Shelley Cohen Konrad presents and facilitates during virtual interprofessional summit

Shelley Cohen Konrad, Ph.D., LCSW, FNAP, director of UNE’s Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education (CECE) and the School of Social Work, recently gave two presentations and served as facilitator for Nexus Summit 2020: Retaining the Vital Focus on Optimizing the Interprofessional Clinical Learning Environments: Better Care, Better Value, Better Education.

The summit, hosted by the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education (NCIPE) in Minneapolis, is a networking conference where health providers, students, administrators, business innovators, community health workers, and academicians come together to share ideas and generate new knowledge about interprofessional collaboration.

As with many conferences this year, the summit was held virtually, spreading its three-day roster of workshops, discussion groups, posters, and plenaries across three-weeks of interactive Zoom sessions.

Cohen Konrad, along with co-presenter and artist Ted Meyer, presented a plenary session, “Caregiving before, during, and after dual pandemics: Facts and Actions.” The session highlighted the lived experiences of family and friends who are essential, yet unpaid, care workers for people needing ongoing health and medical assistance. The pair has become well known for bringing the voices of patients to the summit and other conference venues. Joining the two for the plenary were three individuals actively engaged in family care, including Regina Phillips, a recent graduate of UNE’s School of Social Work.

Cohen Konrad, who also presented a talk on ambiguous losses, served on the summit’s national planning committee, which included Barbara Brandt, Ph.D., founding NCIPE director and the center’s new co-director, Christine Arenson, MD, a practicing physician and founding co-director of the Jefferson Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at Thomas Jefferson University.

Given the co-occurring urgent issues of the day, the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest in the wake of the death of George Floyd, summit planners prioritized the integration of these topics into summit plenaries and ensured that all stakeholder voices were well represented.

Initially wary of holding the event remotely, Cohen Konrad says summit planners were delighted when participation reached an even broader range of participants than ever before and elicited a banner year for conference submissions.

With the success of the summit’s virtual format, NCIPE will be offering continuing workshops throughout the fall. To learn more about the fall schedule go to https://summit2020.nexusipe.org/.

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