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Distinguished Fellow

Hatfield to be Honored by National Academies of Practice in Pharmacy

September 28 — UH College of Pharmacy's Catherine L. Hatfield, Pharm.D., clinical professor and director of introductory pharmacy practice experiences and interprofessional education (IPE), will be inducted as a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academies of Practice in Pharmacy at the NAP's 2021 Annual Meeting & Forum in Washington, D.C., March 18-20, 2021.

According to the NAP website, the Distinguished Fellow designation is bestowed on individuals who have an exemplary career of 10 years or more and who have made significant contributions to interprofessional health care.

hatfield photoA UHCOP faculty member since 2000, Hatfield has been instrumental in enhancing and expanding the college's IPE collaborations with fellow Texas Medical Center institutions for more than a decade. Among these activities are collaborating on patient safety exercises with Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), UTHealth and, most recently, UH College of Optometry students as well as the "No Place Like Home" in-home care consultations for home-bound geriatric patients with BCM students. 

"I became passionate about interprofessional education, and more specifically interprofessional communication, many years ago when a dear family member experienced a tragic event that could have been prevented with effective communication," Hatfield said. 

She is a member of the Texas Interprofessional Education Consortium and speaker for the organization's statewide TeamsSTEPPS® training program, which is an evidence-based set of teamwork tools developed by the U.S. Department of Defense and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and aimed at optimizing patient outcomes by improving communication and teamwork skills among health care professionals. Certified as a TeamsSTEPPS® Master Trainer, Hatfield has trained all UHCOP pharmacy students in the program since 2016.  

In addition, Hatfield has published several peer-reviewed articles in the IPE arena and received grant funding for IPE activities in collaboration with the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the multi-institutional Southeast Texas Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (SETX-GWEP). The multiyear, U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration-funded SETX-GWEP aims to expand the training of students across a range to health care professions to provide enhanced patient care in older adults, including mental and dental health, as well as training for students/residents and representatives from community-based social service organizations to identify elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. 

Hatfield's IPE work dates back to 2008, when she and a faculty member at Texas Woman’s University College of Nursing piloted an IPE activity with a small group of nursing and pharmacy student volunteers.

"In my very first session, the nursing student asked the pharmacy student to get the oxygen started, which is something we don’t teach in the pharmacy curriculum; however, the pharmacy student spent several minutes attempting to figure out the correct tubing," Hatfield said. "I quickly realized the benefit of teaching students proper communication, how to speak up, and the roles and responsibilities of their own profession and for those they work with. I believe that teaching health professional students the skills to become more effective communicators and team members improves patient safety across all health care settings."