Monday, October 13, 2014

The Sage Colleges: President Susan Scrimshaw Says Ebola Is Our Teachable Moment

The Sage Colleges 

The Sage Colleges President Susan Scrimshaw recently co-chaired an Institute of Medicine (IOM) workshop that included timely lessons for managing an ebola outbreak.
Earlier this year, members of the IOM's Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education assembled to substantively delve into issues affecting the scale-up of health professional education for working with communities. Participants heard a variety of individual accounts from innovators about work they are undertaking and opportunities for education within communities. In presenting a variety of examples that range from student community service to computer modeling, the workshop fostered discussions about how educators might better integrate education with practice in communities.

A statement of task provided the basis on which the workshop planning committee developed the event’s agenda. The task read, “There is growing evidence from developed and developing countries that community-based approaches are effective in improving the health of individuals and populations. This is especially true when the social determinants of health are considered in the design of the community-based approach.

"With an aging population and an emphasis on health promotion, the United States is increasingly focusing on community-based health and health care. Preventing disease and promoting health calls for a holistic approach to health interventions that rely more heavily on interprofessional collaborations.”

The workshop report, “Building Health Workforce Capacity Through Community-Based Health Professional Education,” summarizes the presentations and discussions of this event.

“Ebola is our teachable moment,” Scrimshaw said. “This is a crucial and historic time as we seek to address and improve the way we approach global health care issues. The workshop reinforced a couple of critical points that we need to remember both in the United States and overseas.

If we don’t pay attention to teamwork, we are going to see more mistakes like the one we saw in the Texas ebola case. We need to appropriately educate all members of our communities, and educate our health professionals to work in teams and with communities. Otherwise community and interprofessional misunderstandings will present many challenges that will seriously hinder our ability to effectively manage these threats.”

Interdisciplinary academics, community engagement, international exposure, and artistic and athletic endeavors are among the pillars of the educational experience at the Sage Colleges. Sage enrolls more than 3,000 students in bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs at the coeducational undergraduate Sage College of Albany in Albany; the undergraduate Russell Sage College for women in Troy; and the graduate-level Esteves School of Education, School of Health Sciences and School of Management with programs on both campuses.    

--Jennie Grey

--Please note my new contact information below--

Education reporter
The Saratogian and The Record newspapers
20 Lake Ave.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Office: 518-290-3898
Work cell: 518-222-2109            

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