PIPE Students at CLARION Competition

This past spring, pharmacy student Eline Kocharyan and dental student Roya Rad represented the inaugural UCSF team at the national CLARION competition. The team was coached by faculty members, Lily Kornbluth and Trang Trinh. The competition provides students and opportunity to work in an interprofessional team to perform a root cause analysis. This year, the case focused on how to provide immediate solutions and assistance for a family of survivors after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. They tackled the challenge at federal, state, and local levels with a root-cause analysis. "But we wanted to bring something innovative, as we are from UCSF and the Bay Area," said Rad. "We wanted to think outside the box."

The team from UCSF was small, but mighty. Rad said that she has always been interested in interprofessional topics. "It's very enjoyable for me to work with people of different backgrounds – to incorporate my knowledge and leverage it in proper treatment."

Kocharyan and Rad came up with many ideas that had to be condensed down into a 20-minute presentation. They proposed humanitarian aid delivered by a multidisciplinary team with the help of public institutions. Their solution was a triage-based model with an intake coordinator who interviewed the family, identified their primary care needs, and connected them with the right resources, ranging from physical and mental health care and medications to housing needs and social work. Details included risk-benefit and financial analysis, a timeline, and measures of success. Although the team was not selected for the final round, they were confident in their results. "Our presentation was novel, with a structured approach and an explanation of the complexities," said Kocharyan.

Rad recommends future student teams to go straight to the final problem and development. "The solution is not as important as how you develop it," she said, and strongly encourages students to participate. "You can be a leader: what you say and how you say it matters."

Kocharyan added, "UCSF always speaks about training students to be in leadership positions. Part of leadership is being comfortable with unprecedented events and being able to plan and think on your feet. It's an amazing opportunity to brainstorm about what's really possible."