OKLAHOMA CITY – The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences today announced the Unity Clinic, the student-led interprofessional clinical experience, has been selected as a recipient of the 2023 George E. Thibault, MD Nexus Award by the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, or the Nexus. The Unity Clinic was recognized for this achievement during a ceremony held today on the OU Health Sciences campus.
This national award recognizes a Nexus partnership of health systems, clinics, educational institutions and/or community organizations for extraordinary contributions to redesigning both health care education and health care delivery simultaneously to be better integrated and more interprofessional while demonstrating outcomes.
Founded in 2019, the mission of the Unity Clinic is to promote clinical interprofessional collaboration between current and future health care providers while delivering patient-centered, high-quality health care to Oklahoma’s underserved populations. This work is completed through primary care, collaborative care clinics and mobile health outreach initiatives spanning 18 professions across eight OU colleges. Care is delivered to over 500 patients per year through hundreds of hours in clinical sessions with over a dozen community partners.
“The OUHSC Unity Clinic is a wonderful example of a student-led, academic-practice partnership that achieves outcomes in student learning and increases the community’s access to care,” said Dr. Christine Arenson, director of the National Center.
The Unity Clinic operates with a complex team of over 70 student and faculty leaders. As an innovative practice model, the Unity Clinic offers a flexible framework intended to promote collaboration and problem-solving where each team is established deliberately to include different combinations of professions dependent on the focus of the clinic and the patients’ needs. Professions represented include both traditional members such as medicine, nursing and pharmacy, and non-traditional team members including allied health, public health and social work.
When measuring success, the Unity Clinic considers factors such as student participation, student evaluations and access to health providers by members of the community. Student participation rates in the Unity Clinic experience have increased by 900% since 2019, allowing the Unity Clinic to both train more students in collaborative care models and provide team-based care to more patients. Student evaluation scores show that 84-91% of teams have exceeded expectations or had exceptional performance at the Unity Clinic. Finally, the Unity Clinic provides thousands of hours of team-based care directly to the patients in Oklahoma County. This is a substantial step in providing accessible health care to our community.
“The Unity Clinic strives to deliver high-quality patient-centered comprehensive care to our patients, our communities, and of course, to our student learners,” said Margaret Robinson, senior associate director of the OU Health Sciences Office of Interdisciplinary Programs. “Although a workforce development clinical experience, the Unity Clinic provides a unique opportunity to address health disparities and improve health outcomes all while building a sense of belonging among our student and provider teams. We are humbled to be recognized by the National Center, and we are committed to continued growth and improvement to provide team-based care to as many Oklahomans as possible.”
The Unity Clinic is operated by the OU Health Sciences Office of Interdisciplinary Programs in the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Faculty Development. Additional information regarding the Unity Clinic can be found at ipe.ouhsc.edu/Unity-Clinic or by calling (405) 271-5557.
OU Health Sciences Center
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is one of the nation’s few academic health centers with all health professions colleges — Allied Health, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Graduate Studies and School of Community Medicine. The OU Health Sciences Center serves approximately 4,000 students in more than 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs on campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and is the academic and research partner of OU Health, the state’s only comprehensive academic health care system. The OU Health Sciences Center is ranked 108 out of over 2,900 institutions in funding received from the National Institutes of Health, according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. For more information, visit ouhsc.edu.
About the University of Oklahoma
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. As the state’s flagship university, OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. OU was named the state’s highest-ranking university in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent Best Colleges list. For more information about the university, visit ou.edu.