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Columbia Nursing Faculty and Students Explore the Frontiers of Health Care Teamwork in CUIMC’s First Day of Interprofessional Action


On April 5, Columbia Nursing faculty and students were among those who led and participated in activities for Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s (CUIMC) first Day of Interprofessional Action, which emphasized the necessity of teamwork among health care providers. Columbia Nursing Dean Bobbie Berkowitz, Jeffrey Kwong, DNP, associate professor of nursing, and Kasey Jackman, PhD, postdoctoral research scientist, led keynote sessions, and several other nursing faculty members facilitated workshops throughout the day.


In the process of interprofessional collaboration, health care providers work as part of a team, which requires that they not only communicate their own unique perspectives, but also carefully consider the expertise and viewpoints of colleagues from different disciplines. The Day of Interprofessional Action was dedicated to improving respectful, effective, person-centered care by helping students recognize the training and roles of other professionals and begin building skills for successful collaboration.


A 2016 core competencies document from the Interprofessional Education Collaborative, which includes the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), cited interprofessional collaborative practice as key to safe, high quality, accessible, person-centered care. The authors also note that developing interprofessional competencies is essential to preparing nursing students to practice effective team-based care in their careers.


Classes throughout CUIMC were cancelled on April 5 so students could attend the daylong event. Sessions included presentations, experiential learning, workshops, and skill-building seminars that conveyed the necessity and skills of egalitarian teamwork. The participation of CUIMC’s community partners helped enhance the curriculum.


Topics reflected pressing health care issues. For example, during their keynote sessions, Dean Berkowitz delivered a lecture on evidence-based policy and Kwong and Jackman co-led a case-based discussion in LGBT health.


Many other Columbia Nursing faculty members facilitated workshop sessions on a range of health care topics. A full list is included below.


Workshops were designed to include four to five students from each of three or more professions, including: nursing, dental, medical, nutrition, occupational therapy, pastoral care, physical therapy, public health and social work.


In some sessions, students practiced case-based teamwork through group activities and discussions. They were encouraged to consider their own professional area of practice and their priorities of care while working with their colleagues to determine the best course for the patient.


“IPE Day was an important learning opportunity for students because it allowed them to observe other professionals’ values and ethics surrounding placing the interests of patients at the center of care,” said Karen Desjardins, DNP, associate professor, who facilitated a workshop about aging in place. “It also helped them understand how to coordinate care for better patient outcomes and how to practice to the full extent of their education.”


Sessions Co-Led by Columbia Nursing Faculty:

Keynote Addresses
  • “Evidence-Based Policy” by Dean Bobbie Berkowitz
  • “It’s More Than Sex: A Case-Based Discussion in LGBT Health” by Jeffrey Kwong, DNP, associate professor of nursing, and Kasey Jackman ’05 ’10 ’17, PhD, postdoctoral research scientist
Clinical Care, Aging:
  • “Aging in Place and Communicating with Families” co-led by Karen Desjardins ’88 ’05, DNP, associate professor
Clinical Care, General:
  • “Adolescent Reproductive Health” co-led by Adena Bargad, PhD, assistant professor
  • “Supporting Breastfeeding Across Professions: The Need for a Unified Approach” co-led by Rebekah Ruppe ’00 ’01 ’09, DNP, assistant professor
  • “Treating Pain and the Opioid Crisis” co-led by Stephen Ferrara, DNP, assistant professor and associate dean of clinical affairs
Clinical Training:
  • “Case Study in Simulation Lab” co-led by Mary Ellen Tresgallo ’92 ‘08, DNP, assistant professor
  • “Motivational Interviewing and Shared Decision Making to Enhance Patient-Centered Care Across the Professional Disciplines” co-led by Maureen George, PhD, associate professor
  • “Opioid Overdose Prevention Training” co-led by Kellie Bryant, DNP, assistant professor and executive director, Helene Fuld Health Trust Simulation Center, and Eileen Marie Thomas, EdD, assistant professor
Community and Global Health:
  • “Collaborative Community Care: Interprofessional Approaches to Care” co-led by Brenda Janotha ‘08, DNP, assistant professor
Health Policy:
  • “Vaccine Hesitancy and Adherence: What Can We as Health Professionals Do?” co-led by Rita Marie John ’05, DNP, associate professor
Narrative, Arts, and Ethics:
  • “Radical Listening/Reflective Writing” co-led by Jeanne Churchill ’10, DNP, assistant professor
Social Justice and Health Disparities:
  • “Health Equity: Uniting the Health Sciences” co-led by Maria Corsaro ’83 ’13, DNP, assistant professor
  • “Obstetric Violence in NYC Hospitals” led by Laura Zeidenstein ’05, DNP, associate professor
  • “Understanding Drug-Related Stigma” co-led by Laura Kelly, PhD, associate professor