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Team approach: CMSRU, Cooper Health System, USciences to collaborate on education model designed to promote teamwork in medical care

In a move that could greatly impact the education that healthcare professionals receive—and the care they ultimately give their patients—Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) and the Cooper Health System are partnering with University of the Sciences to establish an interprofessional healthcare education and practice model.

The three institutions have signed a formal agreement that will establish a joint curriculum that emphasizes effective collaboration among healthcare professionals. The curriculum will be based at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden.

"When healthcare professionals know how to work effectively as a team, patients are the beneficiaries," says Paul Katz, M.D., founding dean of CMSRU, the first new medical school in New Jersey in more than 30 years.

"We want our students to understand that they will serve their patients best when they work together in teams with other healthcare professionals. This partnership will help us teach this model to all of our students, and allow us to provide the finest training possible for the next generation of physicians."

A key component of healthcare training today, interprofessional education promotes collaboration among team members to ensure that aspects of a patient's care are not overlooked. This model is widely believed to increase efficiency of patient care through elimination of duplicate testing and invasive procedures, and minimizing delays in care.

The agreement between CMSRU, the Cooper Health System and USciences, through its Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, also calls for the development of research opportunities to further enhance quality care, patient safety, and healthcare delivery by students and faculty members. Other aspects of the agreement address joint faculty appointments and shared student educational experiences.

"USciences has had a strong working relationship with the Cooper Health System for many years as an experiential site for students and a patient care practice site for faculty," says USciences Board of Trustees Chairman Marvin Samson. "By expanding this agreement, we are uniting students and healthcare professionals in developing an interprofessional team approach that will ultimately benefit patients and the healthcare system."

A partnership between Rowan University and the Cooper Health System, CMSRU will welcome its first class of 50 medical students next August at its new facility in the City of Camden. CMSRU received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in June, paving the way to admit its charter class.

About the partners

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
The nation's newest medical school is the first in New Jersey in 30 years. Focused on educating the next generation of physicians, CMSRU has developed an innovative curriculum designed to prepare its graduates to meet the healthcare needs of the population in the future.
Cooper Health System
Cooper University Hospital is the flagship of The Cooper Health System. It is the premier university hospital serving South Jersey and the Delaware Valley. Cooper is renowned for Signature Programs in cardiology, cancer, critical care, trauma, orthopaedics and neurology. Cooper is in the midst of a $600 million expansion of its Camden Health Sciences Campus - including the new $220 million Roberts Pavilion, which opened in 2008.  Cooper continues its regional expansion with the opening of new and expanded facilities throughout Camden, Burlington and Gloucester Counties.

University of the Sciences
At University of the Sciences, students embark on a challenging learning experience in a proving ground for successful professionals in the science and healthcare-related fields. A private institution dedicated to education, research, and service, and distinguished as the nation's first college of pharmacy, the University has produced leaders in the science and healthcare marketplaces since its founding in 1821. Students in USciences' five colleges learn to excel in scientific analysis and to apply their skills to improving healthcare in the lives of people worldwide through such disciplines as pharmacy, biology, physical therapy, healthcare business, and health policy. For more information, visit