More than 400 College of Health students participate annually in Ball State’s various Centers, Clinics, and Laboratories
When students are working with participants in Ball State University’s falls prevention program, they are experiencing the College of Health’s “Interprofessional Education and Practice” environment in one of its truest forms.
At any given time, students in the Social Work, Exercise Science, Audiology, and Speech Pathology programs could all be communicating with each other about a specific patient’s needs.
This interprofessional approach not only can reduce the overall cost of healthcare for a patient, but it can significantly reduce the kinds of medical errors that can contribute to further problems or even death.
The falls prevention program offered through the Interprofessional Community Clinics (ICC) is just one of many ways Ball State and its College of Health not only prepares future healthcare practitioners, but also enriches the lives of members of the community in their moments of need.
Whether it’s students working in federally qualified health centers in and around Muncie, the ICC, or newer endeavors such as the Center for Substance Use Research and Community Initiatives (SURCI), Ball State re-mains a leader in embracing the future of healthcare, resulting in a more unified, less fragmented system—and better patient care.
“Clinical experience is a hallmark for undergraduate and graduate students, and it’s an incredible way to en-gage students,” said Dr. Blair Mattern, ’06 AuD ’10, director of Interdisciplinary Clinical Operations at the College of Health. “Our students are supervised by licensed faculty practitioners, but these are their clients and patients. They don’t see them as our patients; they see them as their patients. They’re developing relationships with community members while they’re still in school, and they’re getting the opportunity to build those bed-side skills and build patient rapport.”
Each year, more than 400 College of Health students—many of whom get their start as undergraduates—take part in Ball State’s various Centers, Clinics, and Laboratories.
The Centers include the Adult Physical Fitness Program; the Simulation and Information Technology Center; the East Central Indiana Area Health Education Center; and the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies.
ICC, meanwhile, includes three clinics and a center that offer affordable, quality healthcare services to the greater Muncie community. These services include an Audiology Clinic, a Counseling Practicum Clinic, a Speech-Language Clinic, and the Healthy Lifestyle Center.
Several innovative laboratories include the Biomechanics Lab; the Integrative Exercise Physiology Laboratory; the Human Performance Laboratory; the Exercise Science Laboratory; the Nutrition Assessment Lab and Dietitian Consulting Services; and the Clinical Exercise Physiology Laboratory.
The college also is taking a proactive approach to addressing substance misuse in the local community. Earlier this year, the College of Health announced the formation of SURCI, which is operating as a paradigm for student and community engagement and research innovation, with an emphasis on facilitating high-impact, interdisciplinary, evidence-based, and community-engaged addictions research and interventions.
“Our College of Health continues to move boldly forward in making interprofessional education, practice, and research its paradigm across each of its disciplines,” said Dr. Scott Rutledge, College of Health dean. “We are committed to continue working hand-in-hand with our community partners to expand and enhance these critical services across the state of Indiana.”