A message from Jacqueline Lee Mok, Ph.D., vice president for academic, faculty and student affairs (AFSA):
You may recall from President Henrich’s April forum that our SACSCOC Reaffirmation Committee site visit in March went very well. As the President noted, the formal vote on our reaccreditation will not take place until December 2018, and we are optimistic of a favorable outcome.
Our SACSCOC Reaffirmation Committee also provided us with excellent commentary about our proposed Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Linking Interprofessional Networks for Collaboration (LINC), as part of their report to UT Health San Antonio regarding our compliance with accreditation standards and our QEP.
Since the time of our site visit, activities directed toward the development and implementation of the QEP initiatives have continued both within the schools and in AFSA. We have identified key leaders, initiated the gathering assessment data from programs, and started to build an online database of potential interprofessional activities.
In consultation with the Deans Council, our office has been working collaboratively to identify a faculty leader from each of our schools who will serve on our Interprofessional Education (IPE) Council. These faculty champions will benefit from the momentum provided by the QEP Steering Committee who ably articulated and presented our QEP proposal to the SACSCOC Reaffirmation Committee. I know I speak for our UT Health San Antonio community in offering, in particular, our immense gratitude to Dr. Ricky Joseph, Dr. Kristy Kosub, Dr. Lark Ford, Dr. Moshtagh Farokhi, Dr. Jose Cavazos, Dr. Janna Lesser, Dr. Blanca Treviño Bauer, Dr. Nakia Pope, Ms. Christine Gaspard, Ms. Melanie Stone, Ms. Lisa Serna, Ms. Kathy Paradise, and Ms. Paula Winkler for their stalwart service to bring us to this stage in developing the core of our QEP project.
Beginning this summer, we will leverage the power of our IPE Council to formalize IPE experiences within each school. Dr. Farokhi has agreed to continue as the School of Dentistry’s representative to our IPE Council. She will be joined by Dr. Temple Ratcliffe from the Long School of Medicine. Dr. David Henzi from the School of Health Professions will represent his School’s Interprofessional Education and Practice Committee at the institutional level. The representative for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences will be identified shortly.
Many of you have already been advancing interprofessional education within your courses and programs. One of the key expectations of our QEP – and indeed embedded in the QEP’s name – is to build the environment in which interprofessional education and practice will thrive. Already, we have new initiatives underway with the School of Nursing and Long School of Medicine for our incoming learners to engage collaboratively in formal educational activities. This is but one of numerous examples that will be part of our interactive database of IPE activities – an important repository being that will make our IPE infrastructure more faculty-driven and collaborative. Your School’s IPE Council representative will be an essential liaison to make sure we capture the breadth of our interprofessional endeavors and the assessment mechanisms you use to measure your activity’s success and impact. I encourage you to maximize the communication with your IPE Council representative and with our Office of Academic Effectiveness, led by Dr. Bauer.
A critical driver to help us sustain our momentum will be Dr. Ford in the School of Nursing, who has graciously agreed to accept the position of Interim Director for LINC. We will leverage her strong work throughout the conceptualization and development of LINC to best advantage. We shall also soon launch our national search for a permanent Director of LINC, and welcome your nominations of worthy candidates for this pivotal position.
In closing, thank you for helping us in identifying interprofessional education and collaboration as a pillar of strength across our educational programs. Your commitment to excellence will ensure we make lives better.