Palmer and Stone selected as Anne Belcher Interprofessional Scholars

Congratulations to Associate Professor Carrie Palmer DNP, RN, ANP-BC, CDE, and Assistant Professor Elizabeth Stone PhD, RN, CPEN, CHSE, FAEN, who have been selected as the fourth cohort of Anne Belcher Interprofessional Faculty Scholars. 

Drs. Palmer and Stone join scholars Jennifer Alderman, Ashley Bryant, Jean Davison, Ashley Kellish, JoAn Stanek, and Elizabeth Walters, who have participated in leadership development and mentorship through the generous support of Anne Belcher, MN, PhD, (BSN ’67), ANEF, FAAN. The Anne Belcher Interprofessional Faculty Scholars Program for Nursing was created to provide opportunities for selected faculty in the UNC School of Nursing to shape the world of interprofessional education (IPE) and to create scholarly work others will look to as evidence for the power of IPE in the future. 

During the two-year program, Scholars will participate in a targeted educational leadership program to develop, implement and evaluate an interprofessional scholarly product, as well as disseminate this work through presentations and publications. Meg Zomorodi, Associate Provost for Interprofessional Health Initiatives and Director of the Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice (IPEP), will connect the scholars to mentors who will help them advance their projects. 

Dr. Carrie Palmer

Dr. Palmer has a longstanding history in implementation of IPE on the graduate level. For the past 18 years, she has practiced as a nurse practitioner in an interprofessional internal medicine setting and has experienced firsthand the benefits of team-based care for patients.

Some students do not have the opportunity to be embedded in a true health care team during their education, and Dr. Palmer has seen how this gap leads to a lack of standardization of clinical experiences, missed opportunities for collaboration, and poor understanding of the roles and contributions of other professionals at the patient and system level. 

“While my practice experience is in team-based primary care, my teaching spans direct patient care, quality improvement, leadership, and care of populations,” says Dr. Palmer. “I see opportunities to enhance patient care and patient outcomes through improving interprofessional training. I also see opportunities to expand systems-level thinking of our Doctor of Nursing practice students through innovative collaborations. We have the opportunity to be leaders in this area, and support from the Anne Belcher Interprofessional Faculty Scholars Program will allow me to achieve my goal of simulation design, analysis and dissemination.”

Dr. Elizabeth Stone

Dr. Stone plans to build upon her skills and connections in virtual reality (VR) to create a central innovation hub that would connect health professions and related faculty and students in technology-driven education, research and practice partnerships.

“Recent concurrent events, including the Covid-19 pandemic, federal and state pressures to increase student admissions to healthcare programs, and the explosive entry of evolving technologies available for simulation and other types of education, have led to a new frontier in healthcare education. This is a frontier filled with opportunities to harness technology to develop and test innovative pedagogies for health care and simulation education with students and even existing health professionals.” 

Dr. Stone also emphasized the importance of dissemination, adding that “as an innovative educator, dissemination not only helps others learn from your own novel experiences, it helps build the literature base for new pedagogies and helps provide support for funding or other resource efforts. As an educator and researcher, I feel strongly that any time one tries something new or innovative in their profession, they should collect data so they at least have the opportunity to write it up for publication or present the results to a larger audience. Funding support from this program will allow me the time and support to achieve these goals of dissemination.” 

Dean Valerie Howard had the opportunity to meet with Anne Belcher earlier in the academic year to discuss the impact of this program at our School. 

“Collaboration in research, scholarship and service helps improve patients’ lives,” Dean Howard explained. “Interprofessional education is a core component of our work at Carolina Nursing, and I cannot thank Anne enough for supporting our faculty and school.”

“My Interprofessional education and practice experiences throughout my career have enriched my life as an oncology nurse and as a nurse educator and have inspired me, as a devoted alumna of the UNC School of Nursing, to support such opportunities for UNC faculty and their students,” says Dr. Belcher. “I am thrilled to congratulate Carrie and Elizabeth on their receipt of the Anne Belcher Interprofessional Faculty Scholarships.” 

Many thanks to Anne Belcher making this opportunity possible, and congratulations again to Drs. Palmer and Stone!