierler (School of Nursing), and participating faculty, IPE Advisory Board Members, and staff from the School of Pharmacy (Peggy Odegard, Nanci Murphy, Jennifer Danielson, Skye McKennon); School of Nursing (Eleanor Bond, Mayumi Willgerodt, Sarah Shannon, Gail Johnson, Janet Lenart, Debra Liner, Emily Malik, Erin Abu-Rish, Chia-Ju Chiu); Physician Assistant Program (Linda Vorvick and Ruth Ballweg); School of Social Work (Taryn Lindhorst); School of Dentistry (Wendy Mouradian); School of Public Health (Donald Chi); and School of Medicine (Brian Ross, Karen McDonough, Sara Kim).

The aim of this large-scale, three-year project will focus on advanced practice students and opportunities for team-based training using technology, joint clinical placements in underserved primary care clinics, and joint quality improvement projects. Dr. Leslie Hall (University of Missouri, Columbia) has been named a consultant on this grant.

Featured Faculty


Highlighting IPE Faculty at UW

Sara Mackenzie, MD, MPH- UW School of Public Health

Sara Mackenzie is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the U.W. School of Public Health.  She is also the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education in the School.  Her academic preparation include the completion of a B.S., Biology at the University of Iowa, a medical degree at the University of California, Davis, and a Masters in Public Health, Health Services at the University of Washington.  Sara directs the Undergraduate Public Health Major, oversees the School of Public Health undergraduate programs, and teaches undergraduate courses on personal health, public health, ethics and policy.  She is double boarded in Family Medicine and Adolescent Medicine and continues to practice direct clinical care at U.W. Hall Health. 

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

By: Diana Taibi Buchanan and Sarah E. Shannon It’s impossible to discuss patient safety without bumping into the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report, To Err is Human. This publication shone a harsh light on high prevalence and serious consequences of medical errors: Physical and psychological discomfort to patients and families; Costs from addressing the effects of errors (e.g., treatment, extended hospital stay) and lost income totaling between $17 and $29 billion per year; Reduced morale among health workers; Eroded trust between providers and patients. One of the many steps taken toward reducing medical errors has been the enhancement of teamwork. Although team enhancement strategies aim to reduce errors, healthy teamwork can provide intermediate improvements in health care delivery...
By Yanling Yu and Rex Johnson, Washington Advocates for Patient Safety “Patient empowerment” has become common buzz words nowadays in health care. More and more people are paying attention to this concept among healthcare providers, patients, family caretakers, and policymakers. But, what is patient empowerment and why is it so important to all of us? Some may view patient empowerment as a way to shift power in making medical decisions, thus a potential threat to medical professionals. But, most people tend to agree that patient empowerment is a process to help patients take the initiative to solve their health care problems and to make their own healthcare choices. Here, we would like to share a couple of extremely contrasting personal experiences about patient empowerment. These...

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 Uniiversity 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.