The Covid pandemic has had a profound effect in many ways. For health professions educators, the stress of caring for their patients, each other, and often finally themselves and their families, has left little time to consider professional development. Resources for such development have also been limited more than in the past. Duke AHEAD, an academy of interprofessional educators at Duke University Health System has the mission to support and promote health profession educators with opportunities for education innovation and faculty development. With over 950 members, this can be a daunting task, particularly during a pandemic.
We discussed based on needs assessments, what our educator community needed at this unique time. We had noticed that offering long-term grants to this community right now did not meet their needs practically or strategically. ASPIRE was initiated. ASPIRE is an acronym for “Achievement, Scholarship, Perseverance, Innovation, Resilience, and Excellence.” These are all identified hopes and goals for our Duke AHEAD educators and anything that can support these goals particularly after over two years of the “new normal” meets an important need.

Using funds budgeted for our yearly grants , Duke AHEAD put out a call to faculty and staff members of Duke AHEAD and offered support for executive coaching sessions ( up to 5), bio statistical support for their educational research project, editorial support, matched travel support to an education meeting, consultation with our education research consortium (including those experienced in qualitative and quantitative research and assessment) and finally team wellness activities.
ASPIRE is a pivot from standard grants for education projects and acknowledges that health profession educators were focused on adjusting to the clinical and, professional, and personal changes that the pandemic caused for so many. ASPIRE’s success will be assessed by a post activity survey and assessment of team participation.