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Interprofessional team receives Provost's Project Grant for Innovative Practice in Collaborative Teaching and Learning


(L to R) Dr. Jill Bally, Dr. Alyssa Hayes, Dr. Shelley Spurr
and Dr. Heather Exner-Pirot. Missing: Dr. Lorna Butler and
Dr. Mary Ellen Andrews

Congratulations to the College of Nursing and College of Dentistry team consisting of Dr. Jill Bally, Dr. Shelley Spurr, Dr. Lorna Butler, Dr. Mary Ellen Andrews and Dr. Heather Exner-Pirot (College of Nursing) and Dr. Alyssa Hayes (College of Dentistry) on receiving the Provost's Project Grant for Innovative Practice in Collaborative Teaching and Learning. The interprofessional team received the $10,000 grant for their project entitled "Northern Innovative Teaching and Learning Practice in Pediatric Nursing Education: Caring For Kids Where They Live", a project that will engage northern Aboriginal nursing students in supporting oral health care for northern children.

The Provost's Project Grant for Innovative Practice in Collaborative Teaching and Learning is an annual grant awarded to a U of S department or non-departmentalized college to undertake innovation in collaborative teaching and learning.

This new project is an extension of the very successful Caring For Kids Where They Live program, undertaken by nursing faculty in the College of Nursing. The goal of this proposed new project is to engage Aboriginal and northern nursing students from La Ronge and Ile-a la-Crosse in oral health learning experiences in remote Northern communities using Remote Presence (RP) technology. Students will practice skills and bring information about oral health needs into overall wellness assessments. Nursing students will also learn to provide primary prevention, early care services and referrals to dental health providers. This is an innovative teaching and learning strategy designed to engage Aboriginal nursing students and communities, and promote primary health care. Specifically, because nurses are more commonly located throughout northern and Aboriginal communities, in comparison to dentists, this unique teaching method has the potential to have a real impact both on students' learning and community well-being.

"We are very grateful to receive this funding that will allow us to enhance nursing students' learning experiences in their pediatric clinical practicum in an interesting and innovative manner," said Dr. Jill Bally. "Oral health is an often neglected aspect of overall health and wellness assessments in pediatrics, but of growing concern because of the high incidence of dental caries. If we can effectively incorporate oral health assessment and intervention into our teaching and learning initiatives, we can support nursing students in carrying out holistic and comprehensive assessments, as well as support improved health outcomes in pediatric populations."