(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — The Texas A&M Health Science Center recently received $1.5 million from the Annenberg Foundation to begin an innovative program for interdisciplinary education and health care delivery.

The Annenberg Interdisciplinary Studies for Health Care Professionals will strive to shift the current approach to health care delivery from segmented delivery to a more interdisciplinary, productive team-based approach. The goal will be to decrease the de-personalization of overly specialized interests and encourage a global team approach to the methods and processes of health care.

“Walter and Leonore Annenberg’s well-known philanthropy in support of education has proven to be an extraordinary benefit to our nation,” said Nancy W. Dickey, M.D., President of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs for the Texas A&M University System. “On behalf of the Texas A&M Health Science Center, I look forward to our University being an important part of the Annenberg legacy.”

Through the Annenberg Interdisciplinary Studies for Health Care Professionals, interdisciplinary teams of health care students and professionals will work together to refine skill sets from key disciplines to deliver more advanced and effective health care. Such training opportunities will include health care professionals from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, health administration and other allied health professions.

The curriculum will incorporate the use of life-like manikins, along with patient-actors, to simulate the emotional and intellectual responses from participants without jeopardizing patient safety.

The Annenberg Interdisciplinary Studies for Health Care Professionals will work closely in program development and outreach with the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation and School. One example of a possible collaborative effort is a summer outreach program to identify and develop necessary skills for high school students and undergraduates who have demonstrated an interest in and the ability to become health care professionals.

Through such efforts, the Health Science Center hopes to capture the interest of young health care professionals, demonstrating the values of a team approach to care and significantly increasing quality care in both urban and rural settings. Results and resources will be made available to other health professions organizations and shared at conferences, workshops and other venues.

The Annenberg Foundation, established in 1989 by Walter H. Annenberg, exists to advance the public well-being through improved communication. Through its headquarters in Radnor, Pa., and an office in Los Angeles, the Foundation provides funding and support in the program areas of education and youth development; the arts, culture and humanities; civic and community affairs; health and human services; and animal services and the environment.

The Texas A&M Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its six components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, and the School of Rural Public Health.

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