Springfield College Physical Therapy students and UMass Amherst Speech-Language Pathology graduate students are engaged in unique learning opportunities at ServiceNet’s Enrichment Center in Chicopee & Strive Clinic in Holyoke, day programs for individuals with brain injuries. The below article details how the longitudinal partnerships benefit both students and individual receiving care.
On Tuesday, November 2nd, PV-IPEC in coordination with the UMass Amherst Department of Communication Disorders held a memorable virtual interprofessional education (IPE) program on stroke/aphasia. Second year graduate students in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) at UMass Amherst offer the following insights after facilitating this IPE event with over 100 colleagues from other local universities.
Sharing a room with members of your cohort who have the same passion can be educational. Sharing a room with students from related professional programs, albeit a Zoom breakout room with tiny square boxes, is both educational and empowering. You can be the “expert” in the room and still leave with a notebook of knowledge you hadn’t considered before.
From my experiences as a former community health worker advocating for better housing conditions to improve a child’s asthma exacerbation to supporting a victim of homelessness through his worsening depression, I recognized how intricately linked social determinants of health were to physical and mental health. I was excited to see how the Baystate Health Wellness on Wheels (WoW) bus expands this further by delivering care directly into the community in Springfield, MA. The Springfield population is a thriving and diverse melting pot, made up of a BIPOC majority population, and consequently, one that is especially disenfranchised.
In today’s blog we will share specific information about the profession of audiology and discuss the importance of including audiologists on interprofessional teams, where they can provide critical services in areas that are perhaps not well known or obvious to patients or other healthcare professionals. While hearing loss can affect all ages, today we will discuss hearing loss in older adults and the complex needs of this population that are best addressed by collaboration between audiology and other healthcare professionals.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, health professions schools took steps to balance concerns for student safety with the need to assist with response efforts. Students were allowed to graduate early to help in hospitals, assisted with developing early COVID-19 research databases, and helped healthcare systems acquire PPE from non-traditional sources.
Something that I had not planned on for my final year of coursework in the physical therapy (PT) program at Springfield College was an Interprofessional Education, or IPE, course in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The opportunity to take this class came up somewhat randomly, and I decided, “why not?” This course has now been offered for the past three years in the Springfield area.
The COVID 19 pandemic has exposed inequities in our health system, with people from marginalized communities disproportionately bearing the impact of illness, disability, and death. Now is the time to innovate to address inequities and transform our system so that we all receive care that is high quality, better coordinated, and actively engaged in addressing social determinants of health, such as neighborhood safety, healthy food, and access to behavioral health care.