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UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Pitt Schools of the Health Sciences Students Place First in National Competition that Reinforces Team-Based Patient Care

PITTSBURGH, April 21, 2010 – The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences team placed first in the 2010 CLARION National Interprofessional Case Competition, held at the University of Minnesota on April 10.

The competition unites teams of up to four students from at least two health professions. The groups are presented with a hypothetical case scenario that highlights unsafe care. They then analyze the situation and propose system changes to prevent the same outcome from occurring again. A panel of judges representing several health professions evaluates each team’s presentation based on standards of practice.

“The goal of the CLARION Competition is to reinforce the concept of working together to find the best team-based approach to patient care, or interprofessionalism,” said Susan M. Meyer, Ph.D., associate dean for education and professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, and faculty co-advisor for the University of Pittsburgh’s team. “This was the first year that Pitt participated in the competition. I was proud to see our students win, but knowing that they are developing a genuine appreciation for working as a team is even more rewarding.”

In this year’s fictitious case scenario, a 47-year-old woman with a spinal cord injury died while undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging scan. Information provided to the students chronicled events in the patient’s history that took her through injury and hospital admission to death. Pitt’s team focused on strategies to improve communication among care providers, accommodate patients with special needs and promote a culture of patient safety.

“At Pitt, we incorporate interprofessional education into our curriculum. Events such as the CLARION Competition reinforce the message that collaboration across all health professions and hospital administration is essential to achieve the best possible patient outcomes and safety,” said Loren H. Roth, M.D., M.P.H., associate senior vice chancellor for the health sciences, University of Pittsburgh, and faculty co-advisor for the University of Pittsburgh’s team.

The University of Pittsburgh’s team was one of nine that participated in this year’s competition. Pitt’s team included representatives from the Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing and Medicine. As members of the winning team, these students equally share the $7,500 prize:

  • Debra J. Thompson, M.S.N., B.S.N., Ph.D. candidate in the Doctor of Philosophy program, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing

About the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences include the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Graduate School of Public Health. The schools serve as the academic partner to UPMC. Together, their combined mission is to train tomorrow’s health care specialists and biomedical scientists, engage in groundbreaking research that will advance understanding of the causes and treatments of disease and participate in the delivery of outstanding patient care. Since 1997, Pitt and its affiliated university faculty have ranked among the top 10 educational institutions in grant support from the National Institutes of Health. For additional information about the Schools of the Health Sciences, visit

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

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