For the fifth year, the Michigan Center for Professional Education (C-IPE) has honored those who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of education and practice among professionals with its IPE Innovation and Excellence Awards.
The Awards were created to recognize and celebrate demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship, or leadership in the areas of Interprofessional Education (IPE) or Professional Practice (IPP) across the University of Michigan’s Colleges of Health Sciences. This year’s award recipients included an individual and a team, and the awards were presented at the University of Michigan Health Professions Education Day on April 4, 2023. They are:
Nikki Tropiano, IPE Student Innovation and Excellence Award
When Nikki Tropiano attended medical school, her goal was to develop and create IPE curricula to improve students’ learning with and from each other. She hit the ground running, eventually serving as a professional representative for the medical school chapter, serving with C-IPE as Co-Chair of the Student Advisory Committee (SAC), as a member of the Executive Committee and participating with two working groups.
This award includes the breadth and depth of the IPE work Nikki was involved in while at the University of Michigan. Some notable contributions include helping to create and implement the pilot program, Longitudinal Family Professional Experience (LIFE), which was recognized with Provost’s Teaching Innovation Award in 2022. She worked on two introductory IPE modules, providing a student perspective, and participated in numerous conferences and presentations Presentations, posters and flyers.
While her contributions are many, she is most proud of the relationships she has forged with faculty and learners across multiple programs.
One of her award nominees shared, “Nikki is an important member of our team, and her influence will be remembered long after she graduates.”
Health and Disability Team, IPE Faculty/Staff Innovation and Excellence Award
Members of this team have designed and created an impressive range of innovative, try and real professional (IP) activities within the Health and Disability elective course. Award recipients include Gillian Woodworth (College of Health Sciences, UM-Flint), Laura Smith (College of Health Sciences, UM-Flint), Jane Andrioli (Center for Learning and Education Research) and Stephen Erickson (College of Pharmacy).
The objective of this class was to contribute to the establishment of an IP healthcare workforce capable of providing a person-centred approach to patients with disabilities in an effort to improve quality of care and reduce disparities in health outcomes. 72 students (41 students from pharmacy, public health, nursing, and bioinformatics at UM-Ann Arbor; 31 students from occupational therapy and physical therapy at UM-Flint) worked with 21 community partners over the course of six weeks. Students focused on enhancing their intellectual property communication skills, raising awareness of disability-related issues and understanding the social determinants that affect health outcomes for people with disabilities.
“This course is very valuable for the education of future healthcare professionals,” one candidate shared. It provides opportunities for students to learn about the experiences of people with disabilities with the healthcare system and healthcare professionals. It also provides an opportunity for students to understand the daily lives of people with disabilities. What is exciting is the incorporation of professions into student groups, which also allows students to learn about other health professions. It intentionally supports people – including patients, families and communities – to learn together to enhance collaboration.”
Awards were presented by Rajesh Mangrolkar, Director, Center for Interprofessional Education.
“Our award winners have worked tirelessly on this mission of advancing IPE and equity to help shape the future of health and wellness care,” he said. “Our community has really benefited from them and the other candidates because they elevate teamwork as a core value of our work at this university.”