Interprofessional Education Course Provides New Opportunities for KSU Students During COVID-19

Students work with health care partners on COVID-19 projects

In 2021, the College of Public Health received funding to create a new Interprofessional Education (IPE) Concepts course. Since inception, 42 students have completed the course and five faculty have completed or taught the course. 

Interprofessional education is an approach where “students from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.” Source: World Health Organization (WHO). (2010). Framework for action on interprofessional education & collaborative practice.  Geneva: World Health Organization

According to College of Public Health Dean Sonia Alemagno, Ph.D., although the course was originally planned as a traditional in-person class, it has also been taught remotely synchronous and asynchronous during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Students love this course. We have received very positive feedback, and plan to continue our efforts post-pandemic,” said dean Alemagno. “Our community partners appreciate students’ teamwork. It’s been beneficial for our students and partners alike.”

The course was first taught in Spring 2021 and is now offered every semester. Undergraduate and graduate students work together in the class in interdisciplinary teams.

The course focuses on the core competencies developed at the national level and applied to the COVID-19 pandemic: 

  • values/ethics for interprofessional practice

  • roles/responsibilities

  • interprofessional communication 

  • teams and teamwork

Priya Midha, a second year doctoral student specializing in epidemiology, had the opportunity to work in the COVID-19 contact tracing team with the Lake County General Health District. “I am extremely thankful for this experience because I could use the skills that I acquired through my training in epidemiology to work with other health professionals in other fields that were also on the forefront of the pandemic response. I felt that I could really make a difference in my community during a time of need,” said Midah. “As I move forward in my Ph.D. program, I am now a member of an interprofessional team with the Kent CIty Health Department. There, I’m working alongside other public health professionals and I’m continuing to apply my epidemiological skills to analyze data related to cancer incidence,” she concluded. 

Partner organizations to date include the Kent City Health Department, Portage County Combined Health District, and University Hospitals Portage Medical Center. Plans are underway for Summa Health and Cleveland Clinic Akron General teams.

For more information about working with a Kent State IPE team at your organization, contact Tracy Schlemmer at 330-672-6512 or


Pictured: Priya Midha

POSTED: Wednesday, March 23, 2022 11:58 AM
UPDATED: Saturday, December 03, 2022 01:02 AM