University of Southern Indiana


USI faculty receive MIPERC awards for innovative interprofessional projects

The Midwest Interprofessional Practice, Education, and Research Center (MIPERC) selected the University of Southern Indiana to receive two awards during its annual conference, held at Grand Valley State University September 22-23, 2016.

Below, left, the USI Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR) Team was awarded the Outstanding Demonstration Model Award for its interprofessional care model involving interdisciplinary student teams that interact with patients selected from the USI Community Health Care Clinics and the Veterans Administration Clinic.

Below, right, MIPERC also named Dr. Mary Kay Arvin and Heather Schmuck recipients of the 2016 Outstanding Faculty Award for their board game, Core, Comp Stomp, which teaches students to work together as an inter professional team. 

USI receives first-ever Nexus Award for interprofesional care delivery

The University of Southern Indiana received the first-ever Nexus Award from the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education (NCIPE) during the 2016 National Center Summit, held August 21-23, 2016, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“I am so pleased that the work being done by this interprofessional team of students, faculty and health care professionals is being recognized at the national level,” said Dr. Ann White, dean of the USI College of Nursing and Health Professions. “Preparing our graduates to be effective members of the health care team is critically important to improve health and reduce costs.”

The purpose of the Nexus Award is to recognize interprofessional, team-based approaches that connect higher education and health care with goals to transform care delivery, improve health outcomes and decrease costs.

According to the NCIPE, the University of Southern Indiana distinguished itself among submissions by engaging multiple professional disciplines in urban and rural underserved practice environments in order to foster better access to healthcare in Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. Interprofessional team members include USI nursing and health profession students, faculty clinical coaches, practice professionals at the USI Community Health Centers and Veterans Administration Medical Center Community-Based Outpatient Centers. The work of the interprofessional teams in multiple settings provide teams of students under the guidance of faculty and clinicians opportunities for culturally sensitive learning experiences. Students participate in the continuum of primary care, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment, surveillance, health communications and disease management.

“We were overwhelmed at not only the number of submissions we received, but also even more with the quality of the teams and programs that incorporate students and currently making real-world change,” said Barbara Brandt, director of the NCIPE. “There are so many extraordinary stories to tell about the groundbreaking work happening right now, it made our selection process a difficult, but inspiring challenge.”

Students in the USI College of Nursing and Health Professions have been significantly impacting patient care at several clinical sites as part of a $1.2 million grant the college received in 2014 from the Health Resources and Services Administration division of Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The goal of the grant project is to teach students from different disciplines how to practice collaboratively as effective members of health care teams, while improving health care delivery,” said Dr. Ryan Butler, assistant professor of nursing and project coordinator and data manager. “Upon completion of each semester, we have found our students showed significant improvements in communication, leadership, roles and responsibilities, coordination of care and decision-making.

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