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Dean's Blog- September 6, 2012

Updated on September 11th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Chiang Mai University LuncheonChiang Mai University Luncheon

I am writing my first blog from Chiang Mai, Thailand (so it is actually September 5 in Seattle!).  I am with a wonderful delegation of faculty and students from the University of Washington at the conference Interprofessional Partnerships: Improvement for Global Health Outcomes.   We, the University of Washington School of Nursing, are one of the 20 co-sponsors of this conference with the Chiang Mai University Faculty of Nursing.  Nearly 600 people are registered for the conference, from 32 countries.  It is quite an amazing turnout and a wonderful renewal to our long-standing relationship with Chiang Mai University (CMU) Faculty of Nursing.

UWSON is well represented in the delegates and speakers at this conference.  Betty Bekemeier (PCH) moderated a fascinating international panel on Strategies for Developing Interprofessional Partnerships; Huong Nguyen (BNHS) presented on the panel Innovation and Technology in the Healthcare System.  I was privileged to be in two plenary panels, the first on Promoting Interprofessional and Transprofessional Education, and the second a panel of international deans discussing barriers and facilitators to interprofessional partnerships in faculties of nursing. You can see the plenary speakers and plenary panel speakers at the conference website: http://www.nurse.cmu.ac.th/inter2012/Conf_Speakers.aspx

Other faculty in attendance had presentations in the concurrent sessions. Joachim Voss (BNHS) and Michael Kennedy (PCH) presented their work in an afternoon session on interprofessional education. Joachim shared strategies for developing in-class simulations for graduate students. Michael traced our history of student exchanges in Thailand, and welcomed the UW students in the Exploration Seminar led by Gail Johnson (PCH) and himself.  Those undergraduate students were quite interprofessional in terms of their majors (public health, anthropology, sociology and a graduate student in nursing).  Gail had her poster on leadership education in the DNP program in the first of several poster sessions.  Wimon Deechakawan and Diana Taibi (both BNHS) presented their research with the IBS group (Wimon) and Sleep Center (Diana).

The faculty and organizing committee from Chiang Mai were outstanding hosts, as always, providing not only a fascinating and insightful conference but also wonderful Thai food and entertainment at the opening reception, cultural show and traditional northern Thai dinner.  Many of your faculty and students entered fully into the spirit of things in joining the group dances.  I don’t think any of us could match the grace of the Thai students and faculty in the dancing however!  We were also treated to a true monsoon rain during the dinner – fortunately we were undercover as a literal wall of water came down from the heavens.

To top off an amazing 3 days, our PhD and visiting scholar alumni hosted a luncheon for us on the banks of the Ping River in Chiang Mai.  I have included a picture of us all for the blog post and there are more for the UWSON facebook page.  I was fortunate to be among the faculty who met with the Thai deans about 18 years ago as they sought out US Nursing PhD programs for their faculty, as part of a national program to upgrade nursing education in Thailand.  Our long-standing relationship and exchange with CMU Faculty of Nursing came from that and this conference has come full circle.