Newswise — Loyola University Chicago has established the Institute for Transformative Interprofessional Education (ITIE) to educate future health-care providers and professionals to work as a team to better care for patients.

This initiative will offer a joint curriculum with select classes for medical, nursing, public health, law, health systems management, business, bioethics, social work, nutrition and exercise science students to learn together. Forty-nine faculty ambassadors, representing broad areas of specialization, will come together to lead the curriculum, practice and culture change necessary to fulfill the mission of the institute. The institute also will encourage faculty development and scholarship in interprofessional education and leadership. Loyola is among the first universities in the United States to implement such a collaborative model.

“This team model will allow us to decrease silos and provide a safer and more holistic educational approach to patient care,” said Aaron Michelfelder, MD, FAAFP, FAAMA, co-director, ITIE.

ITIE programs will include an interprofessional education day and team simulation. All students will be required to participate in simulated patient experiences in Loyola’s Center for Simulation Education. This facility includes a six-bed virtual hospital and home-care environment where teams of students learn together how to better care for patients in a low-risk environment.

Other interprofessional programming will include a poverty simulation day where faculty, practitioners and students will role-play what it is like to live in poverty. The goal is to better understand the impact poverty has on health and to learn how to collaboratively care for these patients in the context in which they live.

“Patients will interact with providers from a broad range of specialties and disciplines as they navigate the complexities of the health-care system,” said Fran R. Vlasses, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN, co-director, ITIE. “Loyola’s program will prepare future professionals to work together to meet the needs of each patient.”