Oregon Health and Science University

Oregon Health and Science University

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Overview of the Curriculum Innovation

The Oregon Health and Science University undergraduate nursing program has developed an interprofessional care access network (I-CAN). This project is funded by a HRSA grant that supports partnership development and interprofessional practice. The I-CAN Project involves the School of Nursing, the School of Medicine, and the Global Health Center as founding educational partners. The initial community partners are a primary care clinical and two community organizations focused on providing supportive services to the vulnerable populations in inner-city Portland. Community health student teams are composed of medical and undergraduate nursing students who cooperate with a faculty in residence to provide public health outreach to these vulnerable clients. The focus of the team’s interventions is healthcare services that maximize access to the social determinants of health. For example, student teams may help a vulnerable client navigate the complex health insurance system in order to gain safety-net health insurance coverage. Teams also work with chronically ill clients to understand and cooperate with complex medication regimens. The I-CAN Project has incorporated iPAD-based technology that enables student teams to upload community health and client data directly to a secure server for later analysis, provides immediate access to student-produced client education materials, and provides a real-time link to translation resources so that student teams can communicate with non-English speaking clients wherever they are. The goal of the I-CAN Project is to decrease unnecessary emergency room and 911 use age by supporting effective wellness and primary care services. The outcomes of the I-CAN Project experience are defined by client satisfaction with services provided as well as outcomes that signal appropriate use of health resources and decreased health emergencies.  Baseline population data has been collected on the social determinants of health including housing, insurance coverage, and access to health care services. The project will expand to additional sites in southern Oregon and Portland in subsequent grant years. A course rubric for evaluation of the public health nursing competencies is available upon request.


Peggy Wros, PhD, RN
Oregon Health and Science University


The Interprofessional Collaborative (2011) Core Competencies for Interprofessional Practice

I-CAN Project

I-CAN Video Announcement