Dale Mayer

Assistant Professor / Interim Campus Director
College of Nursing - Missoula

Professional Background

I have been a registered nurse for 20+ years and have three nursing degrees:  a bachelor’s, master’s (cardiovascular clinical nurse specialist), and a PhD in nursing with a focus on family.   My clinical practice was in cardiovascular nursing and I have worked in several clinical areas including intensive care, telemetry, cardiac step down, stress testing laboratory, clinical research, and nursing education.  I have been working as a faculty member at MSU College of Nursing since 1997! 

When and how did you get involved in IPE and IPP?

I got involved with interprofessional education in 2015 when I partnered with colleagues at the University of Montana to develop and IPE elective course.  Three UM faculty members from pharmacy and physical therapy partnered with me (MSU nursing) to develop a one credit IPE course which was offered at UM in the Fall of 2015.  MSU nursing students were invited to attend this class and consistently joined this class on their own time, which told us it was valuable for their learning.  Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive and our IPE efforts in Missoula grew after three of us attended a national IPE train the trainer course in Seattle in 2016. 

What experiences have you had that reinforce the value of IPE and IPP in healthcare?

In Missoula we have expanded our IPE offerings via the development of three subcommittees and a student group: 
  • Clinical IPE Subcommittee: focuses on getting IP students together in the clinical settings on campus and is expanding to clinical sites off campus
  • Didactic IPE subcommittee: focuses on getting IP students together in didactic settings to work together on case studies and interact with local IP team

  • Simulation IPE subcommittee: has focused on getting IPE students together for IP simulations – using both cases from acute care nature and community- based simulations

  • Student IPE group: plans student events, for example start of semester meet and greet sessions, trivia nights, etc.

In all these subcommittees the goal is to have interprofessional students learn from and with each other!


What current IPE-related activities are you participating in?

I am a member of the IPE steering committee on the Missoula campus and have just joined the steering committee on the MSU campus, and I will connect electronically to their meetings.  In addition, I helped develop an IPE online elective course (AHHS 450) with colleagues at UM and taught this course (AHHS 450) in the fall of 2019 to students from MSU and UM.    

How should students, faculty and practicing healthcare professionals who are interested in IPE get involved?

Working with inter-professional colleagues across campus, and across universities, is very professional rewarding as is working with students from other disciplines.  Please reach out if you are curious about how you might include an interprofessional element to your class or if you just want to know what is happening with IPE locally or across the state.  Accreditation standards are now requiring that health professional students are exposed to IPE in their training, so the time to get involved is now!




Rebecca Hammerquist

Bachelor's of Science - Nursing

Academic Background

I am currently a junior at Montana State University Missoula campus pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. For the past three years I have worked for a non-profit based out of Bozeman (Sealants for Smiles!) which focuses on providing preventative dental care to children in public schools, I also work as a certified nurse’s aide (CNA) on the Neuro Ortho Floor at Providence/Saint Patrick Hospital.

What current IP or IPE related work are you participating in? 

I am the nursing program and Montana State University representative for the IPE student group in Missoula in conjunction with University of Montana. We recently held a trivia night at a local brewery fielding questions about each profession and collected cans of food for the local food bank. We are currently focusing on collaborating with other groups within the university system and engaging programs that do not have an IPE requirement.

What do you find most valuable about IPE?

My interest in IPE began 4 years ago when my son was experiencing some health problems and atypical development. We were seeing multiple doctors within the hospital and traveling throughout the state to see specialists. To address his delayed development, we put him in speech and physical therapy for a year and our health team truly took the approach of early intervention. I was both impressed and disappointed with the communication between the team, leaving me feeling that I was the messenger between the different disciplines. For someone who is not well versed in the field of medicine, this can be incredibly intimidating and almost impossible. Now in nursing school I feel my son’s past has given insights into different fields. As health professionals we are separated and focused on our career paths, we forget that we are all working together to reach the same goal: short term and long-term success for our patients. My first semester of nursing school I took a one credit IPE elective class that consisted of interacting with our peers in different programs and that acted as a foundation for the start of the nursing program. 

What moment or circumstance reinforced the importance of IPE and collaborative practice for you? 

Working at St. Patrick Hospital on the Neuro Ortho floor I see how each profession works together to get patients home. All the patients need to be cleared by Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy prior to discharge and our stroke patients meet with speech therapists for swallowing evaluations before they are allowed to eat or drink. This interprofessional approach is essential for these patient’s because their conditions are multilateral and require different expertise for them to be successful.

What avenues have you found most successful for getting involved with IPE and/or IP practice? 

I recommend networking within the university system. Opportunities for interprofessional education and collaboration continue to arise, such as Montana's Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Scholars’ program. Professors from each health profession program are involved in this IPE work and they continually communicate opportunities with our IPEstudent group!