- The Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY) and the New York State Academic Dental Centers (NYSADC), with support from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the ADEAGies Foundation, convened an interprofessional group of more than 60 state and national leaders from academic health centers to envision the future health care delivery environment of the mid 21st century.
Representatives from medicine, dentistry, nursing, public health, social work, psychology, hospital systems, health policy and management, including recent inductees into the Institute of Medicine (IOM), discussed the future direction of health care education and delivery. They sought opportunities for working collectively across the professions, to help bridge the widening gap between the current training and practice of health care professionals and society's needs.
George E. Thibault, MD, president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation; and Richard W. Valachovic, DMD, MPH, president of ADEAGies Foundation gave opening remarks at the conference and noted the significance of the initiative and its importance for bringing together health professionals to work toward the same goal of improved health care outcomes. The conference was based on the following premises:
• Health professions' education must evolve beyond 20th century models; as such educational content and learning experiences must be pertinent to practice in the 21st century.
• The development of interprofessional teams offers the potential to significantly improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of health care delivery; structural changes to the educational system need to be implemented in order to foster collaborative models of interprofessional training.
Conference participants were asked to identify educational challenges and areas for curricular reform, and determine organizational change strategies for transitioning outdated models of education into models that are better aligned with contemporary health care delivery. Participants also worked to develop a leadership curriculum for health professions educators who would adequately prepare them to educate future health care teams practicing in the mid 21st century.
The conference yielded a set of recommendations for health professionals leading in an era of uncertainty and continuous change related to the training and leadership of interprofessional teams across the continuum of education and practice, educational informatics, systems-based quality improvement, and change management.
According to Jo Wiederhorn, AMSNY/NYSADC president and chief executive officer, AMSNY and NYSADC plan to facilitate increased opportunities for interprofessional collaboration across health care institutions in NYS and nationally.
"No single action can transform the way health care is delivered," said Wiederhorn. "However through collaboration across all of the health professions, we can significantly improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery."
AMSNY and NYSADC will release a full report of the conference proceedings in early winter of 2010.