Introducing the 3rd Health After 2020 cohort: transforming health through knowledge translation and community engagement
UBC Health is pleased to announce that eight interdisciplinary, cross-...
What began as a scholarly visit to UBC Health by a professor from Brazil has led to an international collaboration that created a health education program based on UBC’s model.
Last year, Dr. Maria Antonieta Araújo, a professor with the Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health (BAHIANA) in Salvador, Brazil spent time with the Patient and Community Partnership for Education (PCPE) team at UBC Health to study how UBC Health involves patients in health professional education at the university. Inspired by the UBC Interprofessional Health Mentors Program, Dr. Araújo and her team developed a partnership with the PCPE team to apply the interprofessional education model to BAHIANA, which trains health professionals and researchers and aims to provide experiential learning as extension programs.
Regardless of culture, the Health Mentors program showed us that students’ insights and the role this program plays in patients’ lives go beyond the boundaries of cognitive learning towards the development of soft skills.
The PCPE and BAHIANA teams formed a collaborative research project to explore ways to include and support marginalized patient groups in health professional education and met regularly to share program materials, translate them into Portuguese, and plan and design a pilot program. The pilot launched earlier this year and began with a selection of students from medicine, nursing, physical therapy, and psychology. They were grouped with mentors from a peer support program at a local multidisciplinary clinic specializing in treating patients with human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV), a virus that can cause cancer and several co-morbidities. The health mentors program in Brazil is expected to expand to include patients living with symptoms of health conditions including epilepsy, rare disease, and mental health.
Cathy Kline, Assistant Director, Patient and Community Engagement at UBC Health recently attended the Scientific and Cultural Exhibition of BAHIANA and co-presented with colleagues from the Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health about the international collaboration to bring the UBC Interprofessional Health Mentors program to Brazil.
There is a lot we can learn from the BAHIANA experience about the importance of institutional and peer supports needed to overcome power differences for patients who face barriers to participation in health professional education at UBC and beyond.
The Health Mentors program provides learning relevant to interprofessional competencies with an emphasis on patient/client-centred collaborative practice that has made it attractive to health professional programs in other countries.
“Regardless of culture, the Health Mentors program showed us that students’ insights and the role this program plays in patients’ lives go beyond the boundaries of cognitive learning towards the development of soft skills,” says Maria.
But the learning goes both ways. “There is a lot we can learn from the BAHIANA experience about the importance of institutional and peer supports needed to overcome power differences for patients who face barriers to participation in health professional education at UBC and beyond,” says Cathy.
The research team produced a poster on lessons learned from the international collaboration and is collecting data to monitor program implementation and examine the outcomes of the program with respect to interprofessional learning and benefits to mentors. Data analysis will begin in 2024 and inform the design of the program in its second year.
Posted November 7, 2023