This spring, the National Academies of Practice inducted Williams as a Distinguished Fellow. Founded in 1981, NAP is an interprofessional, nonprofit organization with membership representing 14 health care professions willing to serve as distinguished advisers to health care policymakers in Congress and elsewhere. Fellowship in NAP is an honor extended to those who have excelled in their profession and who are dedicated to furthering practice, scholarship and policy in support of interprofessional care.
Interprofessional education emphasizes teaching students in the health sciences to work and communicate across disciplines to improve health care. Increasing the number of students and faculty involved in ETSU’s interprofessional education program has been a top priority for Williams.
“This recognition is an intertwining of my professional volunteer service as vice president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and my work as an associate dean at ETSU, where we have a very well-established, respected interprofessional education program,” Williams said. “It is an honor to represent them both and to advocate for collaboration across health care disciplines.”
In addition, the Interprofessional Education Collaborative has invited Williams to speak about ETSU’s innovative IPE efforts at a gathering of faculty members from institutions across the country. Williams will be the first faculty member from ETSU and the first speech-language pathologist from ASHA to present at IPEC’s Interprofessional Faculty Development Institute, to be held May 22-24 in Washington, D.C.
Her presentation, titled “Planning for Successful Interprofessional Education,” will highlight some of the work that ETSU is doing to sustain its IPE efforts.
“We are extremely proud of the interprofessional education program at ETSU, so it is exciting that an organization that is a national leader in IPE has invited Dr. Williams to share insights from our program,” said Dr. Wilsie Bishop, senior vice president for academics at ETSU.
ETSU’s five health sciences colleges, including Quillen College of Medicine, Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, College of Nursing, College of Public Health and College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, participate in the university’s IPE program.
During the last year, Williams has helped increase support for IPE by recruiting more faculty members to be involved. Last year, there was one faculty IPE representative from the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences; this year there are 11. The college has also increased from six students participating to 41 who are involved.
“With nine different programs within the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, our college already works interprofessionally internally,” Williams said. “Working interprofessionally with the other health sciences colleges at ETSU is a natural step for us, and one that I am honored to promote.”