Lightning Talk

Using an Interprofessional Approach to Address Community Health Needs

Sunday, August 21, 2022, 10:30 am - 11:30 am CDT
Community Health

This lightning talk will address the issue of health system transformation from the lens of community engagement through the Indiana Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Scholars program – a community focused interprofessional fellowship. We will describe the components, development, initial lessons learned, and preliminary outcomes of the AHEC Scholars approach to building interprofessionality among learners using community health projects.
This presentation is designed to address the Nexus Summit theme of “Interprofessional Learning for Collaborative Practice and Education”. In order to prepare health professions students for practice in interprofessional teams, they should be given adequate learning opportunities to interact with potential professional peers, gain insight into the roles, professional cultures, and contributions on a team. Community-based service learning has emerged as a valuable educational initiative for teaching interprofessional teamwork.1- 3 The community-based service-learning model challenges learners to effectively work together to address real community health needs and thus provide means of linking didactic knowledge with practical experience.
The Indiana Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Network’s mission is to enhance access to quality health care within underserved and rural populations. AHEC Scholars is a two-year program designed to improve a health professions student’s practice readiness skillset. The AHEC Scholars Program is intended for health profession students (medicine, physician assistants, nursing, public health, rehabilitation therapy, and other allied health) who have a strong interest in providing care to those living in rural and medically underserved communities across Indiana. The integration of the community-health needs capstone into the foundation of the AHEC Scholars program ensures a longitudinal learning opportunity for health profession learners to collaborate together in an interdisciplinary team to address the needs of their community.