The National Health Sciences Students’ Association (NaHSSA) was formed in January 2005 and is the first and only national interprofessional student association in the world. Working as a diverse network of 19 university-based chapters – including over 20 different health and human service professions – NaHSSA seeks to address the unmet need of actively involving Canada’s health and human service students in interprofessional education by promoting the attitudes, skills, and behaviours necessary to provide collaborative patient-centred care. Our members include: 1) University of Alberta, 2) University of British Columbia, 3) University of Calgary, 4) Dalhousie University, 5) Université Laval, 6) University of Manitoba, 7) McGill University, 8) McMaster University, 9) Memorial University of Newfoundland, 10) Université de Montréal, 11) University of Northern British Columbia, 12) University of Ottawa, 13) Queen’s University, 14) University of Saskatchewan, 15) Université de Sherbrooke, 16) University of Toronto, 17) University of Victoria, 18) University of Waterloo, and 19) University of Western Ontario.
Students make valuable contributions to their own learning environments as leaders, recruiters, peer mentors, among many other roles. A particular strength…is the involvement of the Health Sciences Students Association. This group, the first of its kind in Canada but now part of a national movement involving students at (almost) 20 universities, passionately promotes the program at area high schools and helps to orient first-year students to the philosophy and values of the program. Comprised of students in midwifery, laboratory sciences, rehabilitation therapy, dentistry, medicine, nursing, nutrition, social work, psychology, and other disciplines, this organization represents the great potential for change that can come through thinking and learning through an interprofessional perspective.