Main sections of proposal are bolded.
The Development of Educational Opportunities and a Research-Based Informational System
on Complementary and Alternative Therapies for UTMB Faculty and Students
John Smith, Assistant Professor,
School of Xxxxxxxxx
Purpose of Proposed Project:
The purpose of this project is to provide new learning opportunities for both UTMB faculty and students primarily through the development of a research-based informational and educational system on complementary and alternative therapies.
Summary of Project Goals or Results:
The results of this project will be three-fold:
Development of a research- and evidence-based informational Web site on alternative and complementary health care. This will exist primarily as a Web site and include licensed electronic resources which provide reliable information about alternative therapies
Creation of interdisciplinary instructional units in complementary, alternative and integrative care that will be offered to UTMB students in all schools, as well as residents and faculty across campus.
As a resource for UTMB faculty, students, and patients, a Web-available directory of area health care providers who use alternative and complementary therapies in their practices will also be developed.
Educational and Institutional Need for the Project:
Education of health care providers in the area of complementary and alternative therapies is increasingly essential. By several estimates, more than 40% of the U.S. adult population uses alternative therapies, and patients annually visit alternative practitioners 40 million more times than they visit their primary care physicians. These facts make providing accurate, evidence-based information to health care providers and medical, nursing, and allied health professional students a matter of some urgency. It is increasingly untenable and uncomfortable for practicing health care professionals to be expected to function in a clinical setting without some knowledge in this area.
Currently, the School of Nursing offers a graduate research elective entitled "Critical Analysis of Research of Alternative and Complementary Therapies," and the School of Medicine offers an elective to medical students and residents in Alternative and Integrative Medicine and has initiated a journal club in this area. Students and faculty at UTMB have expressed a high level of interest in the study of complementary and alternative therapies, one which these current electives cannot fulfill.
UTMB can best address this unmet need for increased learning opportunities in alternative and complementary health care by taking an institutional-level, interdisciplinary, collaborative approach. This will result in a more robust information and education system that can be enhanced and maintained without excessive or redundant use of institutional resources.
Educational Goals and Objectives:
To expose students and faculty to the philosophy and practice of integrative health care, defined as the blending of the best of conventional and non-conventional (complementary and alternative) medicine and healing practices.
To educate future and currently practicing physicians, nurses, and allied health care providers in the wide variety of complementary and alternative modalities available.
To evaluate and provide ready access to authoritative, Internet-based information resources on alternative and integrative medicine topics.
To facilitate further curricular development and clinical experience in this area for UTMB faculty and students.
Project Plan & Specific Activities:
An integrative and alternative medicine web site will be created with the primary aim of serving the faculty, staff, and students of UTMB. Included will be:
- Evaluations of integrative and alternative medicine Web sites selected for quality and utility.
- Lists of recommended resources useful to those who wish to know more about alternative and complementary health care. Categories will include books, journals, newsletters, and databases.
- Links to integrative and alternative medicine curricula, courses, syllabi and other information that can be used in the education of health professionals and students.
- A directory of UTMB area health care providers who use various integrative and alternative health care modalities in their practices. The directory will help identify providers who can serve as a resource for patients and as community faculty who can supplement education.
Electronic information resources that otherwise would not be available will be licensed and made accessible to all UTMB personnel. Examples include:
- HealthNotes Online - a comprehensive electronic database of health conditions, nutritional supplements, herbal and homeopathic remedies, diets and therapies, and drug-herb interactions.
- Alt-HealthWatch - a full-text database covering many perspectives of complementary, holistic, and integrated health care.
A virtual course will be developed that can be a shared resource for the education of present and future health professionals on integrative and alternative medicine. Components will include:
- Interdisciplinary instructional modules and problem-based learning cases which include scenarios, preceptor guides, and supporting materials.
- An online discussion group, where interests and ideas can be shared.
- E-mail access to experts for specific questions or problems.
Potential for Collaboration or Dissemination:
Collaboration across schools at UTMB is core to this project and essential for its success. Everything developed as part of the project will be made available through the Internet unless specifically prohibited by copyright, licensing, or other agreements. This includes the Web site to be developed, curriculum materials created for UTMB, evaluations of Internet sites, and other sources of information on alternative and complementary health care.
The Web site will also gather freely available curricular materials to supplement the learning of health professionals and students in this area with the aim of evolving into a national clearinghouse for this purpose. In addition, preliminary contacts have been made with national experts in this area to discuss potential collaborations (e.g. Dr. Andrew Weil http://cgi.pathfinder.com/drweil/).
Target Date for Completion:
The plan is to complete the project in three phases:
- Phase 1 by January 1, 2000 - Creation of basic Web site with links to licensed electronic resources.
- Phase 2 by May1, 2000 - Reviews of selected Internet resources added to Web site.
- Phase 3 by August 1, 2000 - Instructional units in alternative and complementary medicine completed. Directory of area providers available on Web site.
John Smith, Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, will be responsible for content development, consultation, licensing of electronic resources, and overall project leadership: 6 hours per week throughout project development.
Jane Doe, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, will be responsible for developing, evaluating, and integrating various curricular information and will also oversee Web site reviews: 6 hours per week throughout project development.
William Jones, Graduate Assistant, will be responsible for conducting the evaluations of alternative and complementary medicine information resources: 16 hours per week for 4 months.
Janet Turner, Network Support Specialist, will be responsible for maintaining the Web site and managing the discussion group software: 4 hours per week.
Approval has been obtained to host the alternative and integrative medicine Web site on the X Department's Web server. Server space will be available for the project when development commences.
$7500 is available for each of the next two fiscal years to license the electronic resources selected.
$3500 is available during project development to: (1) purchase the software needed to manage an online discussion group, and (2) pay for any incidental and contractual expenses.
ATC Services and Resources Requested:
In support of this project, the following services are requested from the Moody Medical Library's Academic Technology Center:
Recommendations on ways to organize and present the informational content of the Web site. Consultation on virtual course development alternatives. Active participation on the team that creates Web-based instructional modules and problem-based learning cases.
Design of the Web site including page layout, creation of images to enhance appearance, and a navigational system.
Production of Web pages using content provided as MS Word files. Creation of template Web pages that can be used to add new content over time.
Creation of a Web-available directory of area alternative and complementary health care providers. (Data is being compiled into an Access 97 database.)
Assistance with testing of the Web site on the department's server and basic training of the network specialist who will maintain the site.
(Please note: portions of this sample were adapted with permission from the successful President's Cabinet Award proposal submitted by creators of UTMB's Alternative Medicine website. Their willingness to allow the ATC to adapt some of their words and ideas for our own purpose is appreciated.)
Developed by the ATC (409) 772-2398
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