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Faculty Member Leads Team of Interprofessional Faculty Providers from University of Houston to Attend National Training on Enhancing Cancer Care Education

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September 11, 2019

(HOUSTON, TX) -- Assistant Professor of Social Work, Chiara Acquati is the lead coordinator for a group of University of Houston faculty from various health disciplines who will attend an upcoming training in Chicago on advancing interprofessional education in cancer care that begins this November and will continue throughout the year through regular mentor meetings and webinars.

Professor Acquati, whose research has focused on better understanding the impact of cancer on patients and families, acknowledged the growing need to encourage collaboration among healthcare professionals across the seemingly endless disciplines and specializations at the university and beyond.

"This training will allow us to capitalize on learning opportunities we have created within our colleges, our skills and training, and create a synergistic and coherent platform at our institution to shape a culture that embraces teaching and learning and enhances patient outcomes," Acquati said.

Dr. Acquati was joined in the collaborative effort along with Cheryl Brohard, PhD, RN (College of Nursing), Ruth L. Bush, MD, MPH (College of Medicine), Lucy Kehinde, PhD, OD (College of Optometry) and Kathleen Reeve, DrPH, (College of Nursing).

The team was selected to participate in the Interprofessional Education Exchange (iPEX) project for 2019-2020 with the intention of working alongside professional mentors to better the experience of students learning to care for patients with cancer. This national training program for educators in developing interprofessional education for supportive care in oncology is coordinated by a team of faculty members from the Interdisciplinary Program for Palliative Care & Chronic Illness at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.  The team from Louisville selected eight teams from across the nation to participate in the training in IPE and the development of learning experiences in the context of palliative care and supportive oncology. The iPEX training course is sponsored by the National Cancer Insititute (NCI), one of the National Institutes of Health.

Acquati also expressed her hopes for how the opportunity will impact the health care system at-large.

“The ability to work effectively in interprofessional teams delivering clinical interventions and education to clients, families, and other providers is essential. Interprofessional education and training are the keys to strengthening the health care system and to promote positive patient and community care outcomes," Acquati said.