This article advocates a Canadian online graduate institute for chronic disease management and prevention focused on inter-professional education (IPE) and inter-professional collaboration. Such an institute, with courses offered online, would attract both students and faculty and would help to break down disciplinary barriers. Delivering the education in an online format would eliminate the high capital requirements for infrastructure while opening up the program to potential students across Canada and internationally. Aspiring healthcare practitioners could, together with both patients and other professionals, learn about effective prevention and care of chronic diseases – an increasingly large component of Canada's fiscally challenged healthcare system. By wresting chronic care education out of traditional programs (such as medicine, nursing, social work, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and psychology) housed in traditional universities, the institute would serve an important need and foster true inter-professional care and collaboration. The goal of such an institute would be to improve upon and deliver the best and most effective, collaborative IPE online in a focused institute of higher education whose sole aim would be to address chronic diseases, one of the most costly public health issues facing society today. Our proposed model is based on a case study of the province of Ontario.
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