IPECP Synergy Awards


As part of Emory’s efforts to advance IPECP, a strategic priority of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC)’s Strategic Plan, a WHSC Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (IPECP) Council was established in 2018 to further the goal of transforming healthcare through interprofessional learning and care. The Council focuses on elevating IPECP as a central educational theme across WHSC in the core areas of faculty development, student curriculum, research, simulation, and clinical practice.

The WHSC IPECP Council is pleased to offer this funding mechanism to expand the development of innovations in IPECP that enhance the WHSC Strategic Plan and foster relationships across WHSC schools and programs.

Congratulations to the awardees! Read more about their projects in the expandable sections below.
Please note the following abbreviations are used throughout: Emory Healthcare (EHC), Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH), Emory School of Medicine (SOM), and Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (SON).

Please email the IPECP Council at ipecp@emory.edu with any questions.

2020 IPECP Synergy Award Winners

Improving Telehealth Education and Competency for Students (ITECS)

  • Calli Cook, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP (SON)
  • Amy Becklenburg, DNP, FNP-C (SON)
  • Alex Kendall, MS, PA-C, Physician Assistant Program; Family and Preventive Medicine (SOM)
  • Allison Leppke, DNP, FNP-C (SON); Nurse Practitioner (EHC)

Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Emory Healthcare Workers in the COVID-19 Pandemic with the Community Resilience Model

  • Linda Grabbe, PhD, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC (SON)
  • Ingrid Duva, PhD, RN (SON)
  • David Lawson, MD, Hematology/Oncology (SOM), WCI
  • Marianne Baird, MN, ACNS-BC (EHC)
  • Jordan Murphy, PhD, RN (SON) and Community Advanced Practice Nurses, Inc.

Supporting Student Wellness and Resilience Through Longitudinal Interprofessional Relationships and Mentoring: The Interprofessional Identity Program

  • Bethany Robertson, DNP, CNM (SON)
  • Linda Orkin Lewin, MD, Woodruff Health Educators Academy; Pediatrics (SOM)
  • Carrie McDermott, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC (EHC, SON)
  • Nathan Spell, MD, Professor and Associate Dean for Education and Professional Development (SOM)

PROUD Study – Preventing Opioid Use Disorders

  • Kelly L. Wiltse Nicely, PhD, CRNA (SON)
  • Steve Waronker, MD, Vice Chair for Community Physicians, Anesthesiology (SOM)
  • Johnathan A. Edwards, MSPH, Biomedical Informatics (SOM); Biostatics (RSPH)

Remote Interprofessional Platform for Learning and Education (RIPPLE)

  • Douglas Ander, MD, FACEP, Emergency Medicine (SOM)
  • Cecelia A Bellcross, PhD, MS, CGC, Human Genetics (SOM); Genetic Counseling Training Program
  • Boorman, David W. MS, Anesthesiology (SOM)
  • Beth Davis, PT, DPT, MBA, Rehabilitation Medicine – Physical Therapy (SOM)
  • James Soo Kim, MD, Hospital Medicine (SOM)
  • Munish Luthra, MD, Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine (SOM)
  • Ruth Sacco, MS, MMSC, PA-C, C-AA, Anesthesiology (SOM); Anesthesiologist Assistant Program
  • Hugh Stoddard, M.Ed., Ph.D, Medicine (SOM)
  • Jeannie Weston, EdD, RN (SON)

RSPH, Rollins School of Public Health
SOM, Emory School of Medicine
SON, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
EHC, Emory Healthcare
WCI, Winship Cancer Institute

2019 IPECP Synergy Award Winners

In-Situ Simulation Training for Critical Care Teams to Improve Teamwork and Crisis Resource Management Skills

Team members:

  • Vanessa Moll, MD, PhD, DESA, FASA, Assistant Professor of Department of Anesthesiology and Emory Critical Care Center, SOM
  • Natalie Ferrero, MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Emory Critical Care Center, SOM
  • Michael Sterling, MD, FACP, FCCM, Associate Professor of Medicine and Emory Critical Care Center, SOM
  • Heather Meissen, ACNP-BC, CCRN, FCCM, FAANP, Director of the NP/PA Critical Care Residency Program-Emory Critical Care Center
  • Aimee Abide, PA-C, MMSc, Director of NP/PA Residency in Critical Care Medicine, Emory Center for Critical Care
  • Susan Rieger Kill, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CNRN, Nursing Director, Critical Care Services, EUH
  • Ceressa Ward, PharmD, BCPS, BCNSP, BCCCP, Clinical Coordinator, Pharmacy services/Critical Care/Staff Development, EUHM


The interdisciplinary in-situ simulation training will focus on teamwork and crisis resource management (CRM) skills in all intensive care units (ICU) at Emory University Hospital Midtown (EUHM). This platform will include an effective debriefing method called PEARLS (Promoting Excellence and Reflective Learning in Simulation). The chosen scenarios will target team building core competencies, including communication, role query, team cohesion, interprofessional collaboration, and team leadership. The objective of this program is to improve teamwork and CRM skills, initially leading to enhanced team performance and staff satisfaction while ultimately elevating quality and safety of patient care leading to enhanced patient outcomes. The goal is after an initial pilot phase is to further expand the program and utilize this concept for other ICUs in the Emory Healthcare system.

Using Technology and Pedagogy to Develop Interactive Interprofessional Education in the Health Sciences

Team members:

  • Laura (Laurie) Gaydos, PhD, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, RSPH
  • Melissa (Moose) Alperin, EdD, MPH, MCHES, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences & Health Education, RSPH
  • Douglas Ander, MD, FACEP, Professor of Emergency Medicine, SOM
  • Jeannie Weston, RN, MS, EdD, Assistant Clinical Professor, SON


This project will build on the strong existing models for IPE at WHSC to create a rich, interactive experience for all WHSC students across Emory University. The Executive MPH self-paced didactic module content will be adapted for relevance to all health sciences disciplines. Clinical and population health case studies will be developed for use in IPE training across the university. A didactic module will be developed with a technical authoring in a professionally designed module that can be used in any learning management system (including Canvas) to facilitate learning prior to an interactive session. A set of implementation guidelines for use in in-person and distance learning environments and an evaluation plan will also be developed.

Inter-professional Unit Based Learning Utilizing IPEC Competencies

Team members:

  • Bethany Robertson, DNP, CNM, Associate Professor, InEmory Program Director, SON
  • Ann Willingham, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Unit Director 6G, EHC
  • Lora Meredith, MD, Assistant Professor of General Medicine and Geriatrics at Grady, SOM
  • Amisha S. Mehta, MD, Assistant Professor of Hospital Medicine, SOM
  • Shirly Kooran, MSN, MHA, RN, OCN, Clinical Instructor/ Unit Charge Nurse, SON, EHC


Evidence suggests the greatest vulnerability for medical errors is during care transitions;
handoffs from unit to unit, or discharge home. At the heart of creating seamless care transition for patients, is understanding team work, and associated competencies. The project will develop an inter-professional learning experience, around care transitions within the acute care clinical environment. The project will pair a medical and nursing students together with a patient, to develop an understanding of various stages of discharge planning, roles/responsibilities of the team, and effective communication and collaboration. The project will evaluate the impact of the experience on perceptions of teamwork and professional role formation among nursing and medical students. Facilitators and barriers will be assessed within the clinical setting to ensure sustained implementation of the learning experience with repeated cohorts of students.

Interprofessional Education for Health Professional Students in the Classroom and in Community Engagement

Team members:

  • Jodie L. Guest, PhD, MPH, Professor of Epidemiology and Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, RSPH, SOM
  • Marie Johanson, PT, PhD, Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine, SOM


This project will increase the interaction and collaboration of the Physician Assistant (PA) and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students through interprofessional classroom engagement and co-teaching of skills thus enhancing the interprofessional nature of the Emory Farmworker Project and care of our patients. A new curriculum will be created that will be taught by faculty in one program to students in the other program allowing students to both model best practices and learn from each other as they peer teach their health professional colleagues. The curriculum will add a component of social determinants of health specific to the migrant picker population, a structured time to learn about working with a medical interpreter, and design a flow for a patient visit that include PA and DPT colleagues working together.

Museum-Based Education to Promote Palliative Care Skills in a Multidisciplinary Cohort

Team members:

  • Ali John Zarrabi, MD, Assistant Professor of Hospital Medicine, SOM
  • Paul DeSandre, DO FAAHPM, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, SOM
  • Ann Vandenberg, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine (General Medicine and Geriatrics), SOM
  • Holly Gooding, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, SOM
  • Mi-Kyung Song, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor, SON
  • Bryan Brooks, Docent, High Museum of Art
  • Elizabeth Hornor, Director of Education, Michael C. Carlos Museum


Palliative care providers typically enter a patient’s life during a time of crisis, and they are tasked with establishing deep and personal connections with patients and acting as advocates through their illness journey. Fostering such skills are exceptionally challenging for a palliative care training program. To address this challenge, the Emory Palliative Care Center designed and piloted a unique art museum-based curriculum to foster core palliative care clinical competencies including reflective practice, self-awareness, and interprofessional and team communication. This project will update the course for the 2019-2020 academic year and expand the course to include learners from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, and Theology at Emory. The revised course will include the Carlos Museum at Emory as a site for the course and enhance the evaluation of the course. Faculty will also be educated and trained in museum-based pedagogy to foster sustainability and growth of this program.

The Effect of Rapid Cycle Deliberate Practice (RCDP) vs. Traditional Reflective Debriefing (TRD) on Interdisciplinary Simulation Team Training and Cognitive Load

Team members:

  • Susan Wiltrakis, MD, Fellow, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, SOM
  • Nora Colman, MD, Assistant Professor, Pediatric Critical Care
  • Nandrie Goodwin, BSN, RN, Clinical Educator, Emergency Services, CHOA
  • Kiran Hebbar, MD, FCCM, Associate Professor, Pediatric Critical Care, SOM
  • Sherita Holmes, MD, Assistant Professor, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, SOM
  • Ruth Hwu, MD, Assistant Professor, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, SOM
  • Srikant Iyer, MD, MPH, Chair and Professor Pediatric Emergency Medicine, SOM
  • Claire Mathai, BSN, RN, CPEN, Simulation Educator, Emergency Services, CHOA
  • Diana Ross, MSN, RN, Research Coordinator, Qualitative Research Core, SOM
  • Cynthia Sinha, PhD, Associate Scientist, Qualitative Research Core, SOM


Optimal team performance is shown to impact patient outcomes. Research has demonstrated that simulation-based team training (SBTT) is effective in improving team performance amongst interdisciplinary teams in the simulation environment. Simulation effectively teaches concepts of team dynamics to improve interdisciplinary team performance during medical resuscitations in pediatrics. A SBTT program will be used to teach teamwork skills including communication, leadership, situational awareness, role clarity, and shared mental model, to interdisciplinary emergency department teams. The project will compare the effectiveness of two different debriefing techniques, Rapid Cycle Deliberate Practice (RCDP) and Traditional Reflective Debriefing (TRD) on the acquisition of teamwork skills. The cognitive load of the learners and facilitators during RCDP and TRD simulations will also be evaluated to gauge the effectiveness of each debriefing technique.

Early Mobilization in the Intensive Care Unit: An Educational Program to Foster Teamwork

Team members:

  • Lisa Daniels, MD, Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, SOM
  • Kathy Lee Bishop, PT, DPT, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, SOM
  • Jennifer J. Sharp, PT, DPT, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, SOM
  • Katherine Nugent, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, SOM
  • Danny Harris, MD, CPT, MC, USA, Fellow, Critical Care Medicine, SOM
  • Douglas S. Ander, MD, Professor of Emergency Medicine, SOM


Every year in the United States, approximately 25-50% of patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) will develop ICU-acquired weakness (ICU-AW), defined as new onset weakness that occurs during critical illness. ICU-AW is associated with increased mortality, extended hospitalizations, and extended recoveries. Early mobilization is associated with improvement in ICU-AW, functional recovery, and hospital length of stay. The evidence supports using an interprofessional approach, including doctors of physical therapy (DPT) and physicians (MD), to best accomplish early mobilization of patients in the ICU. In this project, DPT and MD students will participate in an interprofessional educational curriculum on early mobilization in the intensive care unit, in order to learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes. Students will progress through an interprofessional education curriculum framework using team-based didactics and simulations as they learn about early mobilization in the ICU. The impact of interprofessional education on students’ attitude and competency in interprofessional collaboration will be evaluated. The approach of using team-based didactics and simulations to enhance student experience will be modeled for future clinical education and practice.