Interprofessional Teams, Culture and Service Learning – An Interprofessional 1st Year Experience for Students at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Presented by Susan K. Tappert, PT, DPT & Diane R. Bridges, MSN, RN, CCM on January 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm

In this session we will discuss the Interprofessional (IP) Teams and Culture in Health Care course at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. The course introduces students to the concept of interprofessional teams, the influence of culture in health care, and the importance of service learning.

We will detail the logistics of student enrollment in this course, describe how students are divided into interprofessional teams, how we use small group discussion to achieve the purpose of the course which is to help prepare the health care professional student to provide effective patient-centered health care through small group discussion and problem solving activities. And we will discuss barriers and challenges to creating a successful course like ours.

We will discuss the topics included in the course which are: team interaction; communication; service learning; information literacy; quality improvement; healthcare professions,; diversity in society; the impact of culture, ethnicity and religion on communication and the provision of services; disparities in the healthcare delivery system; and awareness of the impact of a provider’s own wellness and illness beliefs on the decisions he/she makes for patients.

We will then describe how our interprofessional teams of students develop and participate in significant community need based service learning projects. The purpose of our service project is to promote Prevention Education in the areas of Physical Fitness, Preventive Screening, Nutrition, and Making Healthy Choices. After completing their projects students create a poster, participate in reflection, and celebrate their achievement with community partners and our university at large.

Presenter Bios

Susan K. Tappert, PT, MS, DPT received her Certificate of Physical Therapy from Northwestern University in 1971 and subsequently earned a Master of Science in Physical Therapy in 1993 and a Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2004 from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

Dr. Tappert has extensive clinical practice background in several physical therapy settings where she gained experience in various roles including clinical supervisor, clinical instructor, department director and interprofessional patient centered care. She brings more than 25 years of teaching experience to the classroom.

Susan TappertSince 2004, Dr. Tappert has been an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of Interprofessional Healthcare Studies in The College of Health Professions at Rosalind Franklin University. She co-directs the Interprofessional Teams and Culture in Health Care Course for all incoming 1st year students (560 students in 2011). Dr. Tappert also directs and teaches in the Interprofessional Women’s Health certificate program.

Dr. Tappert organized and chairs the Interprofessional Curriculum Committee for the University. She also directs the College of Health Professions Curriculum Committee and was recently appointed Assistant Dean for Curriculum for the College.

Dr. Tappert is a member of both the American and Canadian Interprofessional Healthcare Collaboratives. She has presented numerous posters and several presentations on topics related to interprofessionalism.


Diane BridgesDiane R. Bridges, MSN, RN, CCM received her BSN from The University of Texas at Houston in 1976 where she attended on an academic scholarship. She received her MSN in Leadership Management from La Roche College in 2002 where she also received the Sigma Theta Tau Scholarship. She is currently working on her PhD in Interprofessional Healthcare Studies.

Professor Bridges has been a nurse for 30 years with experience in Obstetrics, Neonatal Nursing, Medical-Surgical Nursing, and Orthopedics. These positions included head nurse and management roles. She taught Nursing in two programs for 8 years and was Chair for the Growing Family Course at the University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center St. Margaret School Of Nursing. She is also a Certified Case Manager and has worked in this field in a supervisory/management capacity as well as in the private, state, and public sectors of case management.

Professor Bridges joined the faculty of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science as an Assistant Professor in August 2005. She is the Director of the Healthcare Administration and Management program and Assistant Chair of the Department of Interprofessional Healthcare Studies. She is also one of the Directors in the Rosalind Franklin Interprofessional Team and Culture in Healthcare course and oversees the Service Learning community projects for this course. Professor Bridges serves on many university committees and has won awards for University Service.

Professor Bridges is a member of the American Interprofessional Healthcare Collaborative. She is a published author on several topics: Interprofessional Education, Service Learning and Teamwork and has presented at many conferences.