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Innovative Educational Global Forum to be Launched; Seeking University Collaboratives

 The U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) is on track to launch a new Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education in February 2012, inspired in large part by the Lancet Commission report and spearheaded by Commissioner Patrick Kelley, MD, DrPH, who is director of the Board on Global Health and African Science Academy Development at IOM. The intent of the Forum is to convene stakeholders to illuminate issues in health professional education, and to support an ongoing, innovative mechanism to incubate and evaluate new ideas. This incubator mechanism will be four “innovation collaboratives,” which will be multifocal, interprofessional and global. 

This forum concept was raised in the Lancet Commission’s report, which recommended that “National forums for professional education should be tested in interested countries as a way to bring together educational leaders from academia, professional associations and governments to share perspectives on instructional and institutional reform.”

The idea for the forum was also inspired by another report also issued in late 2010, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, a joint effort of the IOM and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

Two Lancet report Commissioners, Jordan Cohen, MD and Afaf Meleis, PhD, will co-chair the new Forum. Dr. Cohen is on the faculty of the George Washington University School of Medicine and was President for 12 years of the Association of American Medical Colleges, and Professor Meleis, PhD is Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. The most visible work of the Forum will be to hold several workshops per year. 

The IOM wishes to identify for affiliation four university-based innovation collaboratives: one in the US or Canada, one in Latin America or the Caribbean, one in Africa, and one in Asia. These innovation collaboratives would each represent formal partnerships between at least three complementary academic institutions: a medical school, a nursing school, and a public health school (in some circumstances a different health professional school could be considered as an alternate to a public health school).

Each chosen innovation collaborative will undertake its own two-year program of innovative curricular and institutional development that specifically responds to one of the recommendations in the Lancet Commission or IOM-RWJ Future of Nursing reports. This innovation would need to involve the three partnered schools.

Six organizations have thus far made a financial commitment to the Forum to serve as "founding members": the Association of American Medical Colleges, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Association of Schools of Public Health,  American Dental Education Association, American Association of Osteopathic Colleges, and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Dr. Kelley is seeking a total of 25 founding member sponsors, plus about 10 academic experts as founding members.

To innovatively engage global stakeholders and model some 21st century approaches, one objective is to video-link the partner schools to the IOM for the workshops. Dr. Kelley is also seeking financial sponsorships to globally webcast the Forum's proceedings. 

The Institute of Medicine’s Board on Global Health has solicited proposals from academic institutions to become affiliated regional innovation collaboratives. (See story). The attached Request for Proposals explains more about the collaboratives and the kinds of interprofessional projects they might undertake, as well as how to contact Dr. Kelley for more information. Proposals were due 1 November 2011.