Annual Summit Spotlights Interdisciplinary Approach to Health Care

Shannon D. Synoracki, a Penn College physician assistant student, offers input.

Small-group facilitator Barbara J. Natell, director of Penn College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, and Darren Mensch, a student from Wilkes University, listen to another student’s perspective.

Walt Eisenhauer (with mustache), program chair for Lock Haven University’s physician assistant program, leads a discussion.

Small-group discussion fills the air in the Bush Campus Center.

As part of an event that spanned northeastern and northcentral Pennsylvania and involved 805 students, the fifth annual Collaborative Care Summit convened at Penn College on Wednesday. Twenty-two facilitators from a variety of health professions, including physicians, led discussions in the Bush Campus Center among students from several colleges and universities who are pursuing studies in a wide range of health disciplines. The Collaborative Care Summit is arranged by the Northeastern/Central Pennsylvania Interprofessional Education Coalition – of which Sharon K. Waters, associate dean of health sciences, is a member. Waters facilitated the Penn College event, which brought together about 135 students from Penn College, Lock Haven University, Wilkes University, The Commonwealth Medical College and Marywood University. Dr. Keith Shenberger, of Susquehanna Health and The Commonwealth Medical College’s Williamsport Campus, co-presented both opening and closing presentations with Waters. The students participated in roundtable discussions of a medical case, learning from one another how each discipline contributes to a patient’s care. “The goal of interprofessional learning is to prepare all health-professions students for deliberatively working together, with the common goal of building a safer and better patient-centered and community/population-orientated U.S. health care system,” Waters explained. “It was so impressive to hear what each student contributed to the collaborative care interprofessional team approach in representing their respective health care discipline.” Student participants represented 15 professions, from dental hygiene to pharmacy to medicine to social work. Simultaneous events were held in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre at Marywood University, The Commonwealth Medical College, The University of Scranton, Kings College and Misericordia University.

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