HSC at Fort Worth

Now, and Next: UNTHSC Leader in IPE Collaboration

President Williams smiling


Becoming a national leader in Interprofessional Education and Practice is one of HSC’s strategic goals.

The Health Science Center is one of four founding institutional members of the Texas Interprofessional Education Task Force. This group was created in 2015 when the Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs of the UT System and the presidents of UNTHSC and the health science centers of Texas Tech and Texas A&M presented it to the Texas Legislature. The Texas IPE Task Force was charged by the Texas Legislature to start sharing IPE initiatives, experiences and lessons learned.

Now entering its third year, the task force has grown to 18 Texas academic medical institutions and one health care system, a remarkable example of collaboration.

I got a firsthand look at how we’re working toward this distinction on a recent trip to Austin where I joined Dr. David Farmer, HSC Director of Interprofessional Education and Practice and a task force member, on a panel at the task force’s meeting at the University of Texas.

Leaders from the health science centers at Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University and the University of Texas System also participated in the discussion.

The task force has a unique opportunity to create uniform IPE core competencies for students studying health professions. That means students at the University of Texas, Texas A&M or Rice would train to work in teams in the same manner as HSC students.

Our IPE work is important because students from all Texas institutions graduate and get jobs together in hospitals, clinics and other health care settings. By teaching students a common language and understanding of teamwork during their medical education, we prepare them to function as high-performing teams. And we know that high-performing teams are capable of reducing preventable medical errors and ensuring patients receive the highest quality of care.

We know of no other state that is pursuing this type of collaborative IPE strategy. Now, with the task force in place, it can next create the potential for HSC and this network of Texas medical institutions to become a model of innovative interprofessional education for the rest of the country.

I thank Dr. Farmer and all our team members in the Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice for working to make HSC a leader in IPE.

I also want to express my appreciation to all who voiced their opinion by taking the recent Gallup Employee Engagement survey. UNTHSC had a completion rate of 76 percent, the highest of all UNT campuses. Your time was well invested. We will use the results to help speed our journey toward becoming a Best Place for All.

Thank you for working together as we transform lives to improve the lives of others,


Dr. Michael R. Williams

Questions? Email questions@unthsc.edu