• Shaping a collaborative model of food services and public health: A multipronged approach using interprofessional education

      Nimkar, Swateja; Ramos, Elizabeth; Borowiecki, Chris; Nimkar, Swateja; Ramos, Elizabeth; Borowiecki, Chris
      Topic: The purpose of this interprofessional education (IPE) project was to introduce and encourage collaborative learning across the two professions of public health and food service management using community expertise. The intended learning outcomes for students were improved communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution skills. Additionally, students were also expected to identify and negotiate specific roles and responsibilities while working with members of another profession. Context: The project was conceptualized by two faculty from Food and Nutrition, and Health Services programs at the University of Southern Indiana (USI). Undergraduate students and faculty from Quantity Food Production and Purchasing and Public Health courses collaborated with the Vanderburgh County Health Department (VCHD) to ensure best food safety and sanitation practice in a real world environment. Approach: The faculty partnered with VCHD to provide students with the training and resources related to food safety and public health issues in the area of commercial and quantity food production. Quantity food students were ServSafe certified and public health students study food safety topics for this project while engaging in five IPE activities spread out during one academic semester at the College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP). Following the initial meetings and education sessions, students engaged in a final project, where public health students served as food safety inspectors as quantity foods students prepared elaborate cultural meals offered to members from the campus community. Finally, students conducted a debate on food safety issues as a culminating experience for the IPE project. Reflection and Discussion: Through this inter-professional collaboration, public health students learned the various aspects of reducing risk for foodborne illnesses and quantity foods production students experienced using Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans to maintain food safety while preparing cultural meals. Both groups utilized an audit system that was discussed in advance by them to identify, analyze, and minimize hazards associated with foodborne illnesses. This project was conducted with direct supervision from faculty teaching the two classes. Thus, faculty and students are using IPE as an innovative approach to develop critical work skills among the future generations of food service and public health workers. References: Brown, A. (2019). Understanding Food: Principles and Preparation (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage. National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. (2017). ServSafe Coursebook (7th ed.). Chicago, IL: National Restaurant Association. Riegelman, R., & Kirkwood, B. (2014). Public Health 101: Healthy People-Healthy Populations (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.