The veteran-centered care conferences: interprofessional education and community involvement facilitated by the health sciences librarian
Keywords:veterans, veterans' health care, interprofessional education, case-based learning, story-based learning, interprofessional collaboration
Background: Veterans have a variety of unique healthcare needs and receive care from both the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and private healthcare systems. Because healthcare students will likely treat veterans at some time during their career, it is important they gain exposure to working with veterans during their professional degree programs.
Case Presentation: This case report presents the development of an annual Veteran-Centered Care Conference (VCCC) at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The VCCC included a faculty librarian who led a multi-disciplinary team that planned and coordinated each event. Speakers and participants included university students and faculty from multiple healthcare disciplines, as well as representatives from the VA, veterans’ advocacy groups, and community members (including many veterans). The purpose of the VCCC was to raise awareness of the healthcare needs of contemporary veterans. The goal of the VCCC was to improve healthcare provided to veterans by enhancing civilian health professions students’ knowledge of the potential effects of military service on a person’s health.
Conclusion: After four successful events covering such topics as PTSD, specific health concerns of women veterans, substance use disorder, and homelessness, the VCCC was canceled, primarily due to low pre-registration. Examples of lessons learned and future possibilities for the VCCC and the patient-centered care conference format are discussed. This report is of particular importance given the many years the United States has been at war in the Middle East and the recent withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Karen S Alcorn
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