"This is a critical experience,” WCHHS Associate Dean Corey Cassidy said. “Students will move beyond the boundaries of a regular classroom to engage in dialogue between colleagues with whom they will be interdependent in their professional roles.”
The symposium will involve students studying nursing, communication sciences and disorders (COSD), occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work and early childhood education programs, organized into interdisciplinary groups and lead by a faculty member. They will work together to develop a comprehensive plan for a southwest Virginia child with multiple physical disabilities, determining ways to help her family deal with her conditions.
The symposium will also include two sessions from Appalachian Regional & Rural Studies Center Director Theresa Burris, who will help the students incorporate regional cultural factors into their plans.
“Understanding the heritage, environment and cultures of the Appalachian region is as important when working on teams with other professionals who may have different cultural perspectives as it is when working with clients,” Cassidy said. “It is important to find common ground from which to serve our patients or clients.”