Posted on February 05, 2019

The Interprofessional Education Student Association (IPE), a group of healthcare students from different universities, organized one of its most successful events of the year, with around 150 attendees, entitled “The Fourth Annual IPE Forum for Healthcare Students.”

The event included faculty, students and clinicians from various healthcare disciplines in different universities across Qatar including Qatar University’s (QU) College of Pharmacy (CPH), College of Health Sciences (CHS) and College of Medicine (CMED) alongside peers from University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ), College of the North Atlantic - Qatar (CNA-Q) and Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar (WCM-Q). Vice President for Medical and Health Sciences and Dean of the CMED, Dr. Egon Toft welcomed guests followed by CPH Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at CPH and QU Health Chair of the Interprofessional Education Committee Dr. Alla El-Awaisi and President of the IPE Student Association and CPH MSc student Ms. Sawsan AlMukdad.

An interprofessional team from the National Center for Cancer Care and Research were keynote speakers and shared their story entitled: “A Decade of Interprofessional Collaboration! VTE Prophylaxis: Challenges and Success in NCCCR,” which showcased their persistence and commitment to excellence to inspire students in their future careers. The team included: Dr. Shereen Elazzazy, Assistant Director of Pharmacy, Clinical Services, NCCCR; Dr. Shehab Fareed, Consultant Hematology, NCCCR; Mr. Nayel Altarawneh, Assistant Executive Director, Quality & Patient Safety, NCCCR; Mr. Ziad Abu Essa, Director of Nursing, in-patient, NCCCR and Mr. Jon Boocock - Informatics Lead, NCCCR Informatics Team.

The students engaged in various activities and competitions aimed at enhancing knowledge, collaboration and interprofessional communication. The program included five oral presentations and 46 poster presentations where students shared their research projects, IPE experience and advocated for their respective healthcare professions. The oral and poster presentations were judged by an interprofessional team representing the four healthcare institutions which included Dr. Fadi Al-Khateeb, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Pharmacy, Qatar University; Dr. Jessie Johnson, Assistant Professor and Graduate Program, University of Calgary in Qatar; Dr. Lily O’Hara, Associate Professor, Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Qatar University; Mr. Norman Wong, Pharmacy Technician Lead Instructor, School of Health Sciences, College of North Atlantic in Qatar and Dr. Suhad Nashif, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences, College of Medicine, Qatar University.

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During the forum and for the first time in Qatar and the Middle East, the internationally recognized healthcare challenge was introduced. The challenge gave the students the opportunity to collaboratively work together outside their academic schedules. It required healthcare students from four institutions to work together over two weeks to determine the best care plan for the patient. Five teams competed against each other and presented their proposed patient-centered care plans for a complex patient, which they worked on for around two weeks. The teams were judged based on their ability to satisfy the IPE competencies including collaboration, interprofessional communication, patient-centeredness, team functioning and role clarification. The competition was judged by Dr. Noora Al Mutawa, Head of Clinical Training and Senior Consultant of Family Medicine, Primary Health Care Corporation; Mr. Amjad Annethattil, Physiotherapy Specialist, HMC Rehabilitation Center, Hamad Medical Cooperation; Dr. Maguy El Hajj, Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and Practice and Chair of Clinical Pharmacy and Practice Section, College of Pharmacy, Qatar University; Dr. Mujahed Shraim, Assistant Professor of Public Health, Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Qatar University; Dr. Sharon Adamson, Nursing Instructor, University of Calgary in Qatar; and Dr. Tanya Kane, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences, College of Medicine, Qatar University.

Finally, the event also featured the distribution of awards for the winners in the best poster, oral presentation competitions as well as the winning team in the healthcare challenge. The healthcare challenge winners were for the team ‘Holistiholics.’ The team included: Amani Adel, College of North Atlantic in Qatar; Asma Ouagueni, Nutrition, College of Health Sciences, Qatar University; Ayman Ibrahim, College of Medicine, Qatar University; Daniah Moreno, University of Calgary in Qatar; Hasna Hassan, Biomedical, College of Health Sciences, Qatar University; Raneem Abunahia, College of Pharmacy, Qatar University and Naseeba Thasneem College of North Atlantic in Qatar.

The winners of the best oral presentation awards included Umaira Behzad from University of calgary as a first-place winner for a presentation entitled ‘Modern Day Nursing’. The second-place winner was for a presentation entitled ‘A Different Flavor of IPE’ presented by Zeinab Abedini and Shimaa Aboelbaha from the College of Pharmacy at Qatar University. College of North Atlantic students’ Aisha Sultan, Fathima Veluthavalappil, Maria Zulfiqar, Naseeba Thasneem, Ruqqaiya Irshad, Sarah Syed, and Tania Abab achieved the third place for their presentation under the title ‘Respiratory Therapy: Breathe easy.’

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For the poster presentation awards, the first place winner from the research category: ‘Resveratrol and Hesperetin Co-treatment For the Prevention of Methylglyoxal-Induced Cardiac Insulin Resistance: Implications of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus’ presented by Sara Aldali, College of Pharmacy, Qatar University. Second place was awarded to the project ‘Association between Iron Overload and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes’ presented by Judi Baraa Elsettawy, Sarah Awni Kamal, and Zainab Ahmed from the College of Health Sciences, Qatar University. For the IPE perspective category, first place was for the poster entitled ‘Advocating for Nutrition and Dietetics’ presented by Fatima Abdulla AL-Naimi and Rouda Hassan Qassmi from College of Health Sciences, Qatar University, followed by ‘Why You Need Pharmacists’ poster presented by Eman Mohamed, Halima Saadia, Laila Shafei and Mariam Mustafa from the College of Pharmacy, Qatar University.

QU VP for Medical Education and CMED Dean Dr. Egon Toft said of the forum, “QU Health is proud to be a part of the Interprofessional Education Sessions, which helps prepare students to face the challenges they have yet to encounter. The Interprofessional Education system was founded to develop and facilitate interactions between health care students from different institutions, and world-leading training synergies across health care majors, equipping learners with team-based collaborative skills and emphasizing interactive learning.”

CPH Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Chair of the Interprofessional Education Committee Dr. Alla El-Awaisi said, “The healthcare team challenge was a great addition to the forum this year. I was really impressed by the quality and creativity of the students in presenting their plans. The addition of the challenge is a great achievement for us which we are very proud to have for the first time in Qatar and the Middle East. I sincerely congratulate all the teams for their great efforts and thank their mentors for their invaluable guidance and support. I am very pleased to see how much the forum has advanced. The students’ creativity and motivation during the day were truly astounding and I am very optimistic about the future of healthcare in Qatar.”

IPE-SA President and MSc pharmacy student Ms. Sawsan AlMukdad said, “This annual event serves as an early prompt for healthcare students to encourage them to think about their future careers in collaboration with other professions, identifying an overlap of roles for healthcare as well as the need for respect and open communication to enhance patient care and improve outcomes. I thank and appreciate all the sponsors of this event and the hard work of the IPE student association body as well as all members who volunteered or helped in making the event successful.”