Professor Emerita Madeline H. Schmitt is a nurse-sociologist who is considered a national leader in advancing interprofessional collaborative practice (IPP) and interprofessional education (IPE), a professional commitment spanning nearly 45 years. From 1972 until her retirement in 2005, she was a faculty member at the University of Rochester School of Nursing. She was an integral figure in the regionally-focused nursing department’s emergence as a nationally acclaimed autonomous School and, at retirement, held an endowed chair as professor of nursing and interprofessional education. Since her retirement, Dr. Schmitt has continued to be sought after as a national consultant and currently serves as an ambassador and community moderator for the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education.
Dr. Schmittreceived her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1965 and, five years later, earned her master’s degree in sociology, both from the University of Rochester. In 1976, she received her PhD in sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. The following year, she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. During her 34 years as a Rochester faculty member, she held leadership posts in administration, teaching, and funded research. For more than two decades, she was also co-leader of an informal national interprofessional network focused on IPP, IPE, and collaborative research. She acquired an international reputation as creator and chair of theNorth American Division of the Journal of Interprofessional Care, and now serves as an editor emerita of the Journal.
In her retirement, Dr. Schmitt has continued to co-publish seminal articles, conduct collaborative research, and deliver more than 80 local, national, and international presentations, mostly as a guest or endowed lecturer. One of two U.S. members of the WHO Study Group on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice, she co-authored Framework for Action in Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice in 2010. In 2011, she chaired a national expert panel that produced Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice, a report that helped trigger a national transformation in health professions education. From 2012 to 2014, Dr. Schmitt represented the American Academy of Nursing at the Institute of Medicine Forum on Innovations in Health Professions Education. She is a founding board member of the American Interprofessional Health Collaborative.
Her many honors include several from the University and School of Nursing. At the University level these include a Faculty Bridging Fellowship and the Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award. Within the School of Nursing, these include the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Distinguished Faculty Colleague Award, the Graduate Award of Distinction, the Graduate Teaching Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2013, she was the School’s annual Clare Dennison lecturer, focusing on the School’s national legacy in fostering interprofessional education. A loyal alumna, she has served as class agent for her nursing reunion years and provides expertise to the expanding interprofessional education programs at the School and Medical Center.
A Rochester resident, her “blended” family of 40 years includes her husband, Professor Michael Farrell, one daughter, two stepchildren, and five grandchildren.