Capstone Projects 2020-2021

Integrated Health Scholars are clinical MSW students who participate in value-added training to develop knowledge and skills in interprofessional team-based care in underserved communities. Capstone projects are completed at their clinical field practicum setting.

These Scholars will graduate from the KU School of Social Welfare in May 2021. To connect with Scholars, please contact Michelle Levy at or Jason Matejkowski at

This program is funded by a Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training award from the USDHHS Health Resources and Services Administration.

Paola Alor

Olathe Medical Center Oncology
Breaking Language Barriers in Oncology

Working with cancer patients is difficult due to the distress that comes with an initial cancer diagnosis. If a person does not speak English, this can make it harder for them to understand necessary aspects such as treatment plans, medication information, and side effects. My project explored the challenge in worked with non-English speaking clients at my practicum agency and why it is important that a Cancer Center address this problem from an integrated health perspective.

Angela Beims

Salina Family Healthcare Center
Motivational Interviewing as a Brief Intervention for Hypertensive Patients in an Integrated Health Setting

Social workers, as part of an integrated healthcare team, can use behavioral health interventions to assist patients with chronic health conditions.  Motivational interviewing is a behavioral health intervention that can be used to help hypertensive patients find motivation and resolve ambivalence in making healthy changes to control their condition. 

Allyson Bence

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, School Behavioral Health
The Importance of Increased Access to Behavioral Health Services

There are many benefits to having an in-house therapist in a school setting. My project used a survey of parents and students to explore barriers that may decrease an individual’s ability to meet for traditional therapy appointments. The project also looks at how school-based behavioral health services benefits clients, school environment, and, ultimately, the community.

Jama Bettis

Lawrence Memorial Hospital
Let’s Talk: Behavioral Health Implications of Adapting Comprehensive Sex Education Programs for 5th-9th Grade Students

As part of a collaboration with a local, non-profit called Let's Talk, this project involved developing, adapting, and delivering comprehensive sex education programming for 5th-9th grade classes and creating a corresponding program manual.

Anneliese Beye & Jocelyn Dayton (Field Instructor)

TriCounty Interlocal #607
Creating a School Social Work Manual for TriCounty Interlocal #607

This poster highlights collaboration and research on the School Social Work Manual for TriCounty Interlocal #607. Standards and regulations exclusive to School Social Workers were added to an existing Certified and Licensed Manual along with a newly developed official Social Work referral form formatted specifically for this agency. This will benefit the future protocol of students in need of school social work services along with current and future school social workers employed by TriCounty Interlocal #607. 

Jasmine Brown

Satori Counseling Services
Implementing a Therapeutic Counseling Group for Exonerated Individuals

This poster focuses on how a therapeutic counseling group for exonerated individuals was created in partnership with Miracle of Innocence. Participants were primarily Black or African American men who were incarcerated between 10 to over 30 years before being exonerated. The group met weekly and covered a range of topics including identifying feelings, regulating emotions, family relationships and navigating difficult conversations.  

Kayla Cosby

New Directions
Strengthening Families Impacted By Substance Use Disorder

Substance use disorders not only impact the patient themselves but also affect family members. Family members of individuals suffering from substance use disorder experience lack of services and resources to help strengthen the family system as a whole. This project collected qualitative and quantitative data to explore family perspectives on addiction, treatment and needed supports. Family systems may be strengthened by self-awareness, support for loved ones, and therapy for managing conflict, emotion regulation and boundaries.

Alyssa Deem

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas
Trauma-Informed Care in the School System

Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) is an approach that is necessary in the school settings as evidenced by years of clinical research. As a society, and more importantly as social work professionals, we now see the linkage between childhood trauma and the long-term effects on an individual’s health (mental and physical). School-based intervention with TIC is critical because teachers and on-site social workers have a significant amount of contact with the students who experience trauma in every-day life. The sooner we can intervene in children’s lives, the greater effect we have on their healthy adult future.

Philip DeGraffenreid

Health Partnership Clinic
A Trauma-Informed, Patient-Centered Approach to Well-Woman Exams

This project identified a need for trauma-informed, patient-centered practices in well-woman examinations and provided two mitigating interventions. An informational patient handout describes what will likely happen at their appointment as well as resources for patients who have mental health needs or have experienced trauma and a clinician poster containing evidence-based practices with the intention of making the patient more comfortable and giving the patient more control during uncomfortable questions, examinations, and procedures.

Jareth Del Real

Osawatomie State Hospital
The Intern’s Manual: An Unofficial Guide for Clinical Therapy

The Intern’s Manual: An Unofficial Guide for Clinical Therapy was written with the intention of providing future social work interns at Osawatomie State Hospital with a practical, handy, and convenient manual to facilitate their practicum experience. Written by a practicum student, this manual provides a fresher, closer, and more relatable perspective to the reader than those of field instructors, professors, and other seasoned therapists. Ultimately, this manual benefits both students and the agency since it enhances service delivery, facilitates learning, and helps new interns overcome common obstacles associated with the lack of therapeutic experience or being new in the mental health field.

Mickey Dick

Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association
End of Life Doula Program

Death is a taboo topic that often causes fear and anxiety, so we don’t talk about it. The End of Life Doula program at Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) encourages clients and their families to identify wishes and engage in conversations before the days before death. These conversations decrease fear of the dying process and increase quality of life. End of Life Doulas help a client to identify and achieve their “good death” and provide support throughout the end of life journey.

View the Presentation

Alisha Dinges Hammerschmidt

Kelly Center, Fort Hays State University
Yoga on the Lawn & Be Well Series

Many college student struggled this year. College was not what they had expected it to be, and they felt isolated, alone, sad, depressed, and disconnected from the college atmosphere. Kelly Center staff and practicum students partnered to create activities to help students build connections including Yoga on the Lawn, stress reduction balls and affirmation valentines and cards. Students loved getting out and seeing other college students!

Mary Hutchins

Avalon Hospice
Nursing Home Residents and COVID-19:  The Neglected Population

COVID-19 imposed significant changes on nursing care facilities and their residents. Patients were confined to their rooms and not able to see family. In interviews with hospice family members, they described these impacts in detail along with their ideas for solutions. My goals were to create awareness of the limitations of solutions that were implemented in response to the isolation of patients during COVID-19 and remind social workers of our ethical obligation to advocate for nursing facility residents and their loved ones during extraordinary circumstances like the pandemic.

Tykeisha Kelly & Viviana Patino

KVC Hospital
Gallup Q12 Surveys to Improve Employee Productivity and Engagement

Research shows that employee engagement and satisfaction have an impact on client quality of care. Gallup's Q12 Survey is an efficient way to measure employee engagement. KVC Hospital's use of the Gallup's Q12 Survey provides managers with data to use in creating action steps for improving employee satisfaction and productivity. Use of this tool is recommended to aid organizations in identifying and offering what employees need to enhance their performance and ultimately, provide quality care.

Shelby Lines

Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center
Increasing Patient Satisfaction Survey Response Rates and Behavioral Health Provider Service Awareness

Patient satisfaction surveys used as part of quality improvement at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center had inconsistent response rates for the Behavioral Health department and survey data was not shared with individual providers. A research-informed infographic intervention including a brief provider informational session and weekly individual provider data dissemination was implemented. Data was collected from patients using updated satisfaction surveys and providers using a pre-post intervention survey. The infographic intervention within this study shows to have positive results.

Isabella Meisel

Children’s Mercy Hospital
Mental Health Services for Youth:  Impact of COVID-19

The Acute Mental Health Screening team at Children's Mercy has seen an increase in patients presenting with acute mental health concerns over the past year. Additionally, there has been a decrease in the availability of placements for youth at inpatient psychiatric hospitals and openings with outpatient mental health providers. Bringing attention to the currently rising need for child and adolescent mental health providers has been my goal throughout my research, and I hope to continue to advocate for child and adolescent mental health care

Stefany Ortiz

HealthCore Clinic
Inclusion of ACE Screening for Behavioral Health Assessments

This poster is focused on ACE screening and how it could be beneficial to the integrated care model at HealthCore Clinic (HCC). Demographics shows how the ACE screen is applicable to the patient population at HCC. The current screening process is described to highlight information that may be missing from the existing screens and assessments.  Ethics and discrimination addressed in the “why” section of the poster clarify that the purpose of this screen is not to withhold certain care such as narcotic pain management or other interventions. In this setting, the ACE screen would provide additional background information to medical providers and behavioral health consultants that could aid them in providing true patient-centered care.

Viviana Patino & Tykeisha Kelly

KVC Hospital
Gallup Q12 Surveys to Improve Employee Productivity and Engagement

Research shows that employee engagement and satisfaction have an impact on client quality of care. Gallup's Q12 Survey is an efficient way to measure employee engagement. KVC Hospital's use of the Gallup's Q12 Survey provides managers with data to use in creating action steps for improving employee satisfaction and productivity. Use of this tool is recommended to aid organizations in identifying and offering what employees need to enhance their performance and ultimately, provide quality care.

Kristin R. Quangvan

St. Luke’s North – Behavioral Access Center
Utilizing the SBIRT Screening Tool in Clinical Settings

This poster illustrates the purpose and implementation of the SBIRT screening tool. This tool will assess patients for substance abuse risk and help to identify supports. Motivational interviewing is key, and a breakdown of the steps are included in the poster. 

Elizabeth Reid

Vibrant Health
Increasing Access to Integrated Healthcare during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Integrated healthcare models are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to help clinic settings achieve the “quadruple aim” of enhancing patient experience, improving population health, reducing healthcare expenditures, and improving provider well-being. Vibrant Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located in Wyandotte County, Kansas, that provides patients with high-quality and patient-centered medical, dental, and behavioral health services. The COVID-19 pandemic has offered both unique challenges and opportunities for Vibrant Health to expand integrated primary care/behavioral health services for its patients.

Viridiana Reyes Coria

Crosswinds Counseling and Wellness
Trauma Informed Care (TIC) in Mental Health Residential Facilities

Individuals diagnosed with serious mental illnesses are at high risk of experiencing trauma. Also, trauma among adults diagnosed with serious mental illness is frequently unaddressed, and unrecognized. In response, many human service settings, including Evergreen Residential Facility, are moving toward trauma informed care service delivery.

Raven Rhoads

St. Joseph School District
Inter-agency Collaboration Between a School District and a local Health Center to Create a Mental Health Program for Adolescents

This project was created to help address the lack of mental health care access for adolescents in the St. Joseph, MO area. Research on what other states and similar programs have done to achieve goals of teen suicide prevention and the promotion of mental health informed this work. This poster addresses the goals of the program, an outline of why the program is needed in our community, funding ideas, potential challenges, and strategies to overcome these challenges so that the program can be successfully created. 

Jordan Rollins

Ozark Center Community Care Program
Harm Reduction and Why It Is Beneficial 

Harm reduction is an approach that is used at Ozark Center, a mental and behavioral health organization that serves the Joplin area. Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Working with individuals who suffer from substance use disorder was an eye-opening experience and allowed me to see harm reduction firsthand.

Julianne Ruwe

The University of Kansas Health System Case Management
Palliative Care Social Work and the Interdisciplinary Approach

The interdisciplinary team approach of palliative care includes social work, and social workers now have nationally recognized certifications for palliative care. Social workers on a palliative care team can complete a variety of tasks that provide support for patients and families with serious illnesses and advocate for their needs. This poster was created to provide education about the strengths, limitations, and importance of palliative care social work. This is an often overlooked or unknown field of social work that is valuable to any health system and any interdisciplinary team.

Kelsey Savastano 

University of Kansas Health System Acute Rehabilitation
Practice with Individuals with a Brain Injury in an Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Setting

My project covers my time at the University of Kansas Health System’s Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation. Focus is placed on providing integrated care to patients with brain injuries who hope to gain greater independence before returning home after a hospital stay. This project goes over the setting of an inpatient rehabilitation, working with individuals with brain injuries, and the importance of integrated care and the interdisciplinary team. 

Katherine E. Schneider

Mirror, Inc.
Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions for Individuals with Addictions

Mirror Inc. is a substance use treatment facility that helps individuals recover from addition in both residential and outpatient settings located throughout Kansas. This poster focuses on Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions (CBI) for Substance Use, a curriculum developed by The University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute that is used in Mirror’s Cognitive Group. The CBI curriculum teaches individuals strategies for recognizing unhelpful or “risky” thoughts that may lead them to use substances and create “replacement” thoughts. CBI also helps clients learn techniques that help individuals develop cognitive, social, emotional and coping skills. 

Desiré Seitz  

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas
How A Behavioral Health Intake Specialist Can Improve Client Outcomes in Therapy 

The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHCSEK) in Pittsburg has been growing in client numbers for years. Medical policies and scheduling often conflict with the ability of the behavioral health department to keep pace with the expanding agency and ensure that each client has access to feasible, affordable, and timely care for any service the agency offers. The collaborative idea of a Behavioral Intake Specialist position could help to address these pressures, restore valuable therapeutic time, improve quality, and facilitate a more positive experience for the clients who receive mental health services at CHCSEK.

Kelsey L. Smith

Mother’s Refuge
Mental Health Education for Young Mothers

Mother’s Refuge serves pregnant and parenting young mothers (12-21) who are experiencing homelessness, marginalization, and multiple health disparities. The purpose of this project was to address the need to develop a mental health curriculum to be taught to the mothers during their stay (typically, one to two years after giving birth). With a long-term stay, Mother’s Refuge believes strongly in providing education and coaching the mothers in as many skills, tools, and practices as possible to support the transition into the community. The mental health curriculum focuses on educating and practicing skills that help the mothers understand the importance of their mental health and the ongoing commitment to take care and check-in with themselves. The curriculum also has a trauma-informed lens to provide appropriate and supportive sessions and activities to not cause further trauma.