The Interprofessional Care in Geriatrics program evolved from a long history of interprofessional work in geriatrics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).
Coming Together for a Common Cause:
In Fall 2014, the IPE Care in Geriatrics Aging in Place program envisioned building on its strong history and knowledge of years of collaboration. Students from many schools and programs, including social work, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, dentistry and dental hygiene, physician assistant, and audiology, learn with, about, and from each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes in Baltimore neighborhoods.1 Each week, the interprofessional student teams provide team-based care to meet the health education needs of our neighbors at local high rise older adult housing communities such as Mount Clare Overlook Apartments and Hollins House Apartments. Depending on the discipline, students enroll either as part of their required service learning, clinical course work, field placement, or via a special project/independent study.
We Love Our Neighbors:
Our older adult neighbors await the IPE teams when they arrive. With a weekly exercise/yoga class, an opportunity to have their blood pressure taken and medications reviewed, or the chance to engage to a health-related talk through bingo or Jeopardy-type games, our neighbors have come to expect rich and fulfilling educational experiences from us. In fact, one Thursday each month, our neighbors enjoy an exercise day while our students engage them in a variety of functions during many other days of the week.
One neighbor said, "Thank you for all you do for me. The students looked for resources to bring the cost of my medications down.” Another awaited the team visit for guidance on medication management and would welcome them in his home every week, always greeting them with a big smile filled with gratitude.
Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic:
In Fall 2019, UMB became an Age Friendly University, and in January 2020, students from the University of Helsinki, Republic of Finland joined the teams virtually and have collaborated with the students at UMB to address many of our neighbors' needs. This endeavor has been awarded the GLOBaltimore Award for 2020. View the full report about the GLOBaltimore Award here.
In March 2020, and with COVID-19 restrictions, the teams quickly adapted to an online outreach program and continued to provide the health care education and personal attention needed to support our neighbors. A hotline was established for older neighbors and resident service coordinators to call and schedule appointments. Topics touch on maintaining mental health during the pandemic and medication safety. Faculty, trainees, and students helped pack and deliver care packages filled with food, medicine, and other supplies for affected families and individuals in West Baltimore. The Lamy Center, the UMB Community Engagement Center, and others have also come together to provide laptops and strengthen the data signal necessary for neighbors to connect with us.
Ultimately, we envision this experience becoming embedded in each professional school’s curriculum as part of the Age Friendly University. We strive to provide enjoyable team-based care and teach that experience among our interprofessional students.
Drs. Nicole Brandt and Daniel Mansour represent the Lamy Center on the Interprofessional Care in Geriatrics team.
Reporting Real Results:
2020: Collaboration with Finland & Lessons learned on the fly from COVID-19 During the Academic Year of 2019-2020.
2019: The Lamy Center presented "Scaling Up and Sustaining a Geriatric Interprofessional Educational Program: Recap of the Last 5 Years" at the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) Annual Meeting in 2019. This research examines how clinical pharmacists can grow and sustain an interprofessional course that engages and empowers older adults in West Baltimore, while providing settings for residents to take an active role in their health care by engaging in active learning and bring IPE health care teams to places of residence to facilitate a patient-centered model. View the poster (PDF).
2018:The goal of the UMB_APP initiative is to apply interdisciplinary education into a real work setting and provide team-based care to meet the needs of a local high-rise senior housing community. Its implementation involved three steps: (1) interdisciplinary education of students from the Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Social Work; (2) planning and implementation of clinical work; and (3) ongoing evaluation of clinical work. Download the full report here (PDF).
1 IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2015. Measuring the impact of interprofessional education on collaborative practice and patient outcomes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.