Over the last several years, the concept of interprofessional education has become a point of emphasis in healthcare education.

I always tell students that healthcare is a team sport. When nursing or respiratory therapy students go into the workplace, and the first time they respond to a code or the first time they’re in the ICU or ER with a critically ill or injured patient, they’re going to realize there’s a nurse over here, a pharmacy tech there, a physician, a lab tech and radiology tech beside them – they’re part of a patient-centered, multidisciplinary team.

Yet when we educated healthcare students, we were teaching in silos.

Today, there are no silos in the healthcare workplace. We have to prepare our students to function effectively as a member of that multidisciplinary team.

I hosted a retreat at my ranch last year with faculty from all six of our School of Health Sciences programs plus MSSU administration, faculty from the social work and laboratory medical science departments, and KCU-Joplin medical school faculty. The focus was on helping all who attended understand what interprofessional education is and why it’s so important.

Another point of emphasis in the School of Health Sciences is understanding how we can provide a better educational experience for our students and make our school stronger by working with other programs and resources on campus and in the healthcare community. We could not operate our clinical programs without the partnerships we have with our clinical training sites throughout the region.

The newest example of this collaboration is in our new B.S. in Healthcare Administration program we plan to begin offering in Fall 2019. When students think about healthcare, they think about the clinical side; most people do. When students think about going into the business field, they think about obtaining a business degree. With this program we’re integrating the two, so our graduates can be prepared to go into entrylevel positions on the nonclinical or business side of healthcare with a unique educational foundation to support their progress into management and leadership positions.

With collaboration between the School of Health Sciences, Plaster School of Business and other MSSU academic departments, and the regional healthcare business community, we will be able to provide students with a unique undergraduate education that prepares them for entry-level, nonclinical positions in healthcare or for postgraduate programs in healthcare administration or business with a healthcare emphasis.

We can raise the bar on the type of people moving into the nonclinical or business side of healthcare by providing better-prepared graduates. They will have an educational foundation in healthcare business, management, and leadership with insight into what healthcare is all about – patient care…people taking care of people.