EWU’s College of Health Science and Public Health (CHSPH) and St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute have created a collaborative out-patient therapy clinic program located in the recently opened Spokane Teaching Health Clinic (STHC). The emphasis on this program focuses on student learning opportunities within a clinical environment that provides excellence in patient care to meet the health care needs of the local community.
Located on the Spokane campus, STHC is housed in Washington State University’s Spokane Teaching Health Clinic, which was designed, in part, to train future health care providers to collaborate on patient care.
The clinic will open April 27, and will be St. Luke’s 10th out-patient clinic within the community. To start, the clinic will be staffed with three full-time St. Luke’s employees – an admissions coordinator, an occupational therapist and a physical therapist. Therapists hired to work at the STHC will work closely with EWU faculty to provide excellence in education to students enrolled in programs in CHSPH.
“Having this clinic and partnership with St. Luke’s gives us a way to give students clinical experiences earlier in their programs, to build clinic-based experiences into our program, to model for our students what inter-professional care looks like when it’s done well, and to give them access to potential participants for research studies,” said Donna Mann, OTD, associate dean of CHSPH and associate professor of OT.
The site demonstrates inter-professional care, in which a variety of health care professionals collaborate to provide the best care outcomes in the least disruptive and most cost-efficient way for the client and organizations involved. This means health care professionals will acknowledge overlaps in practice in order to design the most cost-effective service delivery plan while assuring the highest quality outcomes.
“We’re trying to break down those silos of physical therapist, occupational therapist, physician, nurse, etc. We have always traditionally worked well as a multidisciplinary team,” Mann said. “But in collaborative care, it’s even more of a mesh. It requires tighter teamwork, tighter communication and clearer understandings of the capacity of every profession.”
Mann’s hope for the future of the clinic is to create opportunities for other CHSPH programs, such as communication sciences and disorders, dental hygiene, health science administration and public health students while also focusing on contributing inventive ideas to health care delivery.
“I do believe that the university has an important role to play when innovations are required,” Mann said. “And I think innovations are required in health care right now. It’s important that we step up to the plate and help create health care of the future with our community partners.”
An open house for the clinic is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26, from 5-6 p.m. at the Spokane Teaching Health Clinic, 624 E. Front St.