Annual Interprofessional Education Day Includes Focus on Health Equity

The approximately 1,600 Columbia University Irving Medical Center students and 240 faculty members who participated in this year’s Interprofessional Education (IPE) Day addressed the question of how health professionals can actively provide antiracist, inclusive, and equitable care through interprofessional teamwork.

Columbia University Irving Medical Center

The theme of the April 5 day-long conference, which included more than 80 lectures and workshops, was “Interprofessionalism in Action: Strengthening Ethical, Responsive, and Accountable Care.”

IPE Day is a one of the programs of Columbia Commons IPE, which was founded in 2016 to foster effective health care teams through campuswide collaborative seminars, clinical service learning, shared classroom events, and a required team-based orientation for all new students. On IPE Day, classes are canceled for one day across campus to formally bring together faculty and students from Columbia’s schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, public health, and social work and programs in nutrition, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pastoral care, and genetic counseling.

Director of Columbia Commons Rita Charon and Program Manager Jordana Vanderselt, both of the Department of Medical Humanities & Ethics, together oversee and execute IPE Day with the Faculty Steering Committee and the Student Advisory Board. Charon says Columbia Commons and IPE Day have had a positive influence on how health care is provided at Columbia. The development of Columbia’s mandated interprofessional orientation for new students is a direct result of discussions at a recent IPE Day.

Columbia University Irving Medical Center

“Columbia Commons IPE,” says Charon, “has provided our diverse health professionals with an avenue for contact and dialogue. An example is our IPE seminar on vaccines, which included population health professionals, occupational therapists, pediatricians, and research nurses. This network of disciplines would not have happened without Columbia Commons and its flagship event, IPE Day.”