Weekly Meeting - July 17: Interprofessional Education in Action at Michigan Medicine

Speaker: Brent C. Williams is Professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Director, Complex Care Management Program, at Michigan Medicine. After receiving his M.D. in 1983 from the University of Illinois, he did his residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia Hospitals (1986-1988) before completing a fellowship in that specialty there in 1989. He has developed clinical programs to improve care and decrease inappropriate health care expenses among high-utilizing patients with combined medical, mental health, and substance abuse issues who also have to contend with poverty and/or homelessness. Dr. Williams is the primary liaison for Michigan Medicine with Community Mental Health Services and co-chairs a task force developing joint clinical programs between those two entities. He also serves on the Washtenaw Health Initiative’s Steering Committee and on its multiple work groups related to safety net clinics and mental health services. Dr. Williams is Director of the University of Michigan Medical School Global Health and Disparities Path of Excellence, a co-curricular pathway providing medical students the opportunity to participate in summer research activities across the globe and develop leadership skills through a series of community-based learning experiences, seminars, and structured learning experiences. He also maintains an active primary care practice at the Taubman Center of the University of Michigan Hospital.

October 17, 2018, saw the first Interprofessional Education in Action event held at Crisler Center. More than 1200 health science students (125 of them from the Flint and Dearborn campuses) and faculty crowded around 80 tables on the floor of Crisler, while another 35 discussion groups settled into the stands. Students came from areas including dentistry, kinesiology, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical and respiratory therapy, public health, and social work. James Holloway, Vice-Provost for Global Engagement and Interdisciplinary Affairs, set the tone for the event by observing that “the delivery of health care is focused on teamwork.” After a warm-up “health care bingo” game, participants spent the bulk of their time sharing various approaches to a patient scenario: the multiple medical and psychological barriers to care encountered by a 63-year-old woman named “Mary” with multiple diagnosed and undiagnosed ailments. Participants left at the conclusion with a better understanding of how collaborating interprofessional teams can achieve the “quadruple aim” of health care: improved patient experience, improved population health, increased workforce satisfaction, and reduced cost of care. Dr, Williams had a leadership role in planning this exercise. He will explain why interprofessional collaboration outside the Emergency Room context holds the key to optimizing the delivery of health care today.