Interprofessional Collaboration: A Serendipitous Convergence of Skills, Opportunity and Learning, to Make a Difference

  • Kala Chakradhar
  • Kelly Rogers
  • Kathleen Farrell
  • Steve Jones
Keywords: interprofessional collaboration, chronic disease self-management, rural


This story on interprofessional collaboration had a truly serendipitous beginning motivated by the bane of being in academia, “publish or perish.” What unfolded seemed a deliberate coming together of a group of faculty sharing a passion for working with older populations and a desire to promote better health for the community. Representing the disciplines of social work, recreation, gerontology, nursing, anthropology, and psychology in a regional, rural, comprehensive university, our collaboration transcended multiple facets to discover pathways that would impact regional health status. Beginning with one faculty member’s drive to connect with others inclined to take on research, and the chancing upon an article addressing chronic disease self-management by another faculty member, the group snowballed to initiate a university-community partnership. This partnership, at multiple levels, helped forge a series of group-oriented chronic disease self-management workshops in the community for people experiencing chronic illness. This article shares how this collaboration played out over three years and the valuable lessons learned as we looked for ways to sustain this resource.