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‘Creating connections’

New director for the Centre for Collaborative Health Professional Education

Teaching and Learning

By Michelle Osmond

Dr. Julia Trahey has been appointed as the new director for the Centre for Collaborative Health Professional Education (CCHPE).

The CCHPE is a collaborative effort of the Faculties of Medicine, Education and Nursing, as well as the Schools of Pharmacy, Social Work, and Human Kinetics and Recreation, and the Student Wellness and Counseling Centre. The centre initiates, facilitates and coordinates activities to enhance the teaching and learning for students.

Faculty of Medicine, interprofessional education, Centre for Collaborative Health Professional Education,
Dr. Julia Trahey has been appointed director of the Centre for Collaborative Health Professional Education
Photo: Jennifer Armstrong

As the director, Dr. Trahey will be responsible for scholarship in education, such as organizing interprofessional education (IPE) activities and seeking research and grant opportunities in IPE; promoting Memorial University as a leader in IPE; and making recommendations to the governing council regarding policies as well as managing and implementing those policies.

‘Collaboration the only way forward’

Dr. Trahey notes that her career has spanned a very interesting time in medicine with demographic shifts and technological advancements having extended life and increased the number of people living with chronic disease. She believes IPE is the only way forward for improving patient care.

“When I started my own medical training almost 40 years ago we really worked in silos. Creating connections and learning the theories and practices that make those working relationships more joyful and less frustrating has been very gratifying for me personally,” Dr. Trahey noted.

“Transferring that knowledge to younger generations of health care professionals as they prepare for their own professional lives is really rewarding.”

“As a practicing general internist for the past 26 years, I’ve had to develop skills in collaborative practice to improve outcomes for the patients that I see,” she said. “My expertise in health care quality and patient safety, my years of experience in working in team-based practice and the relationships I’ve developed locally and nationally are all strengths that I bring to the role.”

Expanding IPE

Currently, the CCHPE delivers IPE to undergraduate and pre-licensure students but Dr. Trahey believes the next step is to expand IPE to post-graduate learners focusing on team-based practice opportunities.

Dr. Trahey thinks that one of her biggest challenges in the new job, might also be her biggest opportunity as well.

“The fiscal restraints that are a reality in N.L. today impact the traditional resources that are available to deliver the mandate of the CCHPE. Having said that, those constraints stimulate creative thinking and push us to explore new opportunities and collaborations. Thinking about old relationships in new ways and looking for new partnerships can lead to opportunities not considered before.”

Dr. Trahey, who began in her new role on Jan. 1, 2019, was appointed to lead the centre by the provost and vice-president academic.

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