ILOTA Communique December 2017 Communique | Page 6

October / November / December • Issue 4 • 2017
Elizabeth Peterson , PhD , OTR / L , FAOTA Michael Koronkowski , Pharm D
Memoona Hasnain , MD , MHPE , PhD Valerie Gruss , PhD , APN , CNP-BC

UIC ’ s Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program “ ENGAGE-IL ” Leads to Educational Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Practitioners

Interprofessional education ( IPE ) is increasingly recognized as an essential component of training for many health professions , including occupational therapy . Educational standards set forth by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education ( ACOTE ®) for occupational therapy assistant and occupational therapy programs at both the master ’ s and doctoral levels include IPErelated expected learning outcomes for students . This is not surprising . Together , the U . S . patient safety movement , along with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act initiatives focus on the value and quality of medical services , as opposed to the volume of care provided , and create an imperative for IPE and interprofessional ( IP ) collaborative practice ( Dow & Thibault , 2017 ; Case-Smith , Page , Darragh , Rybski , & Cleary , 2014 ). IPE is especially important to support health care providers ’ effectiveness in the area of gerontology . The health and well-being of older adults is dependent upon the delicate interplay among physical , psychosocial and contextual factors . Health care team members can work collaboratively as a means to reduce errors , improve the quality of care , and control health care costs ( WHO , 2010 ).
Barriers to IPE in gerontology range from the paucity of available programs and the breadth of topics to be covered , to the complex logistics of coordinating schedules to allow for meaningful IP learning experiences . Recognizing the challenges and the need for resources to support expertise in geriatrics among diverse health care professionals , educators at the University of Illinois at Chicago ( UIC ) sought and secured a 3-year , $ 2.5 million grant titled ENGAGE-IL ( ENhancement of Geriatric Care for All through TraininG and Empowerment ). The project was funded by the Health Resources & Service Administration ( HRSA ) as part of HRSA ’ s Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program ( GWEP ) which aims to integrate geriatrics into primary care .
The ENGAGE-IL funding has supported a number of geriatric IPE efforts at UIC , including an interprofessional Scholars and Leaders in Geriatrics course ( offered in 2016 and 2017 ) for occupational therapy students from the College of Applied Health Sciences and students from the Colleges of Medicine , Nursing , Pharmacy and Social Work . The course is designed to enable students to acquire attitudes , values as well as attain core competencies necessary for comprehensive , patient-and familycentered geriatric care in teams , and provides e x p e r i e n t i a l learning across various clinical and communitybased settings . The course assignments and debriefing opportunities facilitated students ’ reflections on a range of topics including scope of practice across disciplines , characteristics of effective team-work , health care disparities , leadership , advocacy and ethics .
The target audience for ENGAGE-IL ’ s educational efforts extends beyond UIC students . The ENGAGE-IL team has launched the Online Accredited Learning Interprofessional Geriatrics Program ( OALIG ). The program consists of a library of free , on-line continuing education ( CE ) modules on topics related to gerontology . These topics include , but are not limited to the aging process , falls among communitydwelling older adults , caregiver burden , common acquired hospital complications , community services , and payment systems , pain management , and sleep quality . To date , 20 education modules have been developed and are available at engageil . com , with more modules being developed each month . Most of the modules are 30 minutes in length , and all were developed , written , and reviewed by interprofessional content experts .
UIC ENGAGE-IL is an AOTA Approved Provider (# 10173 )*, and occupational therapy practitioners around the country can earn CE credit for completing the modules . The
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