NASHVILLE, Tenn. Mavis Schorn, CNM, PhD, FACNM was recently named Interprofessional Education and Inter-Institutional Collaborative Learning (IPE) Faculty Director for the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance. She brings decades of varied expertise in nursing and teaching to the role, with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Texas in Austin, a Masters Degree from Texas Women’s University, a Certification in Nurse Midwifery from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and a PhD from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing.
“Before coming to Vanderbilt, I was in a private practice as a Nurse Midwife,” Schorn recalled. “When I came to Vanderbilt in 2002, I combined teaching and practice.”
She began teaching in Vanderbilt’s Nurse-Midwife program. In due time, she was named the Director of that field, then the Assistant Dean, followed by Senior Associate Dean for Academics.
Schorn’s work with IPE at the Alliance began early during her time at Vanderbilt. “It started with a case competition,” she said. “I don’t know what year it was, but I started participating as one of the IPE faculty and have just continued to stay involved.”
Her position is new, but it has already provided important leadership for the IPE faculty group and created learning opportunities for students. She hopes to create an interprofessional education program that leverages resources from both Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and other partner institutions, engages community partners and establishes a structured program that benefits students and individuals serving in community agencies.
“Working in healthcare, two things become clear,” Schorn explained. “First, everyone works together. Nobody can provide care in isolation. And second, our education is very separate.”
That separation results from each field having its own academic requirements and clinical experiences for students. This leads to what Schorn calls “siloed education,” and yet graduates are expected to work together with all members of a healthcare team.
“The students need to learn to work together in teams before they go into practice,” Schorn said. “It makes for better healthcare.”
About the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance
Founded in 1999, the Alliance bridges the institutions of Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Its mission is to enrich learning and advance clinical research in three primary areas -- community engagement, interprofessional education and research -- by developing and supporting mutually beneficial partnerships between Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the communities they serve. Through community engagement, the Alliance serves a large community of stakeholders including surrounding universities and colleges, community organizations, faith-based outlets and community health centers. Its interprofessional education enhances students' interdisciplinary understanding and improves patient outcomes through integrated care. The research conducted provides access to experienced grant writers and materials supporting the grant application process and facilitates grant-writing workshops.