The University of Louisville has received a $1 million federal grant to increase collaboration between its nursing and dental schools.

The schools will integrate best practices and help students better identify and treat systemic diseases, which can be linked to oral health, said Dr. Marcia Hern, U of L’s dean of nursing.

Hern said she wants wants the university’s health system to be a one stop shop for patients, particularly those who are uninsured. Further, she said, U of L should be prepared to answer healthcare demands more efficiently when the Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014.

“It’s important that our students of tomorrow’s future healthcare workforce really know how to work together and be highly efficient,” said Hern.

The grant includes integration of technology including electronic health records and a student tracking system, she said. It will also include the use of web-based discussion boards for students to collaborate.

“Fortunately, U of L is at the forefront of technology-enhanced education and has the infrastructure to support it,” said Whitney Nash, assistant professor and principal investigator for the project.

Nursing and dental students will move through the program as a cohort and take classes on integrated professional work. There could be as many as 80 nursing and dental students moving through the program together.