The academic health center (AHC) chief academic officer (CAO) role in fostering interprofessional learning experiences

members of the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) Chief Academic Officers (CAO) Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Define and describe the roles and responsibilities of the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) in the creation of sustainable interprofessional learning experiences (ILE) sponsored or co-sponsored through Academic Health Centers (AHCs).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100270
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Education and Practice
StatePublished - Sep 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A review of current literature readily demonstrates that while methods and application of interprofessional learning experiences is growing across the globe, outcome measures demonstrating replicable patient care outcome improvements are still nascent. It was hoped that through passage of the Affordable Care Act and subsequent expected federal investment in patient outcomes, population health and funding for team-driven care delivery would emerge. However, this promise has not yet been met. As the largest public funding source for services to the underserved in the United States, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have not led payment reform that incentivizes interprofessional care in the direction that was anticipated merely five years ago. The authors express their appreciation and highest regard to the faculty, students, staff and administrators who have innovated, experimented, and adapted ways to bridge traditional health professions and graduate study educational silos to implement meaningful interprofessional learning experiences. We offer special appreciation to three individuals for their thoughtful contributions to our thinking about current, emerging and desired roles for AHC Chief Academic Officers in sponsoring and supporting interprofessional education and learning initiatives: Margaret Robinson, MEd, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Mary Keehn, DPT, MHPE, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Gina Baugh, Pharm.D. West Virginia University. Our special thanks to H. Dele Davies, MD, Chair, AAHC Chief Academic Officers Roundtable for inviting deeper conversation about, and consideration of, AHC progress and CAO roles to establish sustainable interprofessional education opportunities, and to Ruhiyyih Degeberg, MPH, Senior Manager, Member Programs, Association of Academic Health Centers for her support and assistance.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


  • Academic health center
  • Chief academic officer
  • Interdisciplinary education
  • Interprofessional learning and practice
  • Interprofessional learning experiences


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