Learning Together to Work Together: A Collaborative Approach to Training the Next Generation of Health Care Professionals

IPE Leadership at a conference.

From left to right: Patricia Peifer-Arens, Katherine Zaromatidis, Ph.D., Laurette Olson, Ph.D., Deidra Brown, Ph.D., Jeanne Matich-Maroney Ph.D., Christiana Awosan, Ph.D., Amanda Howerton-Fox, Ph.D., Dorothy Leone, Ph.D.

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Over 140 Iona University students from seven academic disciplines have begun their journey with the Iona Interprofessional Education (IPE) program. Built around an approach of intentionally bringing students and faculty from different disciplines together to learn “from, with and about one another,” the IPE cohort recently kicked off the semester with a full-day retreat at the Center at Mariandale in Ossining, N.Y.

Students and faculty represent the following fields of study:   

  • Communication Science & Disorders
  • Education
  • Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT)
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • School Psychology
  • Social Work

“Interprofessional education is an important innovation in the preparation of professional degree students,” said Jeanne Matich-Maroney, Ph.D., IPE director and department chair of Social Work and MFT. “Developing the capacity for excellence in interprofessional collaborative practice, in addition to their discipline-specific competencies, will position our graduates to enter the workforce with the knowledge, skills and disposition needed to deliver person-centered care focused on high-quality services, improved community health and well-being, coordinated care leading to cost effectiveness, nurturing their own resilience, and addressing the inequities and disparities situated in the systems and settings within which they work."

Iona’s IPE program launched in the spring of 2020 and continues to attract top grants to support its growth, including funding from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. In addition, graduate students in Iona’s MFT and School Psychology programs were thrilled to learn that $10,000 stipends would be awarded to those who stay on track to complete their degrees thanks to a $1.9 million federal grant.

All faculty members from various areas of expertise aim to share their own experiences to further prepare students to become the best of the next generation in their fields.

The following professors are IPE Faculty Steering Group members:

  • Dr. Christiana Awosan, Marriage & Family Therapy
  • Dr. Deidra Brown, Nursing​
  • Dr. Amanda Howerton-Fox, Education,
  • Dr. Dorothy Leone, Communication Sciences & Disorders,
  • Dr. Jeanne Matich-Maroney, Social Work and IPE Director
  • Dr. Laurette Olson, Occupational Therapy
  • Patricia Peifer-Arens, Bilingual IPE Coordinator, Communication Sciences & Disorders
  • Dr. Katherine Zaromatidis, School Psychology and Director of Graduate Studies

Learn more about the IPE program and upcoming fellowship opportunities.

IPE students at a workshop.
IPE students at a workshop.

Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just six percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.