More than 800 people from a half dozen countries are expected to descend upon the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center later this month for an event that will be the first of its kind to be held in the city.

The fifth international Collaborating Across Borders (CAB V) conference will be held Sept. 29 to Oct. 2. Collaborating Across Borders is the premier North American conference series on interprofessional education and collaborative practice in health and social care.

“If you’re a health care professional or a student in medicine, public health, or veterinary medicine – or even if you’re just interested in the concept of teamwork – this conference is for you,” said David Trinkle, associate dean for community and culture of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, who is overseeing local planning for the conference. “This conference will bring together a growing community of people, professions, and organizations committed to collaboration as the best way of providing quality care for our patients and better health outcomes.”

The conference is co-hosted by the American Interprofessional Health Collaborative and the Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative. Locally, the event is hosted by the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute in collaboration with the Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Virginia Tech, and Carilion Clinic. The conference is being planned by Continuing and Professional Education at Virginia Tech.

In a competitive bid process, Roanoke was selected as the conference location, beating out a number of larger Midwestern and Northeastern cities. Trinkle said two years of planning and preparation have gone in to the conference, designed in part to showcase Southwest Virginia and Roanoke as ideal places for mid-sized health conferences.

“Hundreds of conference goers will be introduced to the beauty and culture of Roanoke and the surrounding areas,” Trinkle said. “Among the many benefits of playing host will be the economic impact. We hope to draw more conferences here, particularly medical and health care conferences.”

A highlight will be a welcome reception at the city’s historic market. The reception will feature regional cuisine from area restaurants, locally crafted beer and wine, and bluegrass music.

The conference, The Interprofessional Journey: Advancing Integration and Impact, will include sessions on education, research, and clinical practice in interprofessionalism; best practices; and the advancement of interprofessional collaboration to improve health outcomes.

Part of this year’s event will be something new – a day of preconference workshops, which have already exceeded registration expectations by 200 participants. One of the workshops will feature dramatic team-based simulations using standardized patient actors and health care workers who will portray a range of critical and emergency care situations in a simulation lab at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Interprofessional education – in which students in a range of health care programs learn together with the goal of fostering a collaborative team approach – has been shown to promote more effective, patient-centered care.

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Jefferson College of Health Sciences are both recognized national leaders in interprofessionalism education. More than two dozen faculty members from those institutions have been selected as conference presenters.

Registration is still open. See the CAB V website for the conference schedule and registration details.

Written by Catherine Doss.

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