Our Faculty Spotlight celebrates the institutional partners who make the vital connections that drive the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance’s (MVA) collaborative learning environment.
Belmont University’s Dr. Amy Rasmussen has found the ideal balance between teaching and interdisciplinary practice. As an Assistant Professor of Nursing and the Director of Professional Development and Innovation at Inman College of Nursing, Dr. Rasmussen witnessed the benefits of working with a diverse team, and now she aims to share the power of collaboration with her students. "I love seeing students' growth and development," she says, adding that "it's so rewarding to witness them take the information you've taught them and use it in the real world and improve the lives of their patients.”
“Teaching is the destiny I never knew I had," Dr. Rasmussen admits. Her goal is to promote interdisciplinary professional development, and she will do so as a new faculty advisor for The Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance Interprofessional Education Program (IPE).
Rasmussen's first experience with interdisciplinary practice was at an HIV clinic. The clinic had a diverse team of experts, working in concert with one another to provide patients with more than just medical treatment. The team advanced holistic care and helped patients navigate complex lives, addressing issues like feeding their pets or working on relationship issues, especially for people facing end-of-life concerns. The high impact patient engagement at the clinic showed Dr. Rasmussen the true value of healing the whole individual by working with the patient’s own ecosystem. She was inspired to share this knowledge with her students and further integrate the practice of belonging, diversity and inclusion into institutional systems.
The Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance Interprofessional Education Program (IPE) provides a similar experience to students from a variety of health fields. Dr. Rasmussen emphasizes the importance of working with a diverse group of colleagues in solving complex healthcare issues. “Nursing today requires cultural competence; health providers must develop a keen awareness that people have their own views, feelings and ideas about the care they need. Practicing medicine today is about partnering with our patients as complex beings.” She says, "By sharing stories and personal experiences, [faculty advisors and IPE students] can demonstrate the value of interprofessional teamwork and the importance of being part of a collaboration committed to community development."
Dr. Rasmussen's breadth of experience, her commitment to diversity and equity and her determination to improve our health systems make her an excellent new addition to a vibrant group of faculty advisors for the IPE program. For more information about Dr. Rasmussen, visit her page bio.
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. With your engagement, we can strengthen our ability to help diversify medicine.