Interprofessional Education Celebrates a Decade of Student Success

Interprofessional Education Celebrates a Decade of Student Success

The MVA Interprofessional Education Program: A Decade of Impact

For ten years, the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance (MVA) Interprofessional Education (IPE) Program has empowered future healthcare leaders to address the roots of health disparities. The program's recent culmination saw teams of diverse health students present powerful community projects, marking a milestone in this groundbreaking initiative.

Bridging Education and Community Action

"Our IPE program is built on the idea that breaking down silos in healthcare education translates to improved health outcomes for marginalized populations," explains Dr. Christian Ketel, co-director of the IPE program. "Students from different disciplines learn together, then apply their combined knowledge to real-world problems alongside community partners."

This model fosters innovative solutions. Projects have ranged from wellness initiatives for vulnerable groups to increasing healthcare access for differently-abled communities, and even tackling complex policy challenges around re-entry for formerly incarcerated people.

Fostering Collaborative Leaders

The MVA seeks students from backgrounds as diverse as their projects – nursing, medicine, social work, public health, therapy fields, and more. "We want passionate students from Nashville institutions who are ready to challenge their own biases, collaborate across professions, and contribute creatively to community solutions.," says Dr. Ketel.

Megan Neiman, an occupational therapy student and recent IPE Alum, reflects on the impact of this immersive approach: "The program doesn't just cultivate better practitioners; it shapes health students to be better members of our society. We learn to care for whole communities, not just symptoms. I would absolutely recommend IPE to other health students!"

The Heart of the MVA Mission

"IPE is core to what we do at the MVA," says IPE program manager Mercedes Ridinger. "We bring together future healthcare professionals and put them in the heart of communities. They discover the power of close collaboration to drive lasting change in community health."

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The Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance (MVA) is a 20+year partnership between Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University Medical Center that serves to advance the shared interests of our institutions and community partners. The MVA is the epicenter of collaboration, capacity-building, and community engagement for health equity in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

IPE students solve unique problems together during team exercises.