NASHVILLE, Tenn. Once again, students from both Meharry Medical College (MMC) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) worked together to benefit the community through partnerships with non-profit organizations in the Inter-institutional Interprofessional Education (IPE) Student Project. The project, hosted by the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance (MVA), is a collaborative effort between academia and the community to provide an opportunity for students to collaborate with non-profit organizations in a real world setting.
On Thursday, April 4, 2019, the students, non-profit partners and IPE faculty gathered at the MVA to recognize and celebrate those efforts.
The recognition ceremony
As in previous years, MVA Program Manager and IPE Student Project Organizer Pilar Prather M.Ed, along with members of the MVA team, gave certificates of recognition to each student, IPE faculty member and community partner to honor their efforts. Additionally, the MVA made financial donations to all four community partners.
“I hope this experience will positively impact the way the students interact with their community and patients,” Prather commented afterward.
The IPE Student Project
The project dates back to 2014 and is part of the MVA’s vision to be a leader in advancing inter-institutional collaborations. Twenty-six students from four institutions – MMC, VUMC, Belmont University and Lipscomb University – worked with four MVA community partners:
Two teams worked with St. Luke’s Community House, one with youth and one with seniors. The youth team provided a publication about child development and mental health, printed in English and Spanish, and put on a health fair. The seniors team created a resource guide that included financial assistance resources for low income senior citizens.
The Dismas House team designed a calendar dealing with health-related topics like men’s health, mental health and what each month contributes to them.
The Oasis Center created a booklet that showcased healthcare careers based on degree requirements.
The Urban Housing Solutions team made a cleaning resource guide, provided cleaning supplies and created an alternate guide for personal and home care.
“I was inspired by a number of things,” MVA Executive Director Consuelo H. Wilkins, MD, MSCI commented afterward regarding the projects. “I think they could be used broadly with different educational backgrounds.”
“I’ve really enjoyed working with the community partners, students and faculty on the IPE project,” Prather added.
About the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance
Founded in 1999, the Alliance bridges the institutions of Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Its mission is to enrich learning and advance clinical research in three primary areas -- community engagement, interprofessional education and research -- by developing and supporting mutually beneficial partnerships between Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the communities they serve. Through community engagement, the Alliance serves a large community of stakeholders including surrounding universities and colleges, community organizations, faith-based outlets and community health centers. Its interprofessional education enhances students' interdisciplinary understanding and improves patient outcomes through integrated care. The research conducted provides access to experienced grant writers and materials supporting the grant application process and facilitates grant-writing workshops.