UNMC awarded Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC strategic communications | January 08, 2021

Image with caption: From left, Brenda Ram and Heidi Keeler, PhD

From left, Brenda Ram and Heidi Keeler, PhD

UNMC recently was granted Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education for four years.

Joint accreditation establishes the standards for education providers to deliver interprofessional continuing education planned by, and for, the health care team to maintain, develop or improve the knowledge, skills and performance to remain credentialed and achieve better patient outcomes.

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Lisa Bally Kelly Caverzagie, MD

UNMC is one of the few academic medical centers in the country to earn joint accreditation.

Leading the UNMC effort was Heidi Keeler, PhD, director of continuing nursing education of the College of Nursing's Continuing Nursing Education office; Brenda Ram and Lisa Bally of the UNMC Center for Continuing Education; and Kelly Caverzagie, MD, professor and associate dean of educational strategy for the College of Medicine.

The review was completed by the governing bodies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Accreditation Program (ANCC).

Ram, director of educational programs, said the three accrediting bodies commended UNMC for its vision and leadership in lifelong learning and for its achievement of accreditation, which helps to ensure high quality interprofessional continuing health care education.

"If the Colleges of Nursing or Medicine wanted to expand credits for target audiences outside of their respective units, it would require collaborating with each other or other accredited agencies," Ram said. "The Joint Accreditation now allows us to collaborate and expands our ability to certify activities for additional health care professionals such as pharmacy, optometry, physician assistants, social workers, psychology, dentistry, dietetics and most recently, athletic trainers."

"Transitioning from multiple accreditation bodies to a single accreditation body reflective of interprofessional team-based practice was challenging," said Dr. Keeler, assistant professor of the College of Nursing Omaha Division. "We had to rethink the ways we assess practice gaps, consider the target audience, design, plan, produce and evaluate our activities and impact so that we would be able to meet and demonstrate the increased standards."

The process took more than two years and included the offices of interprofessional education and rural health, as well as deans, associate deans and others.

"The achievement would not have been possible without the incredible work of both teams and support from our UNMC partners," Dr. Keeler said. "I am so proud of the selfless effort that everyone contributed to make this achievement a reality."

"A big congratulations for this excellent accomplishment. It took courage, time and effort to make this happen, and it will be of great help to all our faculty, alumni and practicing colleagues," said Dele Davies, MD, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs.

"I'm proud of the work of both continuing education entities and the hard work put into achieving this significant accomplishment. I truly believe that with achieving joint accreditation, our continuing education efforts will be enhanced by even stronger interprofessional collaboration," said Kelly Caverzagie, MD, associate dean for continuing education and strategic planning in the UNMC College of Medicine.


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Lana Molczyk
January 08, 2021 at 2:52 PM


Nikki Carritt
January 08, 2021 at 8:53 AM

Great work, all. Congratulations on this achievement!

Bev Luma
January 08, 2021 at 8:34 AM

Congratulations! This is amazing.

Beth Beam
January 08, 2021 at 8:31 AM

Look forward to how this will improve training on campus and beyond. Thanks for all you do.

Catherine Mello
January 08, 2021 at 7:58 AM

Awesome! Great job all!

Carmen Sirizzotti
January 08, 2021 at 7:26 AM

Congratulations! Great Achievement.