Pharmacy alumna has become a national voice for interprofessional methods of health care education
When a doctor not only understands the roles of the nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and physician assistants he or she works with — but has also spent a little time walking in their shoes — they become better health care providers.
More importantly, patients receive better care.
That’s the basic idea behind interprofessional education, and for Campbell University’s growing list of health science programs, it’s an important part of the curriculums of those programs.
Paige Brown is a believer in this approach to teaching future health care professionals — she saw how the doctors, nurses and pharmacists treated her father during a lengthy illness when she was younger, and she saw it firsthand early in her career as a pharmacist working in geriatrics. Today, she’s the assistant dean of interprofessional education for Campbell’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, overseeing an IPE program that has become the envy of schools across the nation.
“The ultimate goal is enhancing patient outcomes and changing the landscape of health care in North Carolina and the nation,” says Brown, a 2006 graduate of Campbell’s Doctor of Pharmacy program who returned to Buies Creek first as an assistant professor in 2010. “At Campbell, we are training students to become practice-ready with a focus on patient care from an interprofessional team.”
Campbell’s IPE program has been described as “clinically innovative” and “grounded in valued partnerships within our community and health care systems.” And Brown has become a national voice on this approach, writing and collaborating on several journal articles on the benefits of a collaborative process. She’s presented her research both in person and virtually at more than a dozen national and international professional conferences since 2019.
And she’s earned committee seats and leadership roles for several state and national organizations, including the North Carolina Interprofessional Education Leadership Consortium and the N.C. Association of Pharmacists. She’s also a member of the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and the American Interprofessional Health Collaborative.
“At Campbell, we just do a nice job of providing our students with a hands-on, collaborative education,” Brown says. “It starts in their first year — where they learn the basic IPE tenants and principles — and continues throughout their experience here.”
Higher-level students work together in teams across various programs, many taking part in an Amazing Race-themed competition called QUEST, which challenges students to improve their communication and teamwork to finish specific tasks.
“It’s all about improving patient outcomes across any community touched by a Campbell graduate,” she says. “Students aren’t just being told they need to work together with other professionals, they’re actually doing it here. When health care becomes a collaborative process, we all benefit from it.”
After earning her undergraduate degree from Chowan College in 2002, Brown enrolled in Campbell’s PharmD program and graduated with honors in 2006. She then completed an accredited geriatric pharmacy practice residency with Campbell and East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine. She served as a clinical specialist for family medicine at Pitt County Memorial Hospital until 2010 before returning to higher education and teaching future pharmacists at Campbell.
A native of the small town of Garysburg, North Carolina, Brown returned to Campbell because of her graduate school experience. Campbell, she says, provided an environment that allowed her to grow and develop both personally and professionally.
In her current role, she works with students and faculty in multiple schools and programs. She’s modeled her teaching approach from the professors she grew up with — men and women who knew her name and were approachable when questions arose.
“Leaving a legacy is something that we all hope to do,” she says. “I would like to think that my legacy would be a smiling, friendly face that supported students, faculty and staff alike in all of their endeavors.”