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D’Youville University Receives NEH Grant to Expand Health Humanities Program

May 8, 2024
Simulation Center
Two D'Youville University students participate in a simulated discussion of end of life care with a patient's family member.

D’Youville University proudly announces the approval of a $149,312 Initiatives award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the project titled “Embedding Humanities in Interprofessional Education.” This significant grant marks the second major NEH award supporting the university's Health Humanities program, building upon the success of a previous Connections grant.

Expanding upon the interdisciplinary groundwork laid by the faculty, the Initiatives award aims to equip students pursuing healthcare careers with foundational humanities skills and perspectives. The Health Humanities program at D’Youville University provides students with a holistic understanding of human health across various healthcare professions.

The core focus of the NEH Initiative grant is health justice, with a particular emphasis on developing Humanities Interprofessional Education (HIPE) curricula/co-curricula for graduate health professions programs. Dr. Gina Camodeca, the principal investigator of the grant, highlights that the project will integrate humanistic modes of inquiry to explore health justice concepts, fostering critical thinking skills and dispelling inequitable beliefs about health practices and professions.

Through experiential learning opportunities at D’Youville’s Health Professions Hub and the Interprofessional Education (IPE) Simulation Center, undergraduate majors in Health Humanities engage with interdisciplinary approaches to healthcare. By embedding humanities within graduate-level professional education, the project aims to enhance humanities teaching and learning by demonstrating their essential role in the IPE curriculum.

The HIPE project will confront implicit biases and socially conditioned perceptions in healthcare through literature, discussions, and interactive learning, contributing to a more empathetic and responsive healthcare faculty and workforce. Dr. Camodeca emphasizes the importance of integrating humanities into IPE, given the rapid expansion of Health Humanities programs across the United States and Canada.

This interdisciplinary endeavor will empower students to address key issues impacting health and well-being from multiple perspectives, including social determinants of health and equity. The new humanities content will encompass ethical reasoning, artistic representations of the human body, and the historical and political dimensions influencing health and individual well-being, with a strong emphasis on diversity and equity issues.

Dr. Camodeca expresses enthusiasm for the collaborative work ahead, emphasizing the joy of faculty coming together across disciplines to delve deeply into human health issues.

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