Elaine Mischler MD Interprofessional Education Scholarship: 2022 Recipient

Congratulations Julia Schiller!

Dr. Mischler generously provided the UW CIPE with an IPE Scholarship fund, and Julia Schiller was awarded with this year’s Elaine Mischler MD Interprofessional Education Scholarship. The goal of the scholarship is for students from a health/social-related professional program complete an immersion experience to learn more and contribute to interprofessional team-based practice, education, and research.

Scholarship Criteria for Proposed Projects to be Funded:

  1. An immersion experience in learning and contributing to interprofessional team-based practice, education and/or research.
  2. Aligned with the mission and core values of the UW CIPE:
    • Focus on one or more aspects of the Quadruple Aim (Better Health, Better Care, Better Value, and Better Work Experience)
    • Involve members/students from two or more professions in learning and working together to improve collaboration and quality of services
    • Promote Creativity, Competence, Community Engagement, and/or Collaboration

2022 Recipient:

Julia Schiller
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing
Doctor of Physical Therapy
2024 DPT candidate

Member of the inaugural 2021 UW IPE Path of Distinction Program Cohort


Headshot-Schiller, Julia

As a student in the UW IPE Path of Distinction, one requirement of the program is scholarly work in which students are tasked with the development and implementation of an interprofessional related project to advance the Quintuple aim: health equity, clinician well-being, better health, improved outcomes, and lower costs.  Julia wanted to integrate a clinical rotation into her IPE project, and given the geriatric population she would be treating, she used this opportunity to see how interprofessional collaboration impacts care for these patients. Specifically, Julia wanted to use this opportunity to research about healthcare interprofessionalism and falls risk. Falls risk is the main culprit of injury for individuals 65 or older, and is a significant cause of death. There are a lot of factors that increase this risk, including weakness, confusion, and polypharmacy. Given that the majority of the patients Julia would be working with had some of these comorbidities, they would be at higher risk for falls. 

Despite being at higher risk, they also had an environment rich in healthcare interprofessionalism that can help reduce falls with this benefit has being shown in literature. The latest systematic review regarding falls risk in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities found that multidisciplinary work is not enough reduce falls; and interprofessional collaboration specifically is needed. In other words, having more than one profession addressing falls risk is only beneficial if these professions work together. Thus over Julia’s four weeks of clinicals at Oakwood, she had many fantastic opportunities to observe and directly participate in interprofessional collaboration to promote overall health of the patients she worked with. 

Some of these opportunities of interprofessional collaboration Julia was able to observe and participate in included continuum of care meetings, weekly Medicare meetings, a strong relationship between the physical therapists and the personal trainers, and the falls risk clinics.

The falls risk clinics started in 2021, and really evolved to become a streamlined yet thorough evaluation of residents to see if they were in need of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.  At the end of the clinic, the sheets were collected and the rehab team had a meeting about what residents had concerns, who asked for a follow-up, and anything else that warranted concern.  Oakwood received very positive feedback from their residents regarding the rehabilitation falls risk clinic. Residents shared  they feel more confident talking to their primary care provider with their concerns about falls when they can refer to their results of the fall prevention clinic. Residents have the option of taking their intake form with them after the assessment. This provides them with an objective measurement that they can present to their physician and insurance regarding covering physical therapy services for fall prevention.  Oakwood residents are also encouraged to attend more than one clinic to track their fall risk status. 

Despite Julia’s clinical taking place over the summer of 2022, she has still been very busy working on her Scholarly Project. Dr. Wenker, Dr. Khalili, Dr. Hope, and Julia have been working on a manuscript that has been scheduled to be published in March in Gerinotes, a publication by the American Physical Therapy Association. In addition, this group has also submitted an abstract for an international conference in May, which the group should hear back soon if it is accepted or not. 

Congratulations to Julia!