Interprofessional education (IPE), which ASCO President Dr. Jennifer Smythe has designated as one of the Association’s priorities, was front and center at the October meeting of the Board of Directors as members participated in an IPE mini-workshop. Facilitated by Dr. Donald Jarnagin, Dean of Midwestern University – Arizona College of Optometry, the workshop allowed participants to share their institution’s best practices in the areas of IPE and interprofessional collaborative practice. Presenters included Dr. Andrew Buzzelli, Dean, University of The Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry, Dr. Elizabeth Hoppe, Founding Dean, Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry, Dr. Rod Nowakowski, Dean, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, and Dr. Michelle Welch, Associate Dean, Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry.
ASCO has established an IPE Task Force that is charged with examining and identifying best practices within and outside ASCO institutions as well as identifying the educational strategies of other healthcare professions that prepare graduates for team-based practice. The task force will also develop and maintain a list of IPE consultants as a resource for member institutions and work to raise public and professional awareness of the role optometry has in team-based collaborative patient-centered care. In addition, an IPE summit is planned for 2015.