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Vol 37  No 17
July 21, 2005



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Collaboration among health sciences already in place

White paper calls for health assessment

By Sharon Gray

A request that Memorial University assess the feasibility of establishing a Faculty of Health Sciences is made in the White Paper on Post-Secondary Education in Newfoundland and Labrador 2005. The proposed new faculty would include the Faculty of Medicine and the Schools of Social Work, Pharmacy and Nursing.

Dr. James Rourke


Dr. James Rourke, dean of Medicine, said the university is committed to collaboration among the health sciences and related fields, including Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Social work as well as other faculties.

“We are acknowledged as the nation’s leading university in collaborative health education and our Centre for Collaborative Health Professional Education is dedicated to initiate, facilitate and coordinate activities that enhance the education of all health professionals.” For example, the centre was recently awarded a $1.2 million federal grant to develop an interprofessional education curriculum framework with activities involving Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Education.

Dr. Sandra LeFort, director of the School of Nursing, said Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy and Social Work already work well together to ensure that students do some of their core curriculum together. “The new interprofessional education grant will enhance an already strong partnership.”

Dr. Linda Hensman, director of the School of Pharmacy, noted that for many years now undergraduate students from all four health sciences areas have worked together on interprofessional education projects to ensure collaborative learning and develop team skills, critical for practice success.

Dr. Shelly Birnie-Lefcovitch, director of the School of Social Work, said the health disciplines at MUN have a strong history of interprofessional collaboration and this will be further strengthened by the recent award from Health Canada. “The white paper request provides an additional opportunity to explore the desirability and feasibility of greater administrative integration.”

University president Dr. Axel Meisen said the university will explore, starting in the fall, the concept of a Faculty of Health Sciences. The objective is to determine whether such an arrangement would lead to better educational, clinical and research programs and whether it would enhance the efficient use of resources.


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