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Faculty and Staff

Collaboration for InterProfessional Health Education Research & Scholarship (CIPHERS)

CIPHERS is an initiative to facilitate scholarship, research, and mentorship related to health professions education. Located in WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, CIPHERS aims to engage interprofessional colleagues across the University, in the Health Sciences and beyond. Launched in November 2020, CIPHERS aims to foster foster faculty and student engagement in scholarly inquiry and to enable dissemination of educational innovations through presentations and publication. 

Founding director Dr. Dawn DeWitt endeavors to support faculty as they aim to develop their skills in educational research and scholarship. CIPHERS aspires to become a place where scholars can share ideas, expand collegial networks, and collaborate on projects. CIPHERS acknowledges the support of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine’s Founding Dean, Dr. John Tomkowiak, and Dr. John Roll, Professor and Associate Vice President for Strategic Research Initiatives, WSU Health Sciences.

To learn about ways in which CIPHERS can support your scholarly interests, please send an email to:

Get Engaged

CIPHERS offers one-on-one meetings and consultations to help faculty advance their scholarship aspirations. These 1-hour consultations provide an opportunity to meet with Drs. Dawn DeWitt, CIPHERS Director, and Erin Griffin, Scholarly Associate Professor and Director of Evaluation, and ask questions related to health professions research and scholarship, brainstorm projects in mind, solicit advice regarding next steps, etc.

Participants are asked to submit a paragraph summary of their project idea (if applicable) or supporting materials prior to the meeting to maximize the value of this time.

Following the consultation, participants receive a tailored ‘consult report’ that provides an overview of the Discussion, Additional Notes, Recommendations, Action Items, and Next Steps. Additionally, participants may opt to:

  • Schedule a follow-up meeting(s)
  • Receive brief check-in emails regarding Action Item progress
  • Request support to develop and adhere to a timeline

Purpose and Confidentiality:

  • Consultations are designed to provide expert advice regarding the tools, methods, data, and editorial support you might need to successfully complete and disseminate your work.
  • Consultations are confidential (with respect to ideas and intellectual property) and do not entitle internal consultants to authorship.

Dr. Dawn DeWitt has been a “shoe-string” researcher in medical education for over 25 years – aided by mentors and a Certificate in Medical Education.  In addition to authoring and editing book chapters and books, she has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers on a variety of subjects.  One of her first research mentors told her it was important to “focus on one area in order to be successful.” Always curious, she admits that she never really mastered that “focus” advice, but hopes her breadth of experience might be of use to others.  After mentoring many student and faculty members on projects and papers over the years, she acknowledges that research, writing, and publishing is “hard work,” but is looking forward to collaborating and helping forward the CIPHERS mission.

Dr. Erin Griffin is an innovative researcher with background in medical education, epidemiology, and data science. She has over 2 decades of applied experience developing, conducting, and publishing outcomes-based research in medical education. Dr. Griffin is a passionate coach and collaborator with a mission to advancing research competency and scholarly productivity.  Dr. Griffin is a self-confessed ‘nerd with a heart’ with a signature style of bringing the rigors of science and analytics to life through the arts of communication and connection. For more information about Dr. Griffin’s professional background and expertise, please visit her LinkedIn Profile.

Request a Consultation

Please send an email to Jennifer Anderson to schedule a consultation.


CIPHERS has developed materials that support interprofessional education (IPE) research, scholarship, and professional development (see below), all of which are available on CIPHERS SharePoint page. If you would like permission to access the page, please contact Jennifer Anderson.

  1. Funding sources
  2. Publication venues
  3. A Reference Library
  4. Resources for Scholars
  5. Calendar of upcoming meetings and conferences, including registration and abstract submission deadlines
  6. An archive of slides from the Visiting Professor series
More information about WSU Health Sciences’ interprofessional education efforts can be found here.

Scholarly Activity Publications

Wilson, M., Bray, B.S., Remsberg, C.M., Kobayashi, R., Richardson, B.A. (2021) Interprofessional  education on opioid use and pain identifies team-based learning needs. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. Epub ahead of print January 12, 2021

Funding Opportunities

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation (RCORP-Implementation)—March 12. 

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) will be making approximately 78 awards of $1 million each to rural communities to enhance substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), service delivery.  Over the course of a three-year period of performance, grant recipients will implement a set of core prevention, treatment, and recovery activities that align with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Five-Point Strategy to Combat the Opioid Crisis.

Our Team

Dawn Elise DeWitt, MD, MSC, MACP, FRACP, Cert Med Ed
Professor and Senior Associate Dean, Director for Collaboration for InterProfessional Health Education Research & Scholarship (CIPHERS)
509-368-6841 | PROFILE

Jennifer Anderson
Jennifer Anderson
Coordinator, Collaboration for InterProfessional Health Education Research & Scholarship (CIPHERS)


Cyrstal Smith
Brenda S. Bray, BPharm, MPH
Clinical Professor, Department of Medical Education and Clinical Sciences
Office of Accreditation, Assessment and Evaluation
509-368-6919 | PROFILE

Tracy Klein
Tracy Klein, PhD, MSN, BSN
Associate Professor, Nursing

360-546-9142 | PROFILE

Connie Remsberg
Connie Remsberg, PhD, PharmD
Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
509-358-7752 | PROFILE

Barb Richardson
Barbara Richardson, PhD, MN, BSN
Director, Interprofessional Education & Research
509-324-7230 | PROFILE

Marian Wilson
Marian Wilson, PhD
Associate Professor, Nursing

509-324-7443 | PROFILE