The practice-scholar program: an academic-practice partnership to promote the scholarship of "best practices".

Research paper by Patricia P Crist, Jaime Phillip JP Muñoz, Anne Marie AM Witchger Hansen, Jeryl J Benson, Ingrid I Provident

Indexed on: 01 Jan '05Published on: 01 Jan '05Published in: Occupational therapy in health care


SUMMARY Faculty-practitioner partnerships that address mutually established, practice-relevant priorities have great potential to bridge academy and practice. Each partner has a different purpose or mission but together embracing mutually beneficial opportunities through sustainable partnerships, exponentially increases the outcomes that could result. The purpose of this paper is to report the evolution of a new program, called the Practice-Scholar Program at Duquesne University. The goal was to develop new partnerships between practice and our Department to support mutual interests in teaching, research and service focusing on the scholarship of occupational therapy 'best practices' in a variety of settings. These 'best practice' sites are to develop model programs in occupational therapy stressing occupation-based practice, application of evidence in clinical decision-making and embed scholarship activities into their every day practice. The selection, development and sustenance of our Practice-Scholar program and our first four partnership sites are described in this paper. Our Practice-Scholars sites have been at a collaborative speech-language/occupational therapy pediatric clinic, and at three community sites: three day-care sites in a marginalized underserved community; a homeless shelter for women; and the county jail. This paper describes how faculty have woven the Practice-Scholar program into our teaching, research and service responsibilities while helping our Practice-Scholars develop 'best practices.' Faculty, practitioner, and students benefits are described. Both the funding and outcomes from the Practice-Scholar program will be presented. Finally, new developments, modifications and challenges in sustaining these Practice Scholar partnerships and scholarship of practice activities are discussed.