Students From Across Region, Range of Health Disciplines Collaborate at Summit

As part of an event that spanned 11 participating colleges – and the Northeast Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center – and involved 868 health and allied health students and nearly 150 health care professionals as facilitators, the eighth annual Collaborative Care Summit convened at Pennsylvania College of Technology on April 5.

Groups – including the one in foreground, facilitated by Judy Quinti, assistant professor of exercise science – discuss a case in several rooms of the Bush Campus Center.

In the college’s Bush Campus Center, 11 facilitators from a variety of health professions led discussions among students from several colleges and universities who are pursuing studies in a wide range of health disciplines, from medicine and physician assistant to nursing and paramedicine. Penn College was one of six summit locations.

The Collaborative Care Summit is arranged by the Northeastern/Central Pennsylvania Interprofessional Education Coalition – of which Penn College’s Edward A. Henninger, dean of health sciences, and Sandra L. Richmond, director of nursing, are members and serve on the Leadership Team. Henninger facilitated the Penn College event, which brought together 53 students from Penn College, Wilkes University and Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

Carolyn Sciblo, a medical student from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, offers thoughts about how to communicate with a patient.

The students participated in roundtable discussions of a medical case focused on the challenges of obesity, learning from one another how each discipline contributes to a patient’s care.

“The Collaborative Care Summit is designed to promote deliberate interprofessional interactions between health and allied profession students and working health care educators and professionals in our region,” Richmond explained.

Penn College physician assistant student Jessica R. Lehman, of Montoursville, listens intently to the perspectives of peers from other health fields.

Henninger added, “Facing rapidly rising complex and chronic patient conditions, an aging populace, shifting federal and state health care laws, cost containment and error-free practice initiatives, helping students to better understand and communicate their own professional identities and roles on a health care team is part of a national movement intended to face such pressing challenges. The annual Collaborative Care Summit is an important step toward better patient care, outcomes, and a more efficient and affordable health care system for all of us into the future.”

Student participants across the various summit locations represented 19 professions, from exercise science to pharmacy and medicine to social work. Simultaneous events were held at Marywood University, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, The University of Scranton, Kings College and Misericordia University.

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Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University