Nexus Leadership Blog: And the award goes to...

By Barbara Brandt

The 2017 Nexus Summit Pioneer Award

DeWitt “Bud” Baldwin, M.D., Scholar in Residence at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Rosalind Franklin University

John Gilbert, C.M., Ph.D., LLD., FCAHS, Principal & Professor Emeritus, College of Health Disciplines, University of British Columbia 

Madeline Schmitt, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP, Professor Emerita, University of Rochester

Dateline – 2006, London

The 2017 Nexus Pioneer Award has particular significance to the University of Minnesota and to me personally. Today, interprofessional education and collaborative practice has taken off in the United States, particularly since 2011. However, many are unaware of the long history of the field and the key players who championed the work.  Let me take you back to London at All Together Better Health III in 2006. Those of us working in the field of IPE in 2006 thought it had died in the United States for various reasons.  Frankly, there were not many of us left to carry the banner – and those of us with formal positions like mine as a vice president charged with interprofessional education and collaborative practice found it lonely.  We reached out both nationally and internationally to find like-minded colleagues.  

The three Pioneer Award recipients, very early on, worked tirelessly separately and then with colleagues such as Hugh Barr, PhD., President of CAIPE, to establish the field. Over the years, all have had editorial roles on the Journal of Interprofessional Care, today’s premier IPECP academic journal.  Bud and Mattie carried the touch for twenty-three years and met with colleagues annually, sharing work and research in the field.  A tireless Bud kept every piece of paper, proceedings, books and media over the years – and has graciously donated his treasure trove – currently being digitized in the Dr. DeWitt “Bud” Baldwin Collection on the Resource Center on

While Bud the physician, and Mattie the nurse sociologist, collaborated off and on since 1981, their colleague, John was building the College of Health Disciplines and the IPE program with his colleagues at the University of British Columbia. It was 1997 when they began to join forces – the group decided that the All Together Better Health conference, a biennial IPE conference, was beginning to take off, and it was time to join forces in a movement.  Another strand of the story at that time is that many of us had met annually at the Association of Academic Health Center’s Group of Multidisciplinary Education (GOMPE) until 2006.  It was that year that the three Pioneer Award recipients followed me into a room at the London ATBH III and closed the door.  Here is my recollection as I recounted it at the dedication of the DeWitt “Bud” Baldwin Institute for Interprofessional Education at Rosalind Franklin University on May 30, 2014:

“To pick up on why I think the future of IPE is bright, fast forward to 2006 – London, All Together Better Health. For the handful of United States representatives, including Bud, Mattie and me at this biannual international IPE meeting, we thought it was the last gasp of IPE in the United States. The Canadians were rising as a result of significant Health Canada funding in IPE and the formation of Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative. After more than thirty years of U.S. funding, programs and attempts to implement IPE in the US, few permanent programs seemed to be taking hold. In fact, some prominent programs had closed– slowly but surely many of us saw IPE in the U.S. slipping away. At that meeting, Mattie, Bud and John Gilbert of the University of British Columbia were interested in convening the Canadians with the remaining interested Americans to re-energize the field in the U.S. Mattie and John talked – perhaps coerced – me into considering hosting the first Collaborating Across Borders conference in Minneapolis. In October 2007. with less than ten months of planning, with Bud as an active participant and cheerleader, that first CAB meeting drew close to 300 participants. The rest is history – the CAB conferences as they are now known are offered in alternate years with All Together Better Health.”

Their stars permanently crossed with mine.  One never knows what is around the corner. The four of us are deeply satisfied that the field of interprofessional education and collaborative practice – or the “New IPE” (interprofessional practice and education) -- is gaining steam and permanence through multiple efforts such as the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) competencies, IPE accreditation standards, many interprofessional and uni-professional commitments, the American Interprofessional Health Collaborative, the World Health Organization commitment, the National Center and on and on.  We thank all for the thriving vitality and growth of the field. 

Each Pioneer awardee has a rich individual curriculum vitae that we will share at the Summit. Collectively, their work, particularly in North America, has a permanent stamp on the field that the National Center honors.  Until we see you in August, here are few resources for you to explore further on

An Interprofessional Celebration: JIC Special Edition Introduction by Madeline Schmitt

DeWitt C. Baldwin on

Learning from Bud:  The Bright Future of IPE

Coming of Age of Interprofessional Education and Practice 


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