Meeting the Grand Challenges in a Rural Community

An IPE Case Study


  • Fredi Giesler Idaho State University
  • Robert Rieske Idaho State University
  • Lacey Wuthrich Idaho State University
  • Tara Ashley Idaho State University



health professionals, grand challenges, interprofessional education


Three of the Grand Challenges identified by the social work profession are specifically related to health care: healthy youth development, closing the health care gap, and advancing long and productive lives. Idaho State University (ISU) initiated a collaborative interprofessional health education project (IET) over 30 years ago. This collaborative includes ten health care disciplines across five colleges and provides in-depth assessment and referral to three families annually. This study describes the development of a collaborative, high impact, teaching exemplar, and examines the knowledge, perceptions, and competency of participating students using the framework of the IPEC competencies and the CSWE practice competencies for social work education. Results are derived from a pre-post survey administered during the previous two years. The project includes two groups of students: those that engaged in a hands-on experience with a client and those that only observed clients. The Observation-Only group completed the SPICE-R2 and the IEPS. Students that had direct interaction with clients completed the IEPS (pre-post engagement with clients) as well as the ICCAS. Attitudes, perceptions, and perceived competency improved amongst students participating in the IET course from pre-assessment to post-assessment with moderate to large effects being observed.


Ambrose-Miller, W., & Ashcroft, R. (2016). Challenges faced by social workers as members of interprofessional collaborative health care teams. Health and Social Work, 41(2), 101-109.

Archibald, D., Trumpower, D., & MacDonald, C. J. (2014). Validation of the interprofessional collaborative competency attainment survey (ICCAS). Journal of Interprofessional Care, 28(6), 553-558.

Buzza, C., Ono, S. S., Turvey, C., Wittrock, S., Noble, M., Gautam, R., & Reisinger, H. S. (2011). Distance is relative: Unpacking a principal barrier in rural healthcare. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 26(Suppl. 2), 648-654.

Center for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education [CAIPE]. (2019). About CAIPE. Census Bureau, U. S. (2017). QuickFacts: Idaho: United States.,US/INC910217

Cheng, L., Ritzhaupt, A. D., & Antonenko, P. (2019). Effects of the flipped classroom instructional strategy on students’ learning outcomes: A meta‑analysis. Education Technology and Research Development, 67, 793-824.

Cooper, J. (2018). ALICE: A study of financial hardship in Idaho.

Council on Social Work Education [CSWE]. (2015). Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards for Baccalaureate and Master’s Social Work Programs.

Fike, D. S., Zorek, J. A., MacLaughlin, A. A., Samuiuddin, M., Young, R., & MacLaughlin, E., J. (2013). Development and validation of the student perceptions of physician-pharmacist interprofessional clinical education (SPICE) instrument. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 77(9), 1-8.

Fitzgerald, S. N., Leslie, K. F., Simpson, R., Jones, F., & Barnes, E. T. (2018). Culturally effective care for refugee populations: Interprofessional, interactive case studies. The Journal of Teaching and Learning Resources, 1-8.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Public Health. (2019). Get healthy Idaho: Measuring and improving population health year 4 update January 2019.

Gilbert, J. H. V., Yan, J., & Hoffman, S. J. (2010). Framework for action on interprofessional education & collaborative practice. this;jsessionid=35BE21AB8F459D58BB7AE93ED9DB8C20?sequence=1

Goins, R. T., Bogart, A., & Roubideaux, Y. (2010). Service provider perceptions of long-term care access in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 21(4), 1340-1353.

Interprofessional Education Collaborative [IPEC]. (2016). Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: 2016 update. Author.

Karls, J., & Wandrai, K. (Eds). (1998). Person-in-environment system: The PIE classification system for social functioning problems. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Kirst-Ashman, K. (2013). The process of generalist practice. Social work and social welfare: Critical thinking perspectives. Belmont, CA. Brooks/Cole.

Lockeman, K. S., Lanning, S. K., Dow, A. W., Zorek, J. A., DiazGranados, D., Ivey, C. K., & Soper, S. (2017). Outcomes of introducing early learners to interprofessional competencies in a classroom setting. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 29(4), 433-443.

Lutfiyya, M. N., Sikka, A., Mehta, S., & Lipsky, M. S. (2009). Comparison of US accredited and non-accredited rural access hospitals. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 21(2), 112-118.

McFadyen, A. K., Maclaren, W.M., & Webster, V. S. (2007). The Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS): An alternative remodeled sub‐scale structure and its reliability. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 21(4), 433-443.

Moore, B., & Sapien, R. (2012). The role of the pediatrician in rural emergency medical services. Pediatrics, 30(5), 978-982.

National Association of Social Workers. [NASW]. (2018). Code of ethics.

Nurius, P. S., Coffey, D. S., Fong, R., Korr, W. S., & McRoy, R. (2017). Preparing professional degree students to tackle Grand Challenges: A framework for aligning social work curricula. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 8(1), 99-118.

Pockett, R., (2010). Interprofessional education for practice: Some implications for Australian social work. Australian Social Work, 63(2), 207-222.

Salant, P., & Porter, A. (2005). Profile of rural Idaho. Retrieved from Boise, ID:

Scales, T. L., & Streeter, C. L. (Eds.). (2004). Rural social work: Building and sustaining community assets. Brooks Cole Thomson Learning.

Smalley, K. B., Yancey, C. T., Warren, J. C., Naufel, K., Ryan, R., & Pugh, J. L. (2010). Rural mental health and psychological treatment: A review for practitioners. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 66(5), 479-489.

Zorek, J. A., Eickhoff, J. C., Steinkamp, L. A., Oryall, J., Kruger, S., Seibert, C. S. (2016, April). Student Perceptions of Interprofessional Clinical Education-Revised Instrument, Version 2 (SPICE-R 2): Instrument validation. Paper presented at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Interprofessional Health Summit 2016: Impact of Interprofessional Care on Chronic Conditions, Madison, WI.

Zorek, J. A., Lockeman, K. S., Eickhoff, J. C, & Gunaldo, T. P. (2017, October). Multi-institutional validation of the Student Perceptions of Interprofessional Clinical Education-Revised instrument, version 2 (SPICE-R2). Poster session presented at the Collaborating Across Borders conference, Alberta, Canada.