A top priority for UC Davis Health System is to transform health care in a way that ensures better health for all. Critical to achieving this goal is the interprofessional development of students in the School of Medicine, the new Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and the proposed School of Public Health.
The complexity of the challenges facing health care in the 21st century demands multidisciplinary teams whose members bring multifaceted perspectives to patient-centered care and medical research.
It is such a simple concept: Students who learn together will be able to work together in cohesive, effective teams.
Yet to achieve this, we must go beyond our traditional boundaries to reach across disciplines within the health-care field and beyond. Health professionals from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine and other allied areas must come together to form patient-centered care teams, research teams and education teams. And these teams should extend to colleagues in other fields ranging from engineering to policy to humanities and beyond.
With the ability to work in teams and understand multiple perspectives, our graduates will become the strong leaders of tomorrow who can advocate in their communities and the nation for policies and solutions that truly improve health.
Our Rural-PRIME program in the School of Medicine is one such effort that is well under way. Two dozen students are gaining additional experiences in public health, community service and the use of leading-edge medical technologies like telemedicine to prepare to become leaders and advocates for improving health-care delivery throughout the state's smaller, more isolated communities.
As our new Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing Heather M. Young builds a new, transformative curriculum at the Betty Irene School of Nursing, one of her key goals is to develop culturally competent leaders who will be qualified to lead public health, health policy, health research and other fields critical to the future of our nation.
Taken together, UC Davis' educational innovations will have a profound effect on creating a workforce that is prepared to address the societal factors that affect health, including socioeconomic status, education, occupation and job security, housing, transportation, access to nutritious food, and environmental stressors, and the disparities that result in inequitable health care.
Our far-reaching efforts set UC Davis Health System apart, establishing a legacy of future nursing and physician leaders who have the skills and values they need to find the answers to these complex challenges and improve the health of all our communities.