Matt Schorr
March 14, 2018

Photo by Pilar Prather, M.Ed
The Interprofessional Education (IPE) Student Project resumed after Christmas Break with Spring Sessions at the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. The Interprofessional Education (IPE) Student Project – a collaborative effort between academia and the community – is nearing its conclusion for this academic year. On March 22, 2018, students will meet for the last time to present their work aimed at benefitting the health and wellbeing of the community.


Session I: Recap

Students resumed their efforts, which began in October 2017, on January 22, 2018, gathering once again at the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance to recap the project and their work prior to the Christmas Break.

Katherine Baker, PhD, Associate Director of the Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, led the conversation with a refresher presentation about project design.

MVA Program Manager Pilar Prather, M.Ed then informed the teams about the project’s budget and expectations.

The students were given 20 hours each in the spring to complete the project. They’re required to work with their team members, faculty leaders and community partners.

“The point of the meetings at the MVA office,” Prather explained afterward, “is to allow students a central location to meet with faculty heads and community partners.”


Session II: Guidelines and questions

In February, students, faculty and the community organizations – St. Luke’s, Urban Housing Solutions, Dismas House and the Oasis Center – met again to discuss presentation guidelines and address any remaining questions.

“Faculty leaders are first and foremost the student team’s support system,” Prather said. “Faculty monitor student progress, present alternatives, encourage responsibility, support creativity and challenge students to develop a good quality deliverable.”

The community organizations, meanwhile, review the teams’ efforts and provide timely feedback.


Session III: Final meeting

When the teams return on March 22, Prather says they should have their projects and project poster finished. It will be the last time they meet at the MVA.

“We’ll look at and evaluate their finished projects,” Prather said. “Each one should be a plan of action to address community-defined needs.”

The final product is due April 5.


Team Projects

The teams working with St. Luke’s Seniors department will further develop a resource guide created by a previous IPE student team. The St. Luke’s  Children & Youth  will design a publication to educate children about dental care.

The Urban Housing Solutions team is focused on contributing to health outcomes for vulnerable residents.

The team paired with the Oasis Center is highlighting health care related career opportunities and necessary academic skills for success.

Dismas House’s team is developing a research report about  current diversion programs offered in Tennessee for non-violent first-time offenders with drug and alochol charges.


Looking ahead

The students, faculty and community partners will gather one more time April 5, 2018, at Lee Chapel AME Church for the IPE Recognition Ceremony. The teams will present their project posters at the ceremony.


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