Showcase Presenter: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education
Patricia A. Cuff, MS, RD, MPH
Director, Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education
Patricia A. Cuff, M.S., R.D., M.P.H. is a Senior Program Officer for the Board on Global Health within the division of Health and Medicine. Her primary role is the Director of the Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education. She is co-directing the study on Clinical Trials During the 2014-2015 Ebola Outbreak and was the Country Liaison to the Uganda National Academy of Sciences where she worked for 11 years with African academy staff and members in developing their capacity to provide evidence-based science advice to their governments and to their nations. Prior to her role with the African academies, she was the Study Director for the Committee on the Options for Overseas Placement of U.S. Health Professionals and with the Board on Neuroscience and Behavioral Health. Patricia joined the Academies staff to work on the report, “Emerging Microbial Threats to Health in the 21st Century” under the Board on Global Health. Before coming to Washington, DC, Patricia worked at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City in the field of HIV nutrition as a counselor, researcher, and lecturer on topics of adult and pediatric HIV. She received a M.S. in Nutrition and a M.P.H. in Population and Family Health from Columbia University, and performed her undergraduate studies at the University of Connecticut.
Two landmark reports set in motion the idea for establishing a global network of health professionals that could be the catalyst for needed reforms in health and educational systems around the world. These reports—Health Professionals for a New Century (Frenk et al., 2010) and The Future of Nursing (IOM, 2011)—laid the foundation for the establishment of the Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education (the Forum) in January 2012. As part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the Forum offers a neutral platform on which all health professions can come together to share valued perspectives on topics of mutual concern.
The Forum currently has 56 appointed members who are academic experts and health professionals representing 19 different professions from 9 developed and developing countries. It is co-chaired by Malcolm Cox, former Chief Academic Affiliations Officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs and Susan Scrimshaw, President of The Sage Colleges. Under direction of the co-chairs, members select topics for two major activities per year that are funded by the 45 member/sponsors of the Forum. The Forum has taken on such issues as accreditation, assessment, and community-based health professional education in an effort to find common ground to promote collaboration among the professions. This was most pronounced with the two activities the Forum undertook to learn about best practices for interprofessional education (IPE) and to gain a greater understanding of challenges and opportunities when attempting to measure the impact of IPE on collaborative practice and patient outcomes.
Most recently, the individual sponsors of the Forum supported a consensus study that created a framework for educating health professionals to understand and act upon the social determinants of health. The framework was developed by a diverse, independent committee of experts who were brought together under the umbrella of the Academies. Representing a wide array of health professions and cultures, the committee explored how the education of health professionals is currently addressing the social determinants of health in and with communities. What became apparent through their work is the lack of a systematic approach and the need for a holistic, consistent, coherent structure aligning education, health, and other sectors in partnership with communities. Their framework is comprised of three domains (education, community, and organization) that are underpinned by key concepts (transformative learning, dynamic partnerships, and lifelong learning) and appear—both explicitly and implicitly— throughout the descriptions of the three domains. The importance of interprofessional education and collaboration among all parties features prominently throughout the entire report and echoes the values held by members of the Global Forum.
- Learners will understand how the work of the AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative is preparing students to succeed in our evolving health care systems.
- Learners will understand how innovative work in IPE aligns with the broader focus on integrating Health Systems Science into undergraduate medical education curricula
- Learners will understand how several medical schools in the AMA Consortium are engaged in innovation in IPE and team-based care.