IPEP History


To increase interprofessional learning at the point of patient care, an IPE preceptor development program was initiated in 2020. A collaboration between the HSC Department of IPEP, Center for Innovative Learning, INCEDO and John Peter Smith Hospital (JPS) Graduate Medical Education Department, this program trains interprofessional preceptors to utilize innovative approaches in the  application of collaborative practice competency skill development. The first interprofessional preceptor cohort began with 27 clinicians and educators at JPS in February. COVID precautions placed the program on hold to resume as COVID precautions are reduced.     


With the pandemic impacting in-person instruction, all IPE was transitioned to virtual learning methods. In April, the department was able to shift learning, with only two weeks to spare, for 800+ students from the classroom to the Zoom room. Utilizing activities drawing on the context of the pandemic, students were able to reflect on and discuss current examples, barriers and opportunities for interprofessional collaboration among healthcare, government, industry and the community. Innovative learning strategies were utilized to keep students engaged in the development of their collaborative practice competencies within the virtual learning environment. Zoom and the virtual game Minecraft were introduced as an engaging and fun way to allow students to demonstrate process improvement in teamwork, across three virtual simulations as part of TeamSTEPPS  training (Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety). Used to replace the in-person Lego team tower building exercise that had historically been used, Minecraft created an arena through which teamwork knowledge and skills could be applied virtually. 


As part of the leadership team for the Texas IPE Consortium, the UNTHSC IPEP Department has collaborated with Texas Tech HSC, the UT System HSCs and Texas A&M HSC to positively impact Texas through online training for faculty and clinicians in teamwork development, quality and safety, IPE facilitation skills and innovative IPE learning strategies. The impact of this effort has begun to reach beyond the borders of Texas, drawing participation from faculty and clinicians from Kentucky, Florida, Louisiana and Montana.  


The Department of IPEP in collaboration with the School of Public Health, and the School of Health Professions Departments of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant Studies, succeed in embedding IPE content into the curriculum for four of the five colleges and schools at UNTHSC.

David Farmer, the inaugural director for the Department of IPEP, is certified as a Distinguished Scholar and Fellow Member of the National Academies of Practice (NAP) at the March 2019 annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

The Department of Interprofessional Education and Practice, in partnership with the Center for Innovative Learning, graduate the first (January 2019) and second cohorts (June 2019) from the IPE Faculty Development program. Faculty from UNTHSC, TCU, and UT of Arlington complete the program.
Decentralized-IPE (D-IPE) catalogue is drafted to document and highlight the abundance of interprofessional education opportunities offered to students.


  • The Texas Interprofessional Education Task Force is renamed the ‘Texas Interprofessional Consortium.‘ The purpose of the consortium is to foster cross-institutional collaboration to expand learning opportunities and reinforce value for IPE as a critical aspect of health professions’ education.
  • Since its beginning, the Texas IPE Consortium saw a 237% growth rate from an initial membership of eight health-related institutions to approximately 27 institutions representing private universities, public universities, community partners, and healthcare agencies. Currently, the prime initiative of the consortium is to share innovations, lessons-learned, curriculum development, research efforts, guidelines, assessment tools, learning objectives, training materials, and other resources to combat the many barriers to IPE integration into health professions education across the state of Texas. (Retrieved from https://app4.ttuhsc.edu/TexasIPEConsortium/content/About.aspx, May 15, 2019)
  • UNTHSC sends a team to the Train the Trainer: Interprofessional Team Development Program at the University of Washington. The team, David Farmer, Cynthia Carroll and Robin Bartoletti, attend the training to begin the process of creating an in person IPE faculty development program at UNTHSC.
  • The health science centers that make up the executive leadership for the Texas Interprofessional Consortium (made up of the UNT Health Science Center, Texas Tech Health Science Center, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center) are given the ‘George E. Thibault Nexus Award – Honorable Mention’ at the annual Nexus Summit awards celebration and luncheon.
  • The Department of Interprofessional Education and Practice, in partnership with the Center for Innovative Learning, begin offering Faculty Development for IPE in the fall of 2018. It draws faculty from UNTHSC and TCU.


The Department of IPEP in collaboration with TCOM, Pharmacy, and Public Health, succeed in embedding IPE content into the curriculum for three of the five colleges and schools at UNTHSC.
Texas IPE Consortium agrees to a commitment to graduate all health professions students with foundational training in TeamSTEPPS®.


The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) issues an updated version of the “Core Competencies for Interprofessional Practice” document. The purposes for the new version is to reaffirm the value and impact of the core competencies and sub-competences as promulgated under the auspices of IPEC; to organize the four core competencies within a singular domain of Interprofessional Collaboration; and to broaden the interprofessional competencies to better achieve the Triple Aim, with particular reference to population health. (Interprofessional Education Collaborative, 2016)

The UNT Health Science Center hosts the 2016 Texas Interprofessional Education Consortium Annual Meeting.


  • The presidents of Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, University of North Texas Health Science Center, and University of Texas System Health Institutions met with the State of Texas Legislature’s House Committee on Public Health. The Texas Legislative House Committee asked the presidents to explore opportunities for the health-related institutions to work together around the concept of health and healthcare education in ways that had not previously occurred. Multiple health topics including rural health, emerging infectious diseases, telehealth, mental/behavioral health, and interprofessional education were divvied up among the four health-related institutions. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center received interprofessional education and took the lead on establishing a statewide task force around interprofessional education and collaborative care. Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, University of North Texas Health Science Center, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center continue to serve as the executive leadership of the organization and provide the primary funding for meetings and trainings.
  • Officially founded in August of 2015, the charge from the presidents of the health-related institutions to the Texas Interprofessional Education (IPE) Consortium was to share institutional IPE initiatives, experiences, and lessons-learned across the state of Texas. The organization first met in 2015 to share information about IPE programming and initiatives for health professions education. The initial strategic priorities of the consortium were to bring together key representatives from the state’s academic health professions institutions to foster collaboration around interprofessional education. (Retrieved from https://app4.ttuhsc.edu/TexasIPEConsortium/content/About.aspx, May 15, 2019)
  • A series of online modules, with the help of the Center for Innovative Learning, is opened to faculty to further develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes for the promotion of interprofessional education and practice.


A common institutional IPE calendar is established across UNTHSC and TCU for health professions students, allowing for shared IPE student team learning activities across the health professions.  Texas Woman’s University (TWU) becomes an institutional IPE partner with UNTHSC and TCU.

An annual Interprofessional Symposium for Interprofessional collaboration between academics, the clinical practice community, and health care organizations is inaugurated at UNTHSC. It is collaboratively planned by UNTHSC, TCU, TWU and community partners: the Health industry Council Foundation, PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers), and Merritt Hawkins.


An IPE Curriculum Committee is developed consisting of representation from each of five UNTHSC colleges/schools and TCU participating health professions to work collaboratively on IPE curriculum.

Faculty from UNTHSC and TCU participate together in IPE faculty development and attend the IPEC IPE Institutes together as institutional IPE partners.


The University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) identifies Interprofessional Education and Practice (IPE/P) as a primary initiative in the institutional strategic plan. The Department of Interprofessional Education and Practice is created to establish an institutional culture of IPE across its five colleges/schools (Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, UNT System College of Pharmacy, School of Health Professions, PA and PT, School of Public Health, and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences).

Texas Christian University (TCU) and UNTHSC use their resources and proximity to enter into a memorandum of understanding for students across the professions of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, physician assistant studies, physical therapy, biomedical sciences, public health, dietetics, social work, speech language pathology, and athletic training to learn “about, from and with” each other within the context of Interprofessional teams.


IPEC’s report, Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice, is published and identifies 4 Core IPE Competency Domains, which are common across all health professions. The report’s purpose is to guide curricula development related to collaborative practice competencies across the health professions.
IPEC 4 IPE Core Competency Domains are:

  • Values/Ethics for Interprofessional Practice
  • Roles/Responsibilities within Interprofessional Practice
  • Interprofessional Communication
  • Teams and Teamwork


The World Health Organization’s (WHO) report, Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice, highlights the importance of Interprofessional education and practice. The report defines the function of health care teams as a collaborative practice: a process in “which multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds work together with patients, families, care givers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care.” It describes what we are referring to as Interprofessional practice.

The WHO identifies effective collaboration among the health professions (Interprofessional Practice) as an innovative strategy in mitigating the global health crisis. Interprofessional Education is identified as an avenue to prepare health professions students in collaborative competencies, so to become a part of an Interprofessional, practice-ready health workforce.

The WHO defines Interprofessional Education (IPE) to occur “when students from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health.”


The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) is formed by six national associations for schools of health professions to promote Interprofessional learning. (AACN Nursing, AACOM Osteopathic Medicine, AACP Pharmacy, ADEA Dentistry, AAMC Allopathic Medicine, and ASPH Public Health)


The Institute of Medicine’s report, Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality, recommends that “All health professionals should be educated to deliver patient-centered care as members of an interdisciplinary team, emphasizing evidence-based practice, quality improvement approaches, and informatics.”


The Institute of Medicine (IOM) conference, The Interrelationships of Educational Programs for Health

Professionals, explored whether health care could be enhanced through improved interaction between health professionals. A lack of synergistic interrelationships between all the professionals contributing to the patient’s well-being was identified. Therefore, one goal of the conference was to identify strategies to better prepare future health professionals to work cooperatively.

The Conference Assumptions:

Health professionals are not prepared to function in health care teams:

Traditional perceptions of roles and misinformation about colleagues in other professions, along with a lack of a common language, interfere with productive team dynamics.
The institutions training the health professions were struggling to find a rationale and process for collaborating together.
Students are more apt to become cooperative practitioners when opportunities to experience working together happen while still in school, in valid models of cooperative health care delivery.
Cooperative efforts must be reinforced by seeing cooperative practice, behavioral models among faculty.
Faculty have a responsibility to develop new skills in Interprofessional teaching.
The Conference Report:

Educating for the Health Team suggested that:

“The needs of patients and communities can be better met by the use of teams.”
“Teams have no real social utility (though) unless they meet the needs of individuals or
communities more efficiently, more effectively, more economically, more humanely, and in a more personalized way.”