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University of Maryland conference promotes interprofessional healthcare

Monday February 25, 2013
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More than 120 leading nurses, dental hygienists, health educators and clinical and public health practitioners attended a national conference Dec. 10 at the University of Maryland aimed at promoting interprofessional healthcare education.

The conference topic, "The Oral Systemic Link: Creating Collaborative Initiatives," explored pathways to promote interprofessional education, research and practice for dental hygiene and nursing collaborations, according to a news release.

Judith Haber, RN, PhD, APRN, FAAN, the Ursula Springer Leadership Professor in Nursing and associate dean of graduate programs at the New York University College of Nursing, outlined dental hygiene, dentistry and nursing educational opportunities, such as nursing students conducting an oral health history and recognizing normal versus pathological variations of oral structures. A side-by-side consultation project with interprofessional students on comprehensive oral and systemic patient assessments and referrals for systemic health risks would be another innovation, Haber said in the release. She also discussed collaborative innovations in pediatrics and summer research projects.

"There were multiple dynamics in play at this conference," Kathryn Montgomery, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, associate dean for strategic partnerships and initiatives and associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, said in the release. "There was clinical content, there were practice issues and interprofessional education, as well as a new conference-participation approach with full engagement of participants in active learning."

An educational grant from the Colgate-Palmolive Company supported the conference.