ASU center wins national interprofessional collaboration award


The team from CAIPER pose for a group photo in front of a stage after accepting a national award.

The team from ASU CAIPER poses with the current and past directors of the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education. From left: Jody Thompson; Nina Karamehmedovic; Yvonne Price; CAIPER Director Barret Michalec; Kaitlyn N. Félix; Barbara F. Brandt, founding director of the National Center; National Center Director Christine Arenson; and Gerri Lamb, founding director of CAIPER. Photo courtesy of the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education

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The team from Arizona State University's Center for Advancing Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research (CAIPER) was recognized earlier this month for its excellent work. CAIPER provides evidence-based strategies, training and education to increase understanding of team collaboration and its impact on health care.

The team received the 2022 George E. Thibault, MD Nexus Award in front of their peers and national colleagues at the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education’s annual Nexus Summit on Aug. 20.

The award celebrates “exemplary interprofessional collaboration in the United States and those who are thinking and acting differently where practice and education connect in health systems.” It’s given annually and was initiated in 2016.

CAIPER Director and Associate Professor Barret Michalec was ecstatic to learn the team was selected for this prestigious award.

“This is the award in our field, so it’s a testament to our focus, our drive and our innovative approach to interprofessional education, research and practice. We couldn’t be more honored, and I couldn’t be more excited for our team,” he said. 

It’s also a full-circle moment for CAIPER, which was established in 2015 with the help of the award’s namesake and the National Center. At the time, Thibault was the president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, which awards grants to organizations “working to improve the health of the public through innovative projects that advance the education and training of health professionals.”

Gerri Lamb, CAIPER’s founding director who now serves in an advisory role, says that Thibault came to ASU early on to meet with university leadership and help champion the center.

“Dr. Thibault and the National Center were instrumental in the development of CAIPER. Both had a major presence during our startup and while we were thinking about what the center would look like, how it would be innovative and how it would contribute to what was happening at the time with interprofessional education and practice,” said Lamb, adding, “It’s extraordinary to receive this award that reflects Dr. Thibault’s legacy and also celebrates the 10th anniversary of National Center this year.”

To date, CAIPER has received more than $2.9 million in research funding and grants to support initiatives in interprofessional practice and education.

Close-up of the 2022 George E. Thibault, MD Nexus Award, awarded to ASU's Center for Advancing Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research.

The CAIPER team received the 2022 George E. Thibault, MD Nexus Award in front of their peers and national colleagues at the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education’s annual Nexus Summit on Aug. 20. Photo courtesy the National Center

Over the last seven years, the center has issued more than 40,000 certificates to learners worldwide for completing CAIPER eLearning courses and materials.

Today, CAIPER’s work focuses on advancing the science of interprofessionalism and team-based health care through research, though its efforts don’t stop there. The team then takes that science and translates it into training and education for health and social care professionals, faculty, students and industry leaders.

“This is a team that is passionate about developing and delivering the highest quality interprofessional learning solutions. It’s wonderful to see them earn this national recognition for their consistent contributions to transforming health education and health care,” said Edson College Dean Judith Karshmer

Even now, CAIPER continues to evolve. Recently, the center unified with SHOW, the Student Health Outreach for Wellness, to advance the education-to-practice pathway. 

CAIPER has also developed the Learning Solutions Consulting initiative to work with national and international partners to fully integrate CAIPER’s eLearning programs into existing interprofessional programs and curricula. 

In addition, given the growing interest among students and faculty in CAIPER’s research efforts, this fall, CAIPER will launch the BhEAT Lab (Belongingness, Humility, Equity, Affect and Teamness).

All of this work is aligned with the ultimate goal of transforming health care locally, nationally and globally in order to optimize the health of individuals, families, communities and populations.

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