Research events highlight UIndy-Community Health Network partnership

The University of Indianapolis held the first annual Health Pavilion Scholarship Day in May to showcase research conducted by students and faculty in the health sciences disciplines. Held in tandem with the Community Health Network Research Symposium on campus, the events highlighted the growing partnership between the University of Indianapolis and Community Health Network.

UIndy students show research posters in the atrium of the Health Pavilion as part of the first annual Health Pavilion Scholarship Day hosted by the Health Science Colleges on Friday, May 19, 2017. The event was followed by the Second Annual Multidisciplinary Scholarly Activity Symposium held by Community Health Network with UIndy partnership support. Chad Priest, RN, JD, Chief Executive Officer of he American Red Cross of Indiana Region, is the speaker delivering a keynote on "The Healthcare Professionals of the Future" in Schwitzer following the luncheon. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

More than 20 faculty and students showcased their research experiences  at the Scholarship Day event held in the morning, which was hosted by all of the disciplines within the Health Pavilion. In the afternoon, keynote speakers Chad Priest and Ileana Ponce-Gonzalez of Community Health Network addressed issues surrounding the health care professions at the Community Health Network Research Symposium.

Organized by Erin Fekete, assistant professor and director of behavioral sciences, and Stephanie Combs-Miller, associate professor and director of research in the College of Health Sciences, Scholarship Day focused on the unique student-faculty collaboration opportunities available from freshman to graduate level at the University of Indianapolis.

Scholar’s Day was “an important chance to connect with peers who have similar research interests,” and demonstrated the potential for interprofessional collaboration at the Health Pavilion,” Combs-Miller said.

Carolyn Kirkendall, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, contributed to a research project that brought together physical therapy and nursing students. Starting with a sample of five students from each program, researchers set up an acute care scenario where participants collaborated on patient care.

“Once you put the students in an interprofessional situation, they see the value much more so than in a classroom,” Kirkdendall said. “It used to be a situation where the nurses would leave when physical therapists came into the room to let them do their work. Now they’re seeing the power of working together to improve patient outcomes.”

Research like Kirkendall’s project, which has grown to include 45 students from each discipline this fall, shows promise for future collaboration and innovative learning in the health sciences.

Interprofessional collaboration is also the focus of the University’s partnership with Community Health Network. That connection sets UIndy apart and provides students and faculty alike with unique opportunities for professional development, said Gurinder Hohl, UIndy-Community Health Network’s partnership director.

Hohl, who collaborated with Community Health Network to host the multidisciplinary symposium, said more scholarly activities are in the works, such as hosting grand rounds (which involves the presentation of medical cases to an audience) for students. Two Community Health Network employees will participate in UIndy’s grant school, which teaches skills in grant writing, over the summer.

“This one-of-a-kind partnership between an educational institution and healthcare service provider is designed to foster learning and scholarly activities by engaging academic and clinical staff,” Hohl said. “By planning and implementing research that involves students, faculty and staff, we hope to develop policy statements and evidence-based recommendations for providing and enhancing patient-centered care and education.”

Tracy Marschall, associate professor in the Department of Social Work, and her student, Turkessa Guthrie (’17, social work) presented research on using fiction and nonfiction to teach social work concepts to students.

Guthrie, who will begin her graduate studies in social work at UIndy in the fall of 2017, led class discussions about “The Sisters Are Alright” by Tamara Winfrey Harris, a book that challenges stereotypes of African-American women.

See a complete list of Health Pavilion Scholar’s Day presenters here.

Written by Sara Galer, Senior Communications Specialist, University of Indianapolis. Contact newsdesk@UIndy.edu with your campus news.