Analysis of an Interprofessional Experiential Learning Program Utilizing the Case of Henrietta Lacks
Hunt, L., Tkach, N., Kaushansky, L., & Benz Scott, L. (2019). Analysis of an Interprofessional Experiential Learning Program Utilizing the Case of Henrietta Lacks. Pedagogy in Health Promotion. https://doi.org/10.1177/2373379919875750
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An experiential interprofessional learning opportunity for university students was developed to demonstrate core competencies (CC) based on the Interprofessional Education Collaborative and to foster a deeper understanding of the interaction between literature, health care, and social justice. Faculty members in the Schools of Professional Development, Public Health, Medicine, and Social Welfare at Stony Brook University contributed to the program including use of the book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (2010). The book was a springboard to combine John Dewey’s educational ideas of constructivist learning with select CC. Invitations for participation were extended to faculty and students enrolled in graduate programs in Teaching, Public Health, Medicine, Social Work, and Physician Assistant Education as well as undergraduate health science majors. The ultimate learning event was a 4-hour evening program that facilitated teamwork and collaboration among the 250 participants. The event presented information and context in multiple ways: The book inspired an innovative presentation, followed by pointed questions, discussion, problem solving and reflection. Topics explored included communication across cultures and diverse populations, privacy and patient rights, professional roles and responsibilities, and advocacy for self and others. Following the event course, instructors collected post-event reflective essays submitted by the master of public health student participants, which were analyzed using qualitative methods. This article describes the experiential learning program and the evaluation of its impact on students, with the purpose of enhancing the potential for other institutions to replicate this novel educational structure and achieve Interprofessional Education Collaborative CC.