Release Date: 02/23/2016
Alexandria, VA, February 23, 2016 – The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is pleased to announce the organization has been accepted as an institutional member of the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC). The IPEC focuses on integrating and coordinating the education of nurses, physicians, dentists, pharmacists, public health professionals, and other members of the patient health-care team to provide more collaborative and patient-centered care. To expand the reach of the organization, the IPEC instituted its new institutional membership category, with nine new members including CSWE.
The IPEC’s mission is to ensure that new and current health professionals are proficient in the competencies essential for patient-centered, community and population oriented, interprofessional, collaborative practice. Eligible institutional members must be associations that represent and serve academic units at institutions of higher education that provide an educational program leading to the award of one or more academic degrees to students in one or more of the health professions that provide direct care to patients.
Speaking of the approval of the nine new members, IPEC President Richard W. Valachovic, DMD, MPH said that “today marks a significant and growing commitment across the health professions in the United States to make collaborative, patient-centered care a reality,” Valachovic, who is also president and CEO of the American Dental Education Association, noted that “including such a diverse and comprehensive group of new associations in IPEC’s work brings us that much closer to success.”
CSWE has provided leadership for the engagement of social work in interprofessional education. Many programs have integrated the IPEC competencies into their curricula, and several programs have sent representatives to participate in the IPEC Faculty Development Institutes. In March 2015 the CSWE Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve the principles of the IPEC, facilitating CSWE’s listing on the IPEC website as a “supporting organization.”
“Since the beginning, social work education has prepared practitioners to serve important roles on interprofessional teams,” stated Darla Spence Coffey, president and CEO of CSWE, “Becoming a member of IPEC will serve to expand social work’s reach in having a major influence on the way future health professionals are prepared to enhance the care of individuals and families.”
CSWE is a nonprofit national association representing more than 2,500 individual members as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 1952, this partnership of educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies, and private citizens is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United States.