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University of Saint Joseph Gets Federal Funding for Interprofessional Health Educational Center

From left: Rebecca Morton, MSN, RN-BC (USJ Adjunct Lab Faculty); Xhulia Seitllari (USJ FNP Graduate Student); U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy; Emily Falanga (USJ PA Student); and Melissa Andrews (USJ FNP Graduate) Student. Photo credit: University of Saint Joseph (courtesy)

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy visited USJ in West Hartford Tuesday to announce the funding for a program that encourages collaboration between health care professionals.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy announces a federal donation to s support a collaborative program at USJ. Courtesy photo

By Ronni Newton

The University of Saint Joseph is in the process of developing programming specifically for the interprofessional training of students in its health care disciplines, and $900,000 in federal funds is a welcome boost the program at the West Hartford campus.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy visited USJ on Tuesday to announce the grant.

“We were able to win a pretty significant grant for Saint Joseph’s, and I wanted to come today to see what it’s going to allow this fantastic university to do,” Murphy said. “If you’re a patient, you want good professionals, but you also want to make sure that your professionals know how to work with each other, and this funding is going to allow for Saint Joseph’s to build an interdisciplinary program in which nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants in their training are learning how to work together.”

USJ “trains a lion’s share of the professionals that end up treating patients in Connecticut, particularly in the Greater Hartford area, and I’m glad that the federal government is helping really build up their ability to deliver a high quality education,” Murphy added.

The funds will support renovation and equipment costs for an Interprofessional Health Education Center (IHEC) at the campus, a program that focuses on building collaboration between physicians, pharmacists, and nurses as they create treatment plans for the care of patients.

USJ’s relocation of its pharmacy program from Hartford to the West Hartford campus as of August was part of the efforts to enhance interprofessional education, providing the pharmacy students with access to programs in other health care disciplines already housed on the main campus – including nursing, nutrition, physician assistant studies, health science, exercise science, counseling/applied behavior studies, public health, and social work – to provide for collaborative and patient-centered care training.

The IHEC will allow USJ to further develop curricula and programming for cross-disciplinary training in an environment that also fosters innovation.

According to USH, “interprofessional health care enhances the patient experience, improves population health, reduces costs, and improves the work life of health care providers, including clinicians and staff. While interprofessional health care typically includes physicians, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, and physician assistants – specifically trained to treat physical health – patient care often includes social workers, behavior analysts, and counselors/therapists.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy announces a federal donation to s support a collaborative program at USJ. Courtesy photo

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