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End of Year Report

A Look Forward

The growing importance of interprofessional practice and education for healthcare providers places the work of Creighton University’s Center for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research at the forefront of progress.

The following report reflects on CIPER’s 2021-2022 year while simultaneously focusing on the exceptional team of leaders that is preparing our students for the rapidly emerging world of interprofessional care.

Letter From the Director

Rather than taking the traditional path of reflecting on our team’s work in interprofessional practice and education over the past year, this year the Center for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research (CIPER) looks forward. The landscape of interprofessional practice and education has grown dramatically as healthcare needs have granted priority to preparing safe, effective healthcare providers who are innovative, collaboration-ready and able to address health inequities. The exceptional team of leaders, educators and advisors that is CIPER, and the larger interprofessional community at Creighton University, are prepared to meet these challenges in our classrooms and the clinical learning environment.

In planning for our future, CIPER recently revisited alumni who have moved into their professional roles. I’m happy to report that students representing most of our healthcare programs conveyed that Creighton prepared them well for interprofessional practice. Additionally, the value Creighton places on the importance and mutual respect required for all members of the healthcare team gave them confidence in delivering quality care and advocating for patients. Our report highlights these findings and provides a snapshot of our vision for the future of CIPER’s interprofessional education model.

CIPER’s academic report this year reflects on only a few of the many accomplishments of our students, faculty, and staff who consistently demonstrate a commitment to collaborative, interprofessional practice within healthcare teams.

In our ‘look forward’ you will see key strategic priorities in:

  • Enhancing our curriculum to provide interprofessional learning activities that challenge the learner to build on interprofessional competencies along our learner blueprint.
  • Evaluating learning and growth of our students with innovative strategies and research on the clinical learning environment.
  • Developing faculty to effectively teach and evaluate interprofessional learning through an intentional mentoring program, CIPER Associates and Scholars.
  • Investing in students to instill value and build a network of interprofessional champions in healthcare practice.

Creighton’s CIPER team reflects a robust collaborative group of professionals representing a wide and vast knowledge of interprofessional skills and leadership. Please allow me to introduce you to members of the team who joined us in 2021-2022. We welcome them and look forward to the innovations they bring!


Executive Director for the Center of Interprofessional Practice, Education & Research (CIPER)


New Team Members

Kimberley J . Begley, PharmD, RPh
Kimberley Begley, PharmD, RPh, received her PharmD from Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions and is currently an associate professor of pharmacy practice, CIPER curriculum chair and core faculty member. Kim’s primary role at Creighton is teaching all years of the pharmacy skills lab series, focusing on skills-based instruction, simulation, drug utilization review and interprofessional education. Kim’s research interests include student learning and retention, distance education and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Wendi Carlton, MD, FAAP
Wendi Carlton, MD, FAAP, Assistant Professor, Medical Director, Physician Assistant Program – Phoenix , IPE Director, School of Medicine-Phoenix.
Jennifer Feirstein, MSPAS, PA-C
Jennifer Feirstein, MSPAS, PA-C, is director of didactic education for the physician assistant (PA) program within the School of Medicine at the Creighton University Health Sciences Campus–Phoenix. She is a certified PA with a clinical background in primary care medicine and a passion for patient-centered, compassionate care. She is engaged with interprofessional medical practice education because she believes interprofessional collaborative practice is critical for achieving high-value care in a complex healthcare system.
Kimberly Somers, PT, DPT
Kimberly Somers, PT, DPT, is director of clinical education for Creighton University’s Program of Physical Therapy in Phoenix, Arizona. She is a board-certified orthopedic specialist in physical therapy with a strong passion for educational research specific to the formation of habits of heart and moral agency, clinical education and interprofessional practice and education. She engages in interprofessional education to help students uncover the complexities and power of collaboration and teamwork to prepare them to advocate for their patients, themselves, and the health of society.


Joan M Lappe, PhD, RN, FAAN
Joan M Lappe, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a Criss/Beirne professor of nursing and associate dean of research at the Creighton University College of Nursing and professor of medicine with Creighton’s Osteoporosis Research Center. “I am pleased to be involved in IPE because I believe interprofessional practice is the only way to achieve the best possible quality of care for individuals,” she says. “Ideally, such medical practice education increases satisfaction among care providers while providing efficiency and the lowest cost.
Tom Lenz, PharmD, FACLM
Tom Lenz, PharmD, FACLM, Professor and Program Director Integrative Health and Wellness School of Medicine. I engage in IPE because life, and health in particular, is far too complex for one professional to do it all. Working as a team and allowing space for everyone to do what they do best not only provides better outcomes, it’s also more fun. Through IPE, we have an opportunity to teach and demonstrate this to the next generation of providers.
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Scott A. Shipman, MD, MPH, Professor.

Learn about our leadership here.

Interprofessional practice does not just suddenly happen when an interdisciplinary team is pulled together. Team members need to be educated on the principles and practice of interprofessional care. As a long-term nurse educator, I find the challenges and opportunities for IPE very exciting.
— Joan M Lappe, PhD, RN, FAAN

Faculty Facilitator Highlight: Ashley Aubry, RDH, MA

Each year CIPER honors a faculty facilitator who goes above and beyond to provide a rich interprofessional educational experience for students. For 2022, we chose Ashley Aubry for her exceptional work in Creighton’s Healthy Smiles program, a free dental service for children that meets standards of interprofessional practice set by the World Health Organization. Thank you, Ashley, for all you do preparing students to work on healthcare teams.

Ashley graduated from Southern Illinois University–Carbondale with a Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene, pursued her Master of Arts in public service at Marquette University and has served at the Creighton University School of Dentistry for the past six years.

“Patients have many barriers to care,” Ashley says, “and it is important for students to realize that they must work as an interdisciplinary team to address and remove those barriers.”

Ashley Aubry, RDH, MA

St. Vincent de Paul Buddies Program, located in Phoenix, Arizona

  • Project Lead:
    • Tina Younger, MD, Associate Assistant Professor School of Medicine, Phoenix Campus.
  • Center for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research Associates and Scholars Mentor:
    • Julie Manz, PhD, RN, Associate Professor Chair, BSN Program Chair, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs, College of Nursing, Omaha Campus
  • Additional Program Facilitators:
    • John Anwar, MD, Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Phoenix Campus
    • Timothy Ivers, PharmD, Assistant Professor, Director of Skills Lab, Phoenix Campus

The program is an IPE Passport Activity in the Center for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research at Creighton University.

The St Vincent De Paul Buddies program is a creative solution in meeting the needs of medically uninsured patients in Phoenix, Arizona, while providing valuable interprofessional learning experiences for students. Annually, this primary care clinic provides over 4,300 visits, seeing 1,455 adults and 102 youth in the community. The clinic has a 3.4% hospital readmission rate which is significantly lower compared to the national average of 11.5% for uninsured patients. Evidence of successful care is demonstrated by the increased connection between St Joes at Dignity Health and referrals to the clinic due to exceptional care. Student participants in this primary health clinic from Creighton University health professional programs include, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, and Dental. Registered Dieticians, Optometry, and Psychology are also participants of the program. Creighton University faculty facilitate the instruction of students to provide care for patients that is team based, in an interprofessional environment with other healthcare professionals.

All student participants are seen as equal and are in the initial stages of their professional development, and therefore, are treated with care. The program provides critical learning experiences as all students work with patients and with a variety of needs. The program is structured to meet the IPEC competencies:

  1. Work with individuals of other professions to maintain a climate of mutual respect and shared values. (Values/Ethics for interprofessional practice)
  2. Use of the knowledge of one’s own role and those of other professions to appropriately assess and address the healthcare needs of patients and to promote and advance the health of populations. (roles and responsibilities)
  3. Communicate with patients, families, communities, and professionals in health and other fields in a responsive and responsible manner that supports a team approach to the promotion and maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of disease.(interprofessional communication)
  4. Apply relationship-building values and the principles of team dynamics to perform effectively in different team roles to plan, deliver, and evaluate patient/population-centered care and population health programs and policies that are safe, timely, efficient, effective and equitable. (Teams and Teamwork)

The St Vincent De Paul Buddies program has demonstrated achieved improvements in healthcare by providing interprofessional team based care to patients and creating trust among the healthcare professional and patient. Along side faculty, students meet the needs of patients ranging from treatment of acute illnesses to chronic disease. Faculty facilitators from the program as well as student’s share how the experience contributed to improvements in healthcare as well as important learning outcomes: John Anwar, MD, shared the following comment regarding student’s contributions and expected outcomes of their involvement in the clinic:

“When these students graduate, they will be far ahead of their peers at other institutions, getting a very unique clinical experience years before many medical students are even out of the classroom,” Anwar said. “These graduates will become ambassadors for the community, as they have already done so much to care for the people in it.”

Additionally, student feedback demonstrated improvements in healthcare and learning opportunities to improve patient care:

“I will use interprofessional collaboration information/skills gained during my St. Vincent de Paul populations clinical in future practices to help provide patients/clients with the best care possible. By collaborating with physicians, medical assistants, physical therapists, pharmacists, and social services we can all work together to create the best plan of care for our patients while also involving the patient.”

“As I complete future rotations, I will make sure to continuously include others in my work with patients as Dr. Jones taught us. This way we are truly giving patient-centered care.”

“During my IPE experience I was able to work with the Pharmacy program at SVDP Clinic. I saw how valuable it is for the doctors to consult the pharmacist when making decisions about pharmacotherapy for the patient. In my future practice, I plan to take advantage of these interprofessional relationships, and consult and collaborate with the team in order to maximize diagnosis and treatment plan of the patient.”

Kruse Funds/ Monen Clinic

Each year, CIPER awards two endowment funds established by Michael Kruse, PharmD, a Creighton pharmacy alumnus. The endowments support interprofessional or community service initiatives that teach health sciences students lessons beyond the classroom.

The interprofessional medical practice initiatives at the Laura and Dan Monen Healthcare Clinic at the Heart Ministry Center were selected this year. Congratulations to the team and to Lisa Johnson, DNP, APRN-NP, FNP-C, SANE, assistant professor, Graduate Program and College of Nursing for her leadership.

Students shared the following comments upon completing their activities:

“The information and skills I gained today will help me provide my patients with collaborative and interprofessional care that is client centered.”

“I found the organization to be positive in all that it does to help the community. The healthcare professionals and staff were inclusive and wanted to collaborate with the students.”

Alumni Survey Results

Key to the success of CIPER is tracking our graduates and assessing how well the interprofessional element of their education prepared them for the realities of practice. A recent survey, the results of which we present here, provided an encouraging picture of student satisfaction as they embrace the realities of the emerging world of interprofessional collaboration.

LGBTQ Health Seminar

Marion Russell, OTD, MOTR/L, SCFES

The LGBTQ Health Seminar explores issues confronting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer populations.

A panel of LGBTQ-affirming professionals practicing medicine, nursing, psychology, social work and law discuss bringing an interprofessional perspective to LGBTQ care. Breakout sessions encourage students to explore the issue through poetry and creative writing and offer case studies suggesting how an interprofessional healthcare team can care for LGBTQ patients. Students from different professions interact with a transgender patient and hear a firsthand account of their lived experience navigating healthcare.

This health humanities IPE Passport activity is supported by Creighton’s Kingfisher Institute and led by Marion Russell, OTD, MOTR/L, SCFES, assistant professor and director of the post-professional occupational doctoral program at the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Omaha campus.

Students shared the following:

“I think it was beneficial to learn about different clinics to specifically support transgender individuals and it was interesting to consider how different professionals would address the given patient case example.”

“I will wear my pronouns on my nametag and facilitate a safe environment to ensure that all my patients can express their identity and have optimal access to healthcare.”


Faculty Development

Associates and Scholars

Recognizing that faculty training in interprofessional practice and education is critical to preparing students for the world they will encounter after graduation, CIPER established the Associates and Scholars program. This initiative has seen many members of Creighton’s healthcare faculty initiate interprofessional and interdisciplinary course development and research programs, some of which we present here.

Research & Scholarship Activity

Creighton University is fundamentally committed to providing health sciences students with research opportunities that teach cooperation across disciplines. These research projects prepare students for a smooth transition to the post-graduation professional world while instilling an appreciation of, and commitment to, the value of interdisciplinary cooperation.

National Recognition

Creighton University faculty received recognition from the American Interprofessional Health Collaborative. The AIHC contributes to better healthcare outcomes by redesigning how care is organized and delivered. Its members work to influence policy, develop and share best practices and resources, conduct research, mentor and support colleagues and remove barriers to effective action.

  • AIHC Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award - Granted annually to a faculty member for outstanding mentorship of students and/or peers in interprofessional education and/or practice. 
    • Awardee: Gail Jensen PT, PhD, FAPTA, professor, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions–Omaha campus; vice provost for learning and assessment.
  • AIHC Interprofessional Practice Award - Granted to individuals who demonstrate excellence in interprofessional practice. 

    • Awardees: Amy McGaha MD, FAAFP, professor, School of Medicine–Omaha Campus, chair, Department of Family Medicine, endowed professorship; Roland L. Kleeberger, MD. Professorship director, director of the Interprofessional Clinical Learning Environment, CIPER.

  • AIHC Interprofessional Educator Award - Granted to individuals who demonstrate excellence in interprofessional teaching. 

  • Recognition of team members by National Academies of Practice and Interprofessional Education Collaborative

    • Awardees: Andrea Thinnes, OTD, OTR/L, FNAP, named a Distinguished Fellow by the National Academies of Practice. Distinguished Fellows are nominated by colleagues and have made significant contributions to interprofessional healthcare. Kimberly Beran-Shepler, PT, DPT, OCS, FNAP, assistant professor, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, will serve a three-year term as the physical therapy representative of the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) for the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC)