Nexus Summit 2021 Themes

Nexus Summit 2021 is organized across the National Center’s five Strategic Imperatives, which emerged from Nexus Summit 2020 dialogue and conversations with many stakeholders, including AIHC members, IPE leaders, health professionals, community members, and organizational partners over the past year.

Each thematic day will feature an interactive plenary, seminars, lightning talks, and Conversation Cafes.

Continue reading below to learn more about the intention and purpose behind each thematic day.

September 14: Building Capacity to Advance Interprofessional Practice and Education

Since it was established in 2012, the National Center has maintained a strong commitment to support the advancement of the field of interprofessional practice and education through learning, scholarship and research.  This work is deeply rooted in and informed by our growing understanding of and appreciation for the lessons and experiences of pioneering colleagues over the last six decades.  

Throughout the Nexus Summit, we aim to elevate the contribution of scholars and teams implementing and evaluating new models of interprofessional collaboration and learning while promoting engagement and growth of stakeholders in health by building community, creating opportunities to connect with colleagues and cultivating future leaders.  

The Building Capacity to Advance Interprofessional Practice and Education theme is intended to highlight models and exemplars demonstrating the leadership, courage, and creativity needed to advance the field with a focus on what matters most to those we serve.

September 27: Community as Curriculum

Since its inception, the National Center has envisioned and committed to the Nexus by aligning interprofessional education with the health systems and communities they serve. By designing curriculum together with community within the Nexus, we are able to work together to strive to achieve the outcomes that matter most to the individuals and populations served. When fully realized, communities become full partners with health education and practice to co-create sustainable, impactful and integrated care and learning that meets specific and real priorities, informed by professional expertise, that drive toward outcomes that matter most to those being served.  

In these partnerships, local data and expertise, coupled with best practices in interprofessional practice and education, support the design, implementation and evaluation of impact based on what matters most to the individuals, families, and populations served. These partnerships promote meaningful learning among all involved within the community’s context in order to improve quality of care, support innovation in care delivery and drive health equity. 

The Community as Curriculum theme is designed to share both a vision and real-life examples of how health professions education is transforming through partnerships to improve learning and add value for individuals, communities and practices, while addressing systems-level issues to create a health workforce that more accurately reflects the communities served.

September 29: Engaging Individuals, Families, Communities and Populations

Since 2018, the National Center has actively engaged some of the most important “experts” - ordinary people managing their own health – in the Nexus Summit to challenge our community with bold ideas about how best to engage individuals, families and communities in the Nexus so their interests, beliefs and priorities are reflected as we define what matters most in health, healthcare and the education of the future health workforce.  We continue that important commitment this year as we explore strategies to partner with individuals, families, and communities as full members of the health team. Our focus is on creating strong and sustainable partnerships between education and practice that appreciate the expertise health professionals offer, honor the interests, beliefs and priorities of the people served and work toward a bi-directional partnership that supports and reinforces learner, system and health outcomes that matter most.  

Recognizing the importance of language and acknowledging that different sectors of healthcare and education vary language to the local circumstance, the National Center has adopted the phrase “people” to define the individuals, families, communities and populations who are being served and whose health outcomes Nexus partnerships seek to improve. By naming “individuals and families”, the National Center is including patients, clients and consumers, but broadening their identity beyond a clinical setting to homes and community settings.  

The Engaging Individuals, Families, Communities and Populations theme will highlight real-life examples of how individuals, families and communities are co-creating health in partnership with educators, learners, and providers of care. This action-oriented content will support educators and practitioners to identify practical, achievable “next steps” on the journey to fully engage the people served in thinking creatively about models of interprofessional practice and strategies to address health equity. 

October 5: Addressing Racism and Caste Within Health Care Teams

The past year has witnessed shocking disparities in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color. Further, the nation has been awakened to the impact of ongoing structural racism in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. These events are only the latest, most visible examples of long-standing structural disparities in health across our nation. The National Center hosted a conversation about the impact of racism and poverty on health at Nexus Summit 2020, which led to deep conversations about how the National Center can best contribute to health equity by addressing these complex issues. The result is a National Center Strategic Imperative to address racism and caste within healthcare teams, to ensure that all members of the team can contribute fully to the creation of health while working within a supportive, collaborative professional environment.  

Addressing Racism and Caste within Health Care Teams requires engagement of multiple stakeholders across education and practice settings. This theme will engage participants in defining the health team broadly, to include the many unlicensed professionals without whom care delivery is not possible: home health aides, community health workers, medical assistants, nursing assistants, schedulers, unit clerks, housekeeping and dietary staff and many others. Sessions will explore what and how, at an institutional level, factors influencing racism can be addressed, including the impact of providing a living wage for every member of the healthcare team, as well as exploring practical, approachable steps local health teams have taken to engage all members of the team more effectively. Conversation Cafes will explore the role of professions themselves, as well as accreditors in advancing health equity. 

October 7: Generating New Knowledge to Improve Outcomes

Healthcare is changing rapidly. Increasingly, decisions about care delivery, public and population health, team-based workforce models, and expected outcomes are being informed through big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Likewise our educational programs are called to monumental  transformation. We are in the middle of a chasm between traditional and transformative models of care, and professional educational as well as in the midst of emerging new discovery models and knowledge generation.  We need to move beyond the transactional data that is collected in health systems and most often tied to fee-for-service payment to understand the human processes and interactions that support teams, the care that is delivered, community-based health solutions, and health-based outcomes.

Ultimately, health care teams are looking at not just evidence or data for quality improvement.  Rather they are seeking actionable, real-time data about what matters most for the individuals, families and communities served. The Generating New Knowledge to Improve Outcomes theme is organized around what the National Center is learning about how to design teams for discovery and collection of actionable data for everyday practice sustainability and innovation.

October 12: Bringing it all Together for the Interprofessional Clinical Learning Environment

Together with the National Center leaders, the National Collaborative for Improving the Clinical Learning Environment (NCICLE) will be hosting a bonus day, comprised of an interactive panel discussion plenary session and a conversation café. These sessions will focus on synthesizing the themes from the Nexus Summit 2021 and putting into action through development and discussion of tools, best practices, and innovations to optimize the Interprofessional Clinical Learning Environment.