Students carry the torch for health care improvement

OHSU and PSU students successfully host 2015 West Coast Conference (WCC) for interprofessional collaboration

April 23, 2015

IHI Open School EventInspiration can be contagious, and when it comes to students inspiring and learning from each other, PSU and OHSU students are carrying the torch locally in a national effort to improve health care.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School West Coast Region and the Portland State University (PSU) and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) IHI Open School Chapter hosted an interprofessional health conference on April 17 and 18. The conference aimed to educate and inspire learners to be interprofessional collaborators – not just amongst peers, but with their patients, their communities and their health systems. 

More than 150 students, professionals and community members attended the event, which was sponsored by the PSU & OHSU IHI Open School Chapter, the OHSU Office of the Provost, OHSU School of Medicine, OHSU School of Nursing, the PSU Speakers Board, the IHI Open School, FamilyCare Health, PSU Mark O. Hatfield School of Government, OHSU All Hill Council and the Oregon Patient Safety Commission. 

A pre-conference workshop was facilitated by Laura Jean Brennan, MSW, executive board member of Communities Joined in Action and co-chair of the 100 Million Healthier Lives Leadership Team. During the workshop, Oregon students participated in a “speed-dating” activity to connect students with potential opportunities at local community organizations, including the Oregon Public Health Institute, the Conversation Project, Oregon Healthiest State, Q Corp, Coalition of Community Health Clinics, Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute, and Oregon’s first Medical Legal Partnership at OHSU’s Richmond clinic. 

OHSU Provost Jeanette Mladenovic, M.D., MBA, MACP, opened the conference with a broad message highlighting the WCC theme of interprofessionalism and calling for a generation of interprofessional health care providers to be different from the past. 

IHI Open School EventKeynote speaker Winston Wong, M.D., M.S., emphasized the role of intentionality with respect to equity in the context of health and health care. He challenged attendees to consciously consider health equity as a strategy for improving systems of health, as opposed to just an outcome. Following his presentation, three local community partners (Erin Reid, MPH, Jake Creviston, RN, MN, PMHNP, and Liz Baxter, MPH) joined Dr. Wong for a panel discussion on population health and health equity. 

The second day of the conference started with a welcome from the PSU Provost Sona Andrews, Ph.D., M.S. Dr. Andrews reflected on her own experiences and shared 10 tips for interprofessional collaboration based on her involvement in the recent partnership between PSU and OHSU to develop a new School of Public Health.

Keynote speaker Monte Roulier, MPH, shared his perspective on the importance of interprofessional collaboration in the context of identifying convergent strategies amongst diverse goals in the community. He emphasized the power of stories and challenged the audience to be opportunistic and experimental in the face of the current health care environment. 

Mary Foley, RN, Ph.D., emphasized the value of patient and family-centered care through her personal story as a care giver who supported her partner through her journey with cancer. 

Neel Shah, M.D., MPP, concluded the conference with an interactive “Shark Tank” activity that included conference attendees identifying innovative ways to reduce cost and improve quality in health care settings. 

Presentation slides and supplemental material will be available on the PSU & OHSU IHI Open School website.

Keynote speaker presentations were recorded and are now available.