Future possibilities for strengthened Filipino health care system up at first UST CRS – AUF CAMP conference

On August 11 and 12, 2018, the very first Philippine Interprofessional Education and Collaboration (IPEC) also known as PHIPEC Conference 2018 was held at the Central Laboratory Building of the University of Santo Tomas, and was attended by over 80 participants from more than 10 health and social care professions.

The two-day conference, held in partnership with the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) College of Allied Medical Professionals (CAMP), was participated in by health and social care professionals such as those in the field of occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, nursing, medicine, social work, psychology, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, health professions education. It aimed to facilitate uniform understanding of IPEC across higher education institutions and health facilities as well as to instigate research and curriculum creation on IPEC for improved health outcomes for the Filipino population.

The participants were welcomed by UST College of Rehabilitation Sciences Dean Assoc. Prof. Anne Marie Aseron and AUF CAMP Dean Annalyn Navarro, Ph.D., in their respective speeches during the program. More than 15 speakers shared their expertise in health education and practice in the light of IPEC. Keynote speeches were delivered and plenary sessions were threaded based on the core principles of health professions education — teaching, applying, integrating, and discovering. Thematic symposia that discussed on-going IPEC-related research and projects with specialized topics such as HIV care, substance addiction, communication competencies, team strategies, and more were also available.

Each day was ended with workshops that facilitated interactive learning among participants. Speakers included UST Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Prof. Cheryl R. Peralta, DrPH, medical doctor from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery Anna Karen Causapin, UST alumna and speech pathologist Ms. Ina Arraine Bunda, CRS faculty members and physical therapists Ms. Catherine Joy Escuadra and Assoc. Prof. Jocelyn Agcaoili.

On the last day, a post-conference workshop was held to determine future possibilities for the newly founded PHIPEC network that will reinforce a strengthened Filipino health care system. The following were agreed upon: Formalize IPEC training and education for faculty, students, and graduate students; Challenge more practitioners to learn and engage in IPEC; Strengthen conflict resolution and effective communication competencies among students and professionals within the health and social care professions; Explore various methods and research designs in IPEC-related research such as qualitative, mixed methods, experimental; Publish a textbook manual that will highlight best practice in IPEC in the Philippines; Discover possibilities of more inter-university collaboration in terms of IPEC education and research across the archipelago; and Establish an informal network for Filipinos to be called the “PHIPEC Network,” which is envisioned to be part of the World Coordinating Council – All Together Better Health and formally recognized by the CAIPE in the future.

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