A little unknown fact about me – one of my first scholarly interests as a future academic was and still is social welfare history; exploring the roots of the social work profession in the United States. As a doctoral student at the University of Alabama’s (UA) School of Social Work, I was fortunate enough to work with Dr. Paul Stuart, a leading social welfare historian and, now, Professor of Social Work at Florida International University. I took several classes with him about social welfare policy and historical research methodology. Along with being my academic advisor and chair of my dissertation committee, he helped me to develop an interest in how the history of social work profession has a direct and meaningful influence on today’s social workers and social welfare agencies. Through reading and research from my course work, I quickly learned that there was a gap in the social welfare history literature on the intersection of social work and public health in early 20th century in the United States. Using my background in public health and social work, I developed a research topic which turned into my dissertation and the foundation of my interest in social welfare history – the history of health and social services for children with disabilities.
I write all this because I just had a second article published from my dissertation research:
Hitchcock, L. I., & Stuart, P. (2017). Pioneering Health Care for Children with Disabilities: Untold Legacy of the 1916 Polio Epidemic in the United States. Journal of Community Practice. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/BDSf39bKsz2ffnn6zMFb/full
Natalie Curry, LCSW is a Clinical Instructor at Missouri State University’s (MSU) School of Social Work. She has been on the faculty with MSU for two years and prior to that was an adjunct instructor for MSU, Drury University, and Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to entering academia, her practice background includes working with individuals who were homeless in various capacities, inpatient psychiatric care, and behavioral health consulting in primary care. In this post, she writes about an online, interprofessional learning activity that she helped to develop and implement with colleagues at MSU You can follow Natalie on Twitter at @natalielcsw.
Last fall, there was considerable interest around interprofessional education in the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) at Missouri State University (MSU), where I work. My colleagues and I believed that we were doing well at talking with our students about how much collaboration they would do in their careers with other healthcare professionals. But we wanted to go further and figure out ways to provide the students real opportunities for interprofessional practice in their educational programs. That was part of the motivation for bringing together faculty from all 11 disciplines (such as social work, nursing, medicine and others) within CHHS, in addition to the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy which was already in partnership with MSU. The other part of motivation was a growing recognition that interprofessional activities were no longer just encouraged in many of our disciplines’ accreditation standards; they were required.
Starting in Fall 2015, our committee to begin developing interprofessional educational activities for our students. We met monthly and eventually decided that it was not feasible to develop one activity, project, or experience that all students from CHHS could do together and still be meaningful. We decided on four “menu items” that each discipline could choose to participate in, depending on the needs of their students. We wanted to have a mix of interprofessional activities, ranging from one-day experiences to projects that could be implemented over the course of a semester.
Today I am presenting a poster with Allyson Varley, PhD Student in the UAB School of Public Health and a research/teaching assistant extraordinaire. Our work focuses on why and how we started implementing poverty simulations with students from diverse majors and professional programs across our campus. Poverty simulations are increasingly common in higher education, offering an innovative modality to increase students’ understanding of poverty. The simulation enables participants to view poverty from different angles in an experiential setting. The poster will cover implementation of poverty simulations and present preliminary findings on the learning outcomes for students. Other member of our working group were not able to join us at #APM16, Drs. Dawn Talyor Peterson, Sallie Shipman, Laura Debiasi and Marjorie Lee White.
Poverty simulations are increasingly common in higher education, offering an innovative modality to increase students’ understanding of poverty. The simulation enables participants to view poverty from different angles in an experiential setting. The poster will cover implementation of poverty simulations and present preliminary findings on the learning outcomes for students.