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UMB Seed Grant Supports Interprofessional Internship Initiative at the Universities at Shady Grove

A unique summer internship program established by the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) and funded in part by the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) has enabled 12 students to work across disciplines in a community setting.

Based at the Rockville, Md., campus where UMB offers a growing array of programs, the eight-week internship was conducted within the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Four graduate and eight undergraduate students experienced interdisciplinary teamwork by visiting several service agencies throughout Montgomery County.

One purpose of the seed grant from UMB's Center for Interprofessional Education (IPE) was to encourage collaboration, which is among UMB's core values. The interns worked together on interprofessional teams. At the same time, they were learning how to integrate services for complex patient cases such as those that make up a portion of the caseload at DHHS.

A multi-institutional faculty and staff work group developed and implemented the internship. Heather Congdon, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (SOP); Joan Pittman, PhD, MSW, LCSW-C, of the University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW); and Rebecca Wiseman, PhD, RN, of the University of Maryland School of Nursing (SON), represented UMB and the schools' Shady Grove operations.

The group included Mary Lang, MBA, of USG; Lynn Cook, assistant director of the Shady Grove program in Public Health Science for the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP); Diane Alonso, PhD, of the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); and Katherine Morris, MSW, LCSW-C, of the UMBC Department of Social Work.

Morris also served as a faculty coordinator and, along with Ron Rivlin, MEd, the DHHS coordinator, was one of two facilitators who oversaw curriculum development and programs.

Shady Grove interns

Participants, in the back row, left to right, are UMB students Sheheryar Muhammad and Courtney Bannister (SOP), Anna Balakirsha (SSW), and Abaneh Ebangwese (SON), who are shown standing with UMBC student Denis Escolero (Social Work); UMB student Molly Vogel (SSW); and UMBC student Brigitte Bard (Psychology). In the front row, left to right, are UMBC student Christina Huynh (Social Work); UMCP student Sara Torabian (Public Health Science); UMB student Claire Graham (SON); UMCP student Carol Ferrebu (Public Health Science); and UMBC student Elisabeth Tiren (Psychology). The photo is courtesy USG Communications.

The internship began June 2 and concluded July 23 with presentations to DHHS by the students about their experiences with the agency's integrated approach and recommendations to help DHHS move forward in expanding integrated services.

As Kristen Koehler, communications coordinator at USG, posted on its site, they also reflected on what the internship meant to them. Some remarks included: "It was truly an invaluable program. I am very grateful for having the opportunity to learn about all of the services and resources that are available right here in Montgomery County."..."It was an incredible experience; I was able to understand what each discipline does and how they can work together"...."This was an amazing experience. I learned so much about the different disciplines and what areas I can apply my skills to. It was a very rewarding experience."

At the conclusion of the student presentations, UMBC's Morris reflected: "Our students were terrific, it was the first time we have tried this and they have set the bar very high. They were enthusiastic sponges that were willing to explore any opportunity and were able to see how many services DHHS provides in the county and learn about the department and numerous efforts at service integration. It was also amazing to see how it expanded their thoughts about their own professional opportunities and future goals."

Participating service agencies in Montgomery County were The Tree House, Avery Road Treatment Center, Linkages to Learning, Child Protective Services, and Men's Homeless Shelter.

UMB is among the University System of Maryland institutions that offer programs at USG, and its schools of nursing, pharmacy, and social work have expanded or have made plans to expand opportunities for graduate students who wish to study in Montgomery County.

UMB's Center for IPE, established in 2013 and directed by SON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, offered a series of seed grants to encourage faculty to propose and conduct IPE initiatives.

The $9,000 seed grant for "Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Interprofessional Summer Internship," was awarded to Wiseman, SON associate professor and assistant dean for the nursing program at Shady Grove, in collaboration with five interdisciplinary colleagues.

Lang is chief strategy officer at USG; Alonso is UMBC senior lecturer and director of the Department of Psychology's Shady Grove program; and Morris is UMBC's program director of social work at Shady Grove.

Pittman is a clinical assistant professor at SSW and director of the Master's in Social Work program at Shady Grove, and Congdon is SOP assistant dean at Shady Grove and a co-director of the UMB Center for IPE.

Posting Date: 08/14/2014
Contact Name: Patricia Fanning
Contact Phone: 410-706-7946
Contact Email: pfanning@umaryland.edu