MIPERC conference to be held at DeVos Center

GVL / Courtesy - Amanda Pitts

Amanda Pitts

GVL / Courtesy – Amanda Pitts MIPERC 2015

Dylan Grosser

The Midwest Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research Center will host its ninth conference in the DeVos Center on Grand Valley State University’s downtown campus. The conference, held Sept. 22-23, will be about “the role of interprofessional teams in health care delivery.

Speakers and presentations on the conference floor will show how students from different disciplines can learn from each other and communicate more effectively to provide more safe care for their patients. The topic of the annual conference is decided by a MIPERC steering committee. Last year’s topic was “strategies for the application of successful models and practices.”

Four speakers will be presenting at the conference: Nancy Schlichting from Henry Ford Health Systems, Stephen Schoenbaum from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, Barbara Brandt, the director of the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at the University of Minnesota and Gerri Lamb, chair of the American Interprofessional Health Collaborative.

GVSU’s vice provost for health Jean Nagelkerk, will be attending the conference and will be addressing the conference on the second day, adding what the MIPERC has accomplished over the year, inviting people to participate in one of the Champion Workgroups offered by the MIPERC.

Before the conference begins, a pre-conference will be held in the Seidman Center, which Nagelkerk describes as being a “hands-on” experience. Participants will work at tables and break off into different groups to talk about different ways interprofessional education can benefit people.

Students get in free to the conference, not just GVSU students, but students from all over Michigan.

“We think it’s really important that (students) can talk to these national leaders and look at some of the regional presentations,” Nagelkerk said.

At least two GVSU professors are planning on bringing their classes to part of the conference. Participants of the conference can be very diverse, Nagelkerk said. Administrators, clinicians, physicians, nurse practitioners, students, faculty and staff from universities all over Michigan, and some outside of Michigan, will be attending. The relative amount of attendees expected ranges between 200 and 250.

The conference is sponsored by six health organizations. GVSU, Michigan State University, Ferris State University and Central Michigan University are four of them. Over 30 organizations are represented by some of the participants.

Nagelkerk said she often gets phone calls following MIPERC conferences about how participants have benefited from attending the conference.

“We’re always thrilled when we hear the stories after people have attended on the improvements they’ve made, or something that they’ve implemented, and it made a difference, either in education or practice,” Nagelkerk said.

Diane Dykstra serves as a project coordinator for the office of the vice provost for health and has been planning the MIPERC conferences every year. She plans the logistics of the event, including working with the speakers and presenters to make sure they are in the right place at the right time, she said.

Dykstra wouldn’t comment on how much exactly is being spent on the conference other than to say all expenses for the conference will be covered.

“We’re just happy that the costs are covered by the registration fees and the generous sponsorships that we get,” Dykstra said.

Registration for the conference is open online to anyone. The topic of next year’s conference will be “virtual health and telemedicine.”