Interprofessional Continuing Ed Program Draws a Big Crowd
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Interprofessional Continuing Ed Program Draws a Big Crowd

Approximately 225 participants — almost quadruple the number that attended a similar session in 2019 —participated virtually in a recent interprofessional synchronous continuing education (IPE) course offered by Salus University. The event served as training for those supervising students and included sessions on setting students up for success and supervision vs. mentorship.

IPE virtual screen shotTitled “Strengthening Clinical and Education Supervising Skills: Cultivating Lifelong Learners,” the program, offered Feb. 9, 2023, represented Audiology, Blindness and Low Vision Studies (BLVS), Occupational Therapy (OT), Optometry, Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P), Physician Assistant (PA) Studies and Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) professions at Salus.

The content and educational activities for the event were designed by a working group that is a subset of the University’s Continuing Education advisory board.

Some of the learning objectives included: identifying Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) competencies; reviewing strategies for providing student feedback; identifying strategies to promote student success and learning in a direct service encounter; utilizing techniques to optimize communication between students and educators; and finally defining and describing the roles and responsibilities of supervisors vs. mentors.

IPE virtual screen shot2"Although it is considerably more work to provide CE credit for all professions included, it is always rewarding to witness how effectively representatives from Salus' professions learn about, from and with one another when designing and implementing an interprofessional continuing education program,” said Melissa Vitek, OD ‘95, FAAO, dean of the Department of International and Continuing Education (DICE) at the University. “This particular topic is critical as it provides up-to-date training to those supervising and mentoring our students in addition to strengthening our partnerships with our alumni and community members.”

In addition to Dr. Vitek, course instructors from Salus included Rachel Brackley, OD ‘09, Resident ‘10, director of the externship program in the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) at Salus; J. Chad Duncan, PhD, CRC, CPO, director of the O&P program; Michelle Fischer, MMS ‘09, assistant professor in the PA department; Chad Killen, OD ‘19, Resident ‘20, director of the PCO on-campus residency program; Patricia Mayro, MA, CCC-SLP, assistant professor in the SLP program; Bre Myers, AuD ‘06, PhD ‘17, assistant dean for the Foundations and Assessment of Audiologic Medicine in the University’s Osborne College of Audiology (OCA); Jonette Owen, AuD ‘03, associate dean for clinical education at OCA; Fabiana Perla, COMS, CLVR, chair of the BLVS department; Jeanne-Marie Pucillo, MSPAS, PA-C, clinical coordinator in the PA program; Robert Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, FNAP, chair of the SLP department; and Lauren Sponseller, PhD ‘17, MSOT/L MEd, chair of the OT department.

The first time the University held this type of event was in September 2019 and it was titled “Providing Clinical and Educator Supervision for 21st Century Learners.” That offering was delivered in a hybrid format and attracted 59 participants. It was later offered as an asynchronous course in 2020 and 46 participants completed the course utilizing that format.

“The extra efforts in marketing and the fully virtual delivery model resulted in an impressive outreach this time around,” said Dr. Vitek. “Additionally, the content was very well-received by the audience. We will continue to harness Salus’ rich interprofessional environment by similar offerings in the future.”