Building a Collaborative Culture

Creighton University is building a culture of collaboration. Leading the charge is the Center for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research (CIPER). “We are focused on creating an environment where interprofessional education occurs and then is practically applied in the clinical learning environment,” said Michael White, MD, a member of the CIPER team.

In a strategic plan forum update Tuesday on Interprofessional Education and Creighton Collaborative Care, White and Joy Doll, OTD, OTR/L, executive director for CIPER, reflected on the work being done around interprofessional practice and collaborative care at Creighton. Here’s a quick look at wins and wisdom in the areas of practice, education and research.


The word is getting out and Creighton is building a reputation for collaboration. “People are seeking to come learn from us about how to design and implement an interprofessional clinical environment,” said Doll. In just the last couple months, the University of Colorado and University of Indiana have made visits to CIPER and University Campus to learn best practices for implementing an interprofessional clinical learning environment. The University of Central Arkansas will visit later this month. In addition, CIPER was part of a national report on interprofessional clinical learning environments. The report was published by the National Collaborative for Improving the Clinical Learning Environment (NCICLE).

Currently, CIPER is exploring ways to recognize interprofessional clinical learning environments as well as remove educational barriers that prevent clinical practice by facilitating standardized onboarding for all health professions students.


Doll said the Creighton community has come a long way in supporting and understanding Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (IPECP), whereas, at a lot of institutions, Interprofessional Education (IPE) is not a familiar term. Also, CIPER has developed a unique distributed model for IPE Passport, which means that CIPER does not run every activity. “We have many faculty champions, and we’re building a community of people who know how to engage and teach in IPE,” said Doll. “IPE is for everyone.”

Last year, 57 IPE activities were offered for more than 1,500 students. In the coming years, this number will increase as CIPER looks to develop interprofessional quality improvement projects and curriculum. CIPER is also looking to collaborate with stakeholders in Phoenix, in terms of IPE for medical and nursing students, with the intent to design activities for other professions in the future. Phoenix presents an opportunity to innovate and replicate, Doll said.


“In research and leadership, we’re starting to see a lot of students approach us and we’re mentoring students,” said Doll. “It’s exciting that they are seeking us out even outside of the health professions.” Other research and leadership highlights include the structured collection of student assessment data to provide opportunities for research and scholarship; the participation of Creighton team members in an IPECP advocacy organization; and Creighton’s involvement as a Nexus Innovations Network Incubator site. In addition, CIPER is co-hosting the Heartland Interprofessional Education Conference “Come Together to Work Together,” Aug 1-2, 2019. Learn more.

To close out the update, CIPER requested feedback from campus on the following questions. What is one thing you believe CIPER does well to support IPECP? What is one area for improvement you see for CIPER in supporting IPECP? Share your feedback at [email protected].