NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On April 8, 2021, students from local institutions who participated in the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance (MVA) Interprofessional and Interinstitutional Education (IPE) Student Project gathered via Zoom for a recognition ceremony showcasing their efforts to improve the community through partnerships with nonprofit and community-based organizations and faculty mentors.
Through the IPE program, student teams collaborated with several community-based organizations via Zoom, email, and other virtual methods to craft new and innovative ways to help vulnerable populations in and around Nashville.
Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA)
Two teams worked with MDHA to plan the development of summer learning curriculums geared toward empowering young girls of color. Young women from black and brown communities are often viewed as less important and can face unique challenges navigating a society steeped in social injustice. This unfortunate reality makes it crucial to engage with them early to foster higher self-esteem and promote mental well-being.
Students who collaborated with the Oasis Center produced a series of vignettes for the Oasis YouTube channel, wherein each team member described their respective life journey as a medical student. These videos showcased each student’s unique story in becoming a part of the healthcare field, highlighting challenges and setbacks they faced along the way.
Urban Housing Solutions (UHS)
The team partnered with UHS created a booklet for its residents on how to overcome barriers to healthcare faced by many low-income individuals. This booklet resulted from a holistic look at the lives of residents through information gathered by conversations with organizational leadership and meetings held with community members to determine their needs.
Dismas House, a foster community for formerly incarcerated men, worked with an IPE team to develop a survey to anonymously solicit feedback from residents about their experience at the house. This feedback could then be analyzed to determine how staff might better serve residents at these locations.
MVA Executive Director Dr. Karen Winkfield congratulated the students for completing their task amidst unprecedented obstacles. “You did it, you did it fantastically and you did it curing COVID,” she said. “Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to ask the people impacted by it, and that’s what you’ve done.”
Participating academic institutions included the Belmont University College of Health Sciences and Nursing: Undergraduate Nursing, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy; Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy; Meharry Medical College: College of Dentistry, School of Medicine and School of Public Health; Tennessee State University: School of Social Work; Vanderbilt University: School of Nursing (Masters of Science in Nursing, Advanced Practice); and Vanderbilt University Medical Center: Nutrition Intern Program.