Bulletin of Dental Education

Germanna Community College Hosts Inaugural IPE Event

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Germanna LeadershipGermanna Community College (GCC) hosted its first-ever event focused on interprofessional education (IPE) this past October—The Interprofessional Collaboration Event: How Do You and Your Team Fit Into the Puzzle. The event assembled a wide variety health care professionals and students to learn more about IPE and current and future trends in health care, and work on case studies that illustrated the importance of IPE to properly care for individuals needing care. Keynote speakers included Travis B. Turner, M.B.A., ACHE, Senior Vice President of Clinical Integration, Mary Washington Health Alliance LLC, who presented current and future health care trends; and Rebecca L. Stolberg, RDH, M.S.D.H., ADEA Senior Director of Allied Dental Education and Faculty Development, who spoke on IPE research and future expectations of our health care workforce. 

Assistant Professor Misty L. Mesimer, B.S.H.S., M.S.C.H., who directs both the dental hygiene and dental assisting programs at GCC, initiated this event to start a change in the delivery of health care to improve outcomes and patient experiences through high-quality and cost-effective care. Prof. Mesimer was inspired after hearing Casey Hein, RDH, M.B.A., speak on this topic at the 2018 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition.

Among the cases used for IPE education were late diagnosis of oral cancer, rampant decay in childhood, multiple medication use associated with end-stage liver disease; consequences of post-polio syndrome; and complications experienced by a WWII veteran. Through the use of case studies, it was clear that conference attendees lacked knowledge about the connection of oral health to overall health and well-being. Students in the room praised the opportunity to not only work with students from other health disciplines, but also to interact with community health professionals and faculty. Sixty-four percent of the participants reported having an increased value of interprofessional collaboration.

Germanna IPE ConferenceThe Dental Hygiene Program at GCC is an expansion of the Northern Virginia Community College Dental Hygiene Program located in Springfield, VA. The program consists of a combination of traditional and distance-learning modalities. The program is also designed to accommodate students who wish to transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a baccalaureate degree in a health-related field. Graduates of the Dental Hygiene Program receive an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene from Northern Virginia Community College.

GCC’s dental assisting program accommodates students who wish to advance to the Dental Assisting II, Virginia’s version of an Expanded Function Dental Assistant. Students graduate with a Certificate in Dental Assisting and Certified by the Dental Assisting National Board.

Courtesy of Misty L. Mesimer, B.S.H.S., M.S.C.H., Germanna Community College

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