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Forum brings together students, faculty to discuss ways to improve patient care

Pharmacy student Cynthia Mgbeojirikwe and medical student Zaeem Shah take part in the Interprofessional Education Forum. Photo: Glenn Waldron

By GLENN WALDRON

Published April 4, 2017

“We know that these health conditions are now recognized to be too complex to be managed from one profession’s perspective and require a team of professionals to ensure optimal health outcomes.”
Patricia Ohtake, associate professor
Department of Rehabilitation Science

More than 600 UB students from programs in dental medicine, law, management, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, public health and social work gathered recently to discuss strategies to improve patient care at UB’s second Interprofessional Education (IPE) Forum.

As part of the program, students and faculty viewed a film — “Meet Fred Santiago” — developed by UB’s Office of Interprofessional Education that illustrates the challenges Fred and his family face daily due to his multiple chronic health conditions.

The film, produced by Buffalo’s Theatre for Change, is based on a fictitious case developed by Andrew Symons, Department of Family Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Patricia Ohtake, Department of Rehabilitation Science, School of Public Health and Health Professions, in collaboration with their health professions colleagues. The film highlights the impact on Fred and his family of common health problems that many older Buffalonians experience, including diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and depression.

After the film, students and faculty engaged in dialogue about the issues Fred faced and used their collective expertise to discuss strategies to optimize Fred’s health care.

The film provides a great opportunity for students from across the health professions to discuss how the various health care fields should work collaboratively to ensure the best outcome for a patient, Ohtake explained.

From left: Co-chairs Lisa Jane Jacobsen, Nicholas Fusco and Patricia Ohtake, and Michael Cain, vice president for health sciences, stand by a poster promoting the film "Meet Fred Santiago" that IPE participants watched during the forum. Photo: Glenn Waldron

“We know that these health conditions are now recognized to be too complex to be managed from one profession’s perspective and require a team of professionals to ensure optimal health outcomes,” she said. “Students learn firsthand how collaborating with other health care professions will lead to improved outcomes for Fred and his family.”

UB’s Interprofessional Education forums are a result of the efforts of an interprofessional team of faculty from the health professions and other programs who believe strongly in the value of collaboration in health care.

Members of the UB Interprofessional Forum Planning Committee include Don Antonson, School of Dental Medicine; Lisa Jane Jacobsen (co-chair), Alan Lesse, Andrew Symons, Denise McGuigan, Donna Colucci, Glenn Laderer and Bonnie Vest, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Susan Grinslade and Kelly Foltz-Ramos, School of Nursing; Nicholas Fusco (co-chair) and Kathy Boje, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Patricia Ohtake (co-chair), Jan Tona and Ashely Re, School of Public Health and Health Professions; Diane Elze, School of Social Work; Danielle Pelfrey Duryea, School of Law; Larry Zielinski, School of Management; and Amy Lyons, University Libraries.