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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 92

Partnering to Enhance Interprofessional Service-Learning Innovations and Addictions Recovery

1 Alberta Cancer Board, Calgary, AB, Canada
2 University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Correspondence Address:
T V Mihalynuk
Box ACB-2210- 2 St SW, Calgary, AB Canada T2S-0H6
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 18080958

Context: Service-learning programs are reported to benefit students, faculty, higher education institutions, community agencies and the relationships among these groups. An interprofessional service-learning paradigm may strengthen these benefits. Community settings can expose students to social and cultural determinants of health, in addition to those biomedical determinants more commonly addressed in health sciences curricula. These experiences can also enhance student understanding of the complexities underlying treatment and prevention of modern health problems, particularly chronic diseases. Objective: The purpose of this initiative was to create and deliver interprofessional service-learning innovations that would enhance student learning and addictions recovery. To address this initiative, the University of Washington's Health Science Partnerships in Interdisciplinary Clinical Education (HSPICE) and the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) began a community-campus partnership in 1997. Innovations took into account student educational objectives established by HSPICE which included: participation in interdisciplinary teams, in conjunction with community partners to identify and reduce population based health issues, realization and articulation of biases regarding issues faced by the participating community, acquiring an understanding of the broader determinants of health and developing an understanding of why the complexity of population health requires interdisciplinary strategies for cost effectiveness. Discussion: Findings are reported from evaluations, needs assessments and ongoing feedback of men recovering from addictions, as applied to health education materials and presentations developed for the ARC. Future directions are highlighted, including the need for further research and evaluation efforts aimed at rigorously assessing cost savings and student knowledge, skills and cultural sensitivity, among others.

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