A group from Kaiser Permanente visited Western University of Health Sciences Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 to exchange ideas and get a firsthand look at the university’s Interprofessional Education (IPE) program.

David Quam, MD, Area Medical Director, Laura De La Torre, MBA, MSW, Project Manager, Medical Group Administration, Fontana, and Sandy Bannister, MSHSA, Director, Planning & Facilities Development, Medical Group Administration, Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers, sat in on a portion of an IPE session and toured the campus.

WesternU’s IPE program brings together students from different disciplines in the classroom, in small group venues and in clinical experiences with patients. The goal is for WesternU graduates to demonstrate an understanding of other health professions and to provide and promote a team approach to patient care and health care management, leading to improved patient care. The visitors from Kaiser Permanente came away impressed with the IPE program.

“Everybody has a voice,” De La Torre said. “Everybody was really excited and committed to the learning process. It’s an exciting opportunity to learn from one another. One student said, ‘We’re being taught to be humble and to really focus on the patient and their environment.’ ”

The new buildings on campus were also a point of interest. Kaiser Permanente opened a new medical center in Ontario on Nov. 1, 2011 and will replace its Fontana hospital with a new facility in 2013.

“As we grow, it’s interesting to see how the rest of the community is also growing,” De La Torre said.