Engage-IL Prepares Interprofessional Student Scholars and Leaders to Improve Older Adult Health

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Scholars and Leaders in Interprofessional Geriatrics Program


To enable health science students who are interested in geriatrics to acquire attitudes, values and competencies necessary for practicing comprehensive, patient- and family-centered geriatric care as part of interprofessional teams in a variety of health care settings. The course is designed to provide a rich learning experience for health science students with facilitation and guidance by interprofessional faculty. At the heart of this course is active, experiential learning with discussion and reflection on the unique qualities and needs of older adults across life phases and a variety of care settings. The teaching and learning focuses on how an integrated team of interprofessional practitioners can optimize the health, well-being and quality of life of older adults.

Learners: Students from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine (COM), College of Nursing (CON), College of Pharmacy (COP), College of Applied Health Sciences (AHS), School of Public Health (SPH) and Jane Addams College of Social Work (JACSW), who have completed at least two semesters of their graduate programs, and are in good academic standing, are eligible to apply. Two students will be selected from each profession for a total of 12 scholars.

Course Dates: The six-week course will take place from June 25th, 2019 to August 2nd, 2019. The course will meet 2-3 days per week . Usually, the class will typically meet on Tuesdays and Fridays, however exact days/dates/times are determined by the availability of our community partner sites.

Expectations and Time Commitment: Students will meet on the scheduled class days and will have an estimated equal amount of preparatory and reflective work each week. This work includes: assigned readings, watching online video modules, preparing for an in-class debate, preparing and writing a final paper and presentation for the “SLIG Showcase” scheduled at the end of the course.

Learning Activities: The Scholars’ interprofessional learning experience will include (1) experiential learning and (2) didactic learning. The experiential learning is in collaboration with our community partners in a variety of care settings ranging from home-based care, inpatient rehabilitation to hospice care. Interprofessional faculty facilitators will accompany student teams to the community clinic sites.

Didactic training includes class sessions as well as self-study of course readings and online geriatric webinars. Together, the experiential and didactic learning components address the continuum of care of older adults, including the trajectory of illness, at different levels and transitions of care.

Stipend:* $2,000* will be awarded to each scholar who successfully completes the program.


For CON, only graduate students are eligible.

For AHS, students who also meet the additional criteria described below are eligible:

For the Department of Occupational Therapy

  • Graduate students who are licensed occupational therapists (e.g., post professional OTD students, PhD students)
  • Note: Due to schedule conflicts involving required courses and fieldwork, students enrolled in the entry-level (MS) OT program are not eligible

For the Department of Physical Therapy

  • Graduates of the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) professional program
  • Note: Due to schedule conflicts involving required courses and fieldwork, students enrolled in the DPT program are not eligible
  • Graduate students who are licensed physical therapists (e.g. PhD students)

For the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition

  • Students enrolled in their first year of the MS CP in Nutrition Program
  • Graduate students who are licensed as RDs/RDNs (e.g., MS and PhD Students)

Application & Selection Process:

  • Scholarship application submission deadline: January 31, 2019
  • Notification to selected Scholars: March 2019

Applicants must complete the Program Application (Appendix A) and submit it by January 31, 2019 to engageil@engageil.com.
Applications will be reviewed and scored by a Selection Committee (Appendix B, Application review criteria). Two students from each of the six participating professions will be selected. The decision of the Selection Committee will be communicated to applicants by March, 2019.

Course Credit: tudents may be eligible for earning course credit, depending on each participating college’s educational policies. Selected scholars should work with their college’s faculty participating in this program (see table on next page) to discuss the possibility of earning course credit.

*Rules and regulations for receiving stipend:

Current HRSA Federal Grant (# U1QHP28730) stipend restrictions for Summer Scholars include:

1.If a student receives federal loans, the stipend may be applied to his/her student loan instead of being disbursed directly to the student.
2. Stipends will be disbursed into students’ UIC accounts, not directly disbursed to students.
To learn more please visit http://financialaid.uic.edu/scholarships.shtml/
3. If a student is a Foreign National, existing federal HRSA grant restrictions do not allow stipend payments, however, students are able to participate in the program without receiving the stipend.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Scholars who are selected and agree to participate in the SLIG program will be required to fulfill their commitment and learning agreement. Declining to participate in the program after acceptance creates substantial logistic challenges for the organizers and also takes away the scholarship.
Funding: This program is funded by a federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Grant #U1QHP28730.

Please click the following button to access
the 2018 Student Scholars and Leaders in Interprofessional Geriatrics Program Application:

Download Application Form

Questions? Contact the Program Coordinator at engageIL@engageil.com

Core Fellowship Co-Directors
Valerie Gruss, PhD, APN, CNP-BC, FAAN
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Biobehavioral Health Science
Institute for Healthcare Innovation
College of Nursing, UIC
Memoona Hasnain, MD, MHPE, PhD
Associate Professor
Professor and Interim Head
Department of Family Medicine
College of Medicine, UIC


Fellowship Faculty
College Faculty Contact
Applied Health Sciences Elizabeth Peterson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA epeterso@uic.edu
Medicine Memoona Hasnain, MD, MHPE, PhD memoona@uic.edu
Nursing Valerie Gruss, PhD, APN, CNP-BC, FAAN vgruss@uic.edu
Pharmacy Michael Koronkowski,PharmD, BCGP koron@uic.edu
Public Health Susan Altfeld, MA, PhD saltfeld@uic.edu
Social Work Barbara Coats, PhD bc1972@uic.edu