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Salute to Seniors: Nicholas Shepherd and Alexandra McKinney

Nicholas Shepherd and Alexandra McKinney: Co-founders of the Students for Interprofessional Education Club

Nicholas Shepherd and Alexandra McKinney at the registration table of a blood drive hosted by the Students for Interprofessional Education Club
Nicholas Shepherd and Alexandra McKinney at the registration table of a blood drive hosted by the Students for Interprofessional Education Club.
To experience the demands of working on a team with other health professionals, undergraduates in the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences participate in Interprofessional Education (IPE). Under this program, students from different disciplines work together to develop patient care plans, using real-world cases and simulations.

As members of the IPE Student Advisory Council that provides feedback to faculty on IPE, clinical laboratory science majors Nicholas Shepherd and Alexandra McKinney received many requests from fellow students who wanted to get more involved. Since only a handful of students can sit on the advisory council, they decided to launch the Students for Interprofessional Education Club this spring.

“Interprofessional health care is the future of health, and to be on the forefront of advising students and advocating for its importance is extremely rewarding,” says Shepherd, who is graduating with the medical laboratory science option and will be working at Boston Children’s Hospital in infectious diseases.

Students in the club provide feedback to faculty on case competitions and simulations that involve nursing, physical therapy, public health and clinical laboratory majors. The group also hosts blood drives and plans social events to raise awareness about the benefits of IPE. 

“While we all share a common goal of improving the health of the patient, a lack of communication and knowledge of what other professions do can lead to an inefficient health care system and medical errors,” says McKinney, who plans on attending the biomedical engineering and biotechnology graduate program at UMass Lowell. “I am grateful that I was able to be involved in IPE and that we can leave behind this legacy for other students.”