Faculty Development: Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care

Ben Miller, a psychologist and Director of the Eugene S. Farley, Jr. Health Policy Center, presented a faculty development session on August 27th for faculty and students from across the University. An overflow crowd listened as Dr. Miller gave an engaging presentation about how the world quickly evolves and how healthcare is poised to evolve in such a dramatic way.



The session was particularly notable because it was co-sponsored by the School of Medicine’s Student Family Medicine Association. Dr. Miller spoke about the necessity of behavioral health services in primary care and inspired the students and faculty to think about designing care based on the needs of patients and populations rather than providers or systems. IMG_1222Dr. Miller’s presentation was a small part of his visit to Virginia during which he is working with individuals from across the commonwealth to reshape care as part of the State Innovation Model program. Dr. Miller’s innovation and inspiration will lead a lasting mark on our community.

Gearing Up for Academic Year 2016

Faculty and students across the campus are getting ready for various interprofessional programs. The first for-credit course, IPEC 501, begins on August 27th. Meanwhile, students in other curricular experiences are already participating in activities and engaging with each other and the community.

Last week, students and faculty from the Richmond Health and Wellness Program learned about the community-based clinical experiences under the program. The students from nursing, pharmacy, social work, and psychology practiced writing a joint note to learn about how they approach the evaluation of a patient and how their professions integrate to provide comprehensive care.

20150820_114211This year should mark another exciting of year of increasing and better programs supporting interprofessional education and practice.


Meeting The Needs of the Young and Old

Two recent interprofessional grants to VCU exemplify the impact of interprofessional practice in underserved communities.

First, the Center for Aging received a Geriatrics Workforce Education award from HRSA. Under the leadership of prinicipal investigator, Ed Ansello, the three-year, 2.5 million dollar award will support training practitioners, students, patients, and families about improving the health of older adults in an interprofessional manner. The program has a specific focus on rural communities in the southern part of Virginia.

The second program, also funded by HRSA, will increase the training of pediatric dentists. Led by Tegwyn Brickhouse from the School of Dentistry, the program will increase the number of pediatric-trained dentists. The program has a specific focus on the piedmont area of Virginia and seeks to better link medical and dental practice.

Both of these programs, which are supported by the Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Care, represent the kind of new models of interprofessional practice needed to meet the challenges facing society. Kudos to the leaders and their colleagues for further advancing this misson of VCU.

VCU Students Selected for Hotspotting Alumni Cohort

Starting this summer, a second group of VCU students will be participating in a national hotspotting program. ‘Hotspotting’ is the concept of identifying patients who require a lot of healthcare services and providing them with support to improve their health and decrease their use of high-cost services. The program places students in the role of hotspotters to learn about these patients, the barriers they have to health, and how the students can help them.

Last year, one team of five students participated in the inaugural hotspotting program. This year, the University will have two teams that will include twelve students. New to the team will be students from psychiatry who will join students from nursing, pharmacy, medicine, and social work.

As part of the program, students will also participate in webinars and travel to Camden, New Jersey to visit the birthplace of hotspotting. Several students are also planning research projects around the program.

VCU Places Fourth in National Clarion Case Competition

A interprofessional team of VCU students placed fourth in a national case competition earlier this month. For the competition, the students had to analyze stroke care in rural Kentucky and present a plan for improving care of this population.

The VCU national team of Kenneth Qiu (M1), Nicholas Rebold (P1), Lily Jia (P1), and Sarah Rozycki (M1) won the local competition over several other VCU teams. They then traveled to Minnesota to compete against teams from 14 other institutions.



Their fourth place finish is a remarkable accomplishment considering that all four students are first years. Many of their competitors were much more senior in their education. This showing demonstrates the bright future ahead for these students.

The Barrier to Interprofessional Collaboration: Student Videos

As part of the interprofessional case series, teams of students made videos depicting barrier to interprofessional collaboration. Below are some of our favorites:

This video described how our work spaces inhibit collaboration.

This one focused on poor communication due to hierarchy and a lack of collaboration. This one, too.

This video captured the importance of patient-centered care and communication. This one and this one also showed how patient’s are affected by poorly coordinated care.

And, this one lamented the failings of electronic health records.

We hope you enjoy!

Virginia Population Health Summit Held

The first annual Virginia Population Health Summit was held March 26th and 27th in Charlottesville. Attendees from around the state discussed various aspects of improving population health. Speakers included the Secretary of Health, the Director of the State Health Department, and a number of faculty from Virginia Commonwealth University. A common thread was the need to define the needs of the community and find ways to develop sustainable, interprofessional care models to improve health. The State Innovation Model award will help spur some of these changes as Virginia moves toward becoming a healthier commonwealth.

The agenda can be found here: Virginia Population Health Summit Agenda.

Interprofessional Case Series

Over 500 students from all five health science schools have participated in this spring’s case series. The students work in team to learn about, from, and with each other. Topics include how to think about team work, teams within systems, and the roles of individuals within specific teams. Each team with create a video about a barrier to interprofessional practice as a capstone assignment.Case Series 2 Case Series 1

Interprofessional Quality Improvement Project Kick-off

IMG_3398 Seven students from pharmacy, nursing, and medicine began a four-week experience in quality improvement on Friday. Over the next four weeks, these students will work together to define a gap in quality, design an implementation to bridge that gap, and implement a small pilot intervention to improve the selected quality issue. Throughout the experience, the student learn not just about quality improvement but also about the other professions and how their own profession fits in. The past several years have shown that this experience is extremely valuable for both students and moving forward some of the quality initiative of VCU Health System.IMG_3414

Interprofessional Grand Rounds

Chief of Geriatrics Peter Boling will present at Internal Medicine Grand Rounds on Image: Dr. Peter BolingThursday, January 22nd from 12-1 in Sanger 1-044. His talk will focus on the interprofessional virtual case system, and his team’s results from using it to teach and assess geriatric competencies. Boling and his team of faculty from across VCU have used this apporach to educate over 600 students annually about interprofessional teamwork and geriatrics. The approach has been adopted at other institutions as well. All are welcome to this insightful presentation.