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Public Health Response to Domestic Violence in the Context of COVID-19

Enhancing the Public Health Response to Domestic Violence in the Context of COVID-19 project spans across 11 states and builds capacity to respond to intimate partner violence within state and local public health and complementary agencies.

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Survivor Link + Public Health AmeriCorps

More about the Project

Sponsored by a federal AmeriCorps grant, Meredith Bagwell-Gray is excited bring Survivor Link to Kansas to increase community-wide knowledge and readiness to respond to domestic violence.

Survivor Link is a systems-level intervention in local community organizations to promote best methods for screening and responding to domestic violence. Dr. Bagwell-Gray is excited to partner with colleagues at participating schools of social work across U.S., all of whom have expertise in gender-based violence prevention and intervention, to bring collective evidence-based practice knowledge to students in KU’s School of Social Welfare.

KUSSW students will receive intensive training and, in turn, provide trainings to participating public health and public health-allied organizations through their field practicums. In partnership with KUSSW’s field office, nine students have been selected to participate in this project and will earn two $2,000 stipends for their work, plus a Segal education award. Students will administer pre- and post-tests to training participants at each organization and will then be able to report on the impact of these trainings.

The hope for this project is to improve outcomes at a local level even as it is a part of a much larger grant: Led by Jill Messing, professor and director of the Office of Gender Based Violence at Arizona State University, a total of 99 students will participate in 14 universities across the U.S. It is exciting that KU is a partnership site and that we get to bring this innovative program to Kansas and our participating field sites.

Meet our 2022-2023 cohort of Survivor Link + Public Health AmeriCorps practicum students


Survivor Link is a new KU School of Social Welfare initiative that integrates students’ practicum experience, multilevel social work intervention, and research. Students will provide trainings at their practicum with the goal of increasing community-wide knowledge and readiness to respond to domestic violence.  This opportunity gives students a chance to learn from top domestic violence experts from the field of social work.


  • Sarah Gelderman, Avenue of Life
  • Shannon Gerstner, Kansas Suicide Prevention Headquarters
  • Jasmine Hassan, Overland Park Regional Medical Center
  • Laura Heiman, Johnson County Department of Corrections Adult Therapeutic Community
  • Gianna Hochstetler, Kansas Advocates for Better Care
  • Kelsey Hunter, KU Care Coordination
  • Sierra Moore, University of Kansas Health System – Marillac
  • Alyssa Perry, Van Go, Inc.
  • Briley Young, Lawrence Memorial Hospital


Project Leadership

Meredith Bagwell-Gray

Meredith Bagwell-Gray

Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor