The health mentors program: Three years experience with longitudinal, patient-centered interprofessional education

Christine Arenson, Elena Umland, Lauren Collins, Stephen B. Kern, Leigh Ann Hewston, Christine Jerpbak, Reena Antony, Molly Rose, Kevin Lyons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Increased emphasis on team care has accelerated interprofessional education (IPE) of health professionals. The health mentors program (HMP) is a required, longitudinal, interprofessional curriculum for all matriculating students from medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, pharmacy, and couple and family therapy. Volunteer lay health mentors serve as educators. Student teams complete four modules over 2 years. A mixed-methods approach has been employed since program inception, evaluating 2911 students enrolled in HMP from 2007 to 2013. Program impact on 577 students enrolled from 2009-2011 is reported. Two interprofessional scales were employed to measure attitudes toward IPE and attitudes toward interprofessional practice. Focus groups and reflection papers provide qualitative data. Students enter professional training with very positive attitudes toward IPE, which are maintained over 2 years. Students demonstrated significantly improved attitudes toward team care, which were not different across programs. Qualitative data suggested limited tolerance for logistic challenges posed by IPE, but strongly support that students achieved the major program goals of understanding the roles of colleagues and understanding the perspective of patients. Ongoing longitudinal evaluation will further elucidate the impact on future practice and patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of interprofessional care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

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  • Interprofessional education
  • mixed-methods evaluation
  • patient-centered practice
  • person-centered care


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