Interprofessional Approaches to Health Disparities


Interprofessional Approaches to Health Disparities & Service Learning Program Classes, 2014-2015



The Interprofessional Approaches to Health Disparities (IAHD) is a longitudinal interprofessional course offered during the Fall and Spring semesters for health professions students at UIC.


To equip learners with essential skills to improve health care for underserved populations and transform health disparities through interprofessional education, research and collaborative practice.


Participation in the IAHD will enable trainees to:

  • Effectively engage in identifying and addressing social determinants of health impacting vulnerable populations;
  • Acquire working knowledge and hands-on experience with community-based participatory research (CBPR) and quality improvement (QI) methods;
  • Develop an interprofessional community-based research project designed to improve health care access, communication, care coordination, or additional priority issues for vulnerable populations;
  • Develop skills for functioning as effective members of interprofessional teams; and
  • Develop skills for leadership, advocacy and scholarship.


In the current era of health care reform and redesign, new models of health care delivery need careful integration with innovative models of health professions education. Traditional health professions education takes place in silos, with limited opportunities for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and other health professionals to learn and practice in interprofessional teams during their formative years. A wealth of evidence supports the usefulness of interprofessional training for effective health care delivery, building collaborative linkages among health professionals and communities, and thereby facilitating the provision of patient-centered care, a cornerstone of quality designated by the Institute of Medicine. Based on consensus by UIC health professional schools, a curriculum structure that integrates longitudinal public health education, with CBPR and QI research, in an interprofessional learning environment, is essential for preparing health care leaders with skills to effectively address the rising burden of key public health concerns.


Health Disparities
Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR)
Quality Improvement (QI)
Public Health Education
Interprofessional Education


Students will have the opportunity to:

  1. Acquire skills for functioning as effective members of interprofessional teams.
  2. Gain working knowledge of CBPR and QI methods.
  3. Improve health care access, communication and care coordination for vulnerable populations.
  4. Develop expertise in one area of concentration – domestic violence, geriatrics,  HIV/AIDS, homelessness, or immigrant & refugee health.
  5. Apply principles of teamwork and collaborations to address health disparities.

Interested in more information on this program?  Please email [email protected].

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