UMass Medical School experts to present on teaching medical and nursing students about race, power and population health at Association of Clinicians for the Underserved conference

July 20, 2016

UMass Medical School experts will present on educating medical and advanced practice nursing students about race, power and privilege in clinical settings and how partnerships can help when teaching population health at the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved’s annual conference July 31 through Aug. 3 at the Four Seasons in Washington, D.C.

Three representatives of the Massachusetts Area Health Education Center (MassAHEC) Network, part of the Center for Health Policy and Research, a unit within UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division, worked on the presentations, which summarize their experiences preparing students to care for underserved populations.

Heather-Lyn Haley, PhD, project director at UMass Medical School’s Center for Health Equity Intervention Research and an assistant professor in the school’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, will present “Addressing Race, Power and Privilege in Clinical Settings” from 11 a.m. to noon Aug. 2.

Addressing issues around race, power and privilege as clinicians and when precepting learners can be challenging.  In this session, Haley will present a framework to address these issues and strategies, with a focus on disrupting racism and improving clinical processes and outcomes. She will share UMass Medical School and MassAHEC’s implementation of an Undoing Racism framework adapted for a population health clerkship for medical and advanced practice nursing students. She also will discuss ways in which participants can use these resources and tools in their own work.

“Teaching Population Health to Medical and Nursing Students: What, Why, and How?” was prepared by Suzanne Cashman, ScD, director of evaluation for MassAHEC and a professor and director of Community Health in UMass Medical School’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, and Linda J. Cragin, MS, director of the MassAHEC Network and an instructor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and Graduate School of Nursing. Cashman will give the presentation from 2 to 3 p.m. Aug. 2.

Cashman will explain that teaching medical and nursing students elements of population health through partnerships between community health centers and an academic health center offers mutually beneficial experiences and outcomes for students, health centers and patients. She will describe a longstanding partnership between UMass Medical School and community health centers and community-based organizations in which medical and nursing students are placed in two-week immersion experiences. The experiences enable students to learn to work as an interprofessional team to improve care and effect policy changes, such as students teaching medical assistants to apply fluoride varnish and advancing elements of the patient-centered medical home.

MassAHEC, which is based at Commonwealth Medicine and has six centers in Massachusetts, provides health care training and learning opportunities to more than 6,000 students and health care professionals each year.