Building Interprofessional Collaboration to Support Health Disparities Research

Monday, 22 July 2013: 1:30 PM

Linda F. Samson, PhD, RN, BC, NEA, BC
College of Health and Human Services, Governors State University, University Park, IL

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify three processes that may be effective in building interprofessional research teams to address issues of health inequity.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe application of community-based participatory research principles to interprofessional health disparities research.

Purpose:   To determine whether a non-research university could develop a program of interprofessional research focused on health disparities. Aims: Provide mentored support to develop research capacity in junior faculty. Create an environment to support research including physical space, hardware, software, biostatistics support, human subjects’ protection protocols, and assistance with financial and grants management. Build on the engaged community and enhance CBPR. Use the diversity of the environment to create interprofessional research teams around common issues. Develop a cadre of faculty with independent extramural funding.

Methods: A Center was created to house the project. An external advisory board supported the project teams. Mentors were assigned to junior faculty participants. Work was accomplished to support development and maintenance of interprofessional teams. Infrastructure for a viable Office of Sponsored Research occurred. Workshops on grant writing and publication assistance facilitated scholarship. CBPR strategies were employed to select research topics for the investigative teams.

Results: During the project period 7 articles were published, two faculty members received independent funding, an R03 from AHRQ and an R15 from NIDCD. Several other faculty are continuing to collect data to support additional extramural funding applications. Three unsuccessful R01 applications also were developed and may be resubmitted. An Office of Sponsored Research is in place although it is not fully staffed. Systemic changes have occurred but not at the level anticipated. Community engagement remains strong and there are ongoing interprofessional collaborations in place.

Conclusion: Efforts to support faculty research were somewhat successful, with time constraints most problematic. Teaching loads and internal processes prevented some results. As junior faculty achieved tenure without stronger research accomplishments, interest in and participation in research diminished. As we work to train more clinicians skilled in interprofessional practice and collaboration, additional strategies need to be developed.

Supported by NIMHD funding Grant number 1 P20 MD001816-01