UBC Health honours associate dean for outstanding leadership in interprofessional professional development


Dr. Leandra Best

UBC Health has selected Dr. Leandra Best, Dentistry senior associate dean, as the 2017 winner of the Award for Outstanding Leadership in Advancing Interprofessional Professional Development. This award honours an outstanding individual or health care team that promotes professional development in the areas of collaborative teaching among different health care professionals and/or collaborative patient-centred practice.

In the Faculty of Dentistry, Best oversees the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) curriculum and leads a significant curriculum renewal project. She has initiated and facilitated the development and scheduling of numerous interprofessional education (IPE) activities by engaging faculty and staff. These IPE learning experiences for students have been designed to meet accreditation and competency requirements and to fulfill the Faculty’s and the university’s strategic plans.

Best has co-authored numerous cases to engage students’ interest in the oral health relevancy of the biomedical, clinical and behavioural sciences. She has served as Dentistry’s representative on the UBC Health Curriculum Committee and on the iEthics Curriculum Working Group, which developed an ethics curriculum that serves as a model template for other IPE topics common to UBC’s various health sciences programs. She also arranged protected time in the DMD program to incrementally implement IPE sessions in iEthics, eHealth, Indigenous Health Cultural Competency, and Resiliency. Recently, Best joined the new UBC Health Integrated Professionalism Curriculum Working Group, with the intent to augment interprofessional professionalism content in the UBC Dentistry curriculum and other health disciplines curricula.

Best and colleagues in Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Medicine and Physical Therapy collaborated to implement additional IPE learning activities for their respective students, including inquiry-based cases and hands-on neuroscience laboratory activities. Moreover, Best played a key leadership role to successfully integrate dental and dental hygiene students in learning and clinically applying head and neck anatomy, local anaesthesia, patient assessment and periodontal examinations/management, thereby enhancing students’ mutual respect for, and understanding of, their professions.

Read more about IPE at UBC Dentistry in the Impressions magazine article “Interprofessional Education at UBC—Strengthening Collaboration Among Health and Human Services Professions.”