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The UNC-Chapel Hill Rural Interprofessional Health Initiative (RIPHI) team has received an honorable mention for the 2018 George E. Thibault MD, Nexus Award at the recent Nexus Summit Conference held in Minneapolis, Minnesota in July 2018. Judy Schmidt, EdD, CRC, LPCA and clinical assistant professor in the Division of Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, represents the Department of Allied Health Sciences for UNC School of Medicine interprofessional education (IPE) initiatives.

The award celebrates exemplary interprofessional practice in the United States and honors those who think and act differently to allow education and practice to connect for health and health care.

The award, previously only given to one organization, now recognizes educational institutions, health systems, clinics, and/or community organizations for extraordinary contributions to the Nexus such as linking health professions education and interprofessional practice to transform care delivery, improve health outcomes, and decreased costs.

This work is made possible by several partners including the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust and the UNC School of Medicine Office of Rural Initiatives. In its first year of funding, RIPHI educated 42 students from the health professional schools and partnered with 6 community partners focused on advancing rural health in North Carolina.

This would not be possible without the dedication of the RIPHI Faculty Champions and the Deans from each health profession schools who have pledged their support to the RIPHI mission. Our champions serve a vital role in guiding and advising our students as they carry out their work serving the rural residents of North Carolina.

The Nexus Summit is sponsored by the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education.