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Highlighting IPE Faculty at UW


As a part of a news feature series we began in 2012, we feature faculty members, staff members and collaborative partners who have made an impact on IPE or collaborative practice at the UW or UW-affiliated medical centers in our community. For March and April, 2017, we are featuring Amy Kim, DDS (UW School of Dentistry) and Tracy Brazg, MSW, MPH, MA, PhD-C (UW School of Social Work), the two newest members of our Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education, Research & Practice (CHSIE) leadership team.

Dr. Amy Kim, a strong champion of IPE within the UW School of Dentistry and Health Sciences programs, joins us as our new Co-Director of Education & Community Partnerships. Amy managed research programs at the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research and the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center prior to joining the University of Washington. She has also worked in dental private practice and the SMILE Program, which provides school-based dental care to underserved children. She has over 14 years of experience in dental education and patient oriented research, with extensive project and program management expertise in both industry and academia. As the Director of Recruitment and Admissions for the Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) Program , she provides oversight to recruitment; and she serves as the liaison to the School of Dentistry Admissions Committee. She directs the IPE program, is the course director for Foundations of Interprofessional Practice and Practice Management at the School of Dentistry, and was recently named Co-Director of CHSIE Education & Community Partnerships. She is co-developer of the IPE curriculum i-TEETH (Interprofessional Teams Engaged in Education and Training for Optimal Health), a three-part curriculum designed to provide a systematic and pedagogical progression from didactic to clinical experience that allows trainees to learn from each other and apply newly learned skills to practice. Her clinical research expertise includes project/program management, regulatory affairs and human subjects protection. Currently she is enrolled in a one-year, national Train-the-Trainer Interprofessional Faculty Development Program (T3-IFDP) with her colleagues from the RIDE program. She has served on the UW Institutional Review Board for over three years.

Tracy Brazg has been involved in IPE at UW for many years, particularly in the Foundations of Interprofessional Practice events required by nearly all of the Health Sciences programs at the UW. Tracy joins us as our new Assistant Director of Education & Community Partnerships. Tracy is a social worker and bioethicists with a background and interest in public health and interprofessional education and practice. She completed the joint MSW and MPH program at the University of Washington in 2008, an MA in bioethics in 2014, and a clinical bioethics fellowship at Seattle Childrenʼs Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics in 2016. She is currently completing her doctoral studies at the UW School of Social Work, where her dissertation examines how medical social workers utilize their training, knowledge and skills to integrate into interprofessional teams and to promote the goals of patient-centered care. Since 2012, Tracy has been involved in a range of IPE initiatives at UW. She served on the curriculum committee and as a facilitator for the Foundations of Interprofessional Practice, participated as a facilitator in the i-TEETH program, and helped to develop an IPE faculty committee at UW School of Social Work. Along with serving as CHSIE Co-Assistant Director, Tracy works as a bioethics consultant at UWMC and Northwest Hospital & Medical Center.

Read our interview with Amy and Tracy below.

CHSIE: When and how did you begin working with CHSIE?

Amy: My work with CHSIE has evolved over the last several years. I first became involved as a member of the ANE [Advanced Nursing Education] Grant team, and small group facilitator for some of their IPE activities. I also connected to CHSIE through the i-TEETH project as faculty of the Center for Pediatric Dentistry. I was excited to be invited to Collaborating Across Borders 2015 with the CHSIE team, and enjoyed presenting as part of the IPE workshop group.

Tracy:  I first connected with CHSIE faculty and staff in 2014 at the All Together Better Health Conference in Pittsburgh.  I was immediately welcomed by the group! I enjoyed getting to know members of the CHSIE team in Pittsburgh, and when we returned to Seattle I participated in various CHSIE activities. For example, I attended a writing workshop and became a facilitator for the i-Teeth program.

CHSIE: What are your current roles and responsibilities in your current position at CHSIE?

Amy: I was so pleased to be nominated by my colleagues for the role of Co-Director of CHSIE's newly established education and community partnership arm. In this role, I work closely with other CHSIE leadership and team members to build upon our current strengths in IPE and collaborative care and leverage institutional and community relationships and resources. Our biggest initiative [recently, was] planning a fun kick-off event to invite UW community members to bring their IPE and collaboration ideas and become part of the exciting initiatives at CHSIE. The Kickoff event occurred on March 9, 2017 and you can read about it here.

Tracy: I am the Assistant Director of Education and Community Partnerships for CHSIE. My position is funded through contributions from each of the six health sciences schools, who share a common vision for CHSIE as a coordinating body for IPE at UW.  I work collaboratively with CHSIE co-directors, steering committee and staff to support the development of strategic planning for CHSIE and to manage and implement projects that will develop and sustain infrastructure for IPE at UW.

CHSIE: How and why did you become involved with interprofessional education and collaborative practice?

Amy: I became involved with IPE because I wanted to connect the mouth to the rest of the body! Oral health is such an important part of systemic health, yet it is often overlooked or not considered by busy professionals in their everyday practices. I realize there are many reasons for this, but wanted to be part of a sea change for collaborative comprehensive team-based care in the future, starting with our pre-doctoral dental students and resident trainees. Dentists have traditionally practiced in solo settings, which can be isolating. I think it is vital that we teach our students and trainees about building an interprofessional team and network, whether it's the local pharmacist or a social worker, for us to best serve our patients.

Tracy: I have always been drawn to making connections across different disciplines or fields of inquiry.  My graduate training took place across three of the six health science schools at UW!  However, I had not heard of the terms IPE or IPCP until I entered the doctoral program at the UW School of Social Work in 2011.  Around that time, I was asked to participate in a committee that was exploring ways to enhance UW built environments to better opportunities for IPE.  Within minutes of my introduction to IPE I was hooked!  I was thrilled to learn that there was a pedagogy for training students and practitioners to think more broadly about health— it was what I was trying to do within my own studies for so many years.  I couldn’t get enough of the IPE happenings at UW and I ambitiously threw myself into the work.

CHSIE: What do you believe are the benefits of interprofessional education and collaborative practice?

Amy: Educational researchers report that most of us practice in the way we trained or were educated. So it actually makes sense that many of us practice in silos, because we are trained that way. Collaborative team-based care is so important, and we need to start early on in the professional education/training continuum for optimal results. Whether it's early childhood caries, diabetes or homelessness, we are all on the same team working toward well-being, and it's best achieved as a team.

Tracy: IPE results in higher functioning health care teams that then results in higher quality, safer and more patient-centered care.  This is accomplished through improving communication amongst providers and between providers and patients/families, providing the opportunity for each discipline to contribute their perspectives and skills to patient care, and encouraging a respectful environment in which all members of the team enjoy showing up for work because they feel recognized and valued.

CHSIE: What is one of your most memorable experiences or highlights of facilitating/leading interprofessional education and collaborative practice so far?

Amy: Collaborating Across Borders 2015 was such an eye opening experience for me. I chuckled when I first found that I was one of two dentists at this international conference, then found that the other dentist in attendance was a former professor of mine from the University of Michigan! He and I had coffee together, and had a great chat about the importance of IPE and collaborative practice to our profession and how to move the needle forward.

Tracy: In my experience facilitating the Foundations of Interprofessional Education series I have seen students recognize for the first time what other professionals can contribute to patient care.  It is inspiring to see the groups come together as teams over four sessions, and to witness their understanding and appreciation for each other point-of-view noticeably increase.

CHSIE: What is your vision for interprofessional education and collaborative practice at the UW and beyond?

Amy: The world, and in turn, health care, is ever changing. Dentists can no longer practice in silos, nor should we want to. My vision for IPE is that students and trainees in dentistry, along with those of other health professions, will not only want to learn to work together, but demand that we do so.

Tracy: Along with continuing to strive to become a national and international leader in the realm of IPE, I hope that CHSIE can become a place where health-focused faculty, students and clinicians feel at home—a place where they can come to access resources, make connections, and learn about opportunities related to improving collaboration in education, research and practice. In addition, I hope to see a broadening of who is involved in IPE at UW (e.g., engagement of schools on upper campus as well as the health sciences).