Walters Succeeds Durham as New Director of Interprofessional Education and Practice for the SON

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill created the Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice (OIPEP) to help position the University at the forefront of a nation-wide movement to transform the way students are trained for the workforce and care for our communities.

Recognizing a need for an official presence that would transform interprofessional education beyond a component of accreditation to a cornerstone of the Carolina Experience, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Bob Blouin, PharmD, established the office to reflect a campus-wide initiative, and allow for interprofessional education (IPE) to become a core component of the University’s learning environment. Nine professional schools (Adams School of Dentistry, Department of Allied Health, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Kenan Flagler Business School, School of Education, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and School of Social Work) and the Health Sciences Library have directors who work with the Assistant Provost to develop an IPE framework to optimize care and improve population health.

Carol Durham, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, FSSH, is a Professor in the School of Nursing and has served as the inaugural director of interprofessional education and practice for the School of Nursing since 2018. She has built a strong foundation that has solidified UNC School of Nursing as a leader in interprofessional education and practice.

In her tenure, she helped to create core interprofessional opportunities for undergraduate and graduate nursing students, established two cohorts of Anne Belcher Scholars, and worked with the curriculum committees to embed these activities so that they have the needed infrastructure that allows interprofessional education to become the norm and not the exception.

Dr. Durham spearheaded Relational Leadership at Carolina with her colleagues in the School of Medicine and Business, which has established an interprofessional and intergenerational leadership development program for colleagues at the university and in the healthcare system. She is a thought leader and international expert on quality and safety, simulation, and interprofessional education and practice. To learn more about Dr. Durham’s contribution to IPEP, you can access the Annual Report here.

“Dr. Durham’s leadership and contributions have shaped interprofessional education at the School of Nursing and across the University, and we are so grateful,” says Meg Zomorodi, assistant provost for Interprofessional Education and Practice and UNC School of Nursing professor. “And congratulations to Dr. Walters — we are thrilled to welcome her to the IPEP team as she assumes this important role.”

Dr. Elizabeth Walters, DNP, CPNP-PC, RN, will be assuming this leadership role beginning July 1, 2021. Dr. Elizabeth Miller Walters is an assistant professor at the UNC School of Nursing. She is also a practicing pediatric nurse practitioner in juvenile justice, adolescent specialty care and primary care. She focuses her quality improvement efforts in antibiotic stewardship in outpatient environments. She has been an active leader in interprofessional quality improvement work for her entire career, and led the effort for interprofessional telehealth at UNC.

The role of the Director of IPEP for the School of Nursing is to coordinate with nursing faculty in planning and supporting a growing number of IPEP learning experiences and scholarship opportunities across campus. Specifically, the IPEP Director facilitates the design of creative and meaningful ways to enhance student learning, build faculty scholarship, and move the School forward for meeting accreditation goals around IPEP.