Capstone Projects 2021-2022
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.
This program is funded by a Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training award from the USDHHS Health Resources and Services Administration.
Saint Luke's Hospital
Continuation of Client-Centered Care Post-Hospital Discharge
Client-centered care is important for clients who are admitted to hospitals, and can extend beyond discharge from hospitals to help them continue to be successful with their goals. Research shows that follow-up conversations are not always occurring once clients discharge from hospitals. This poster highlights a small study conducted to follow up with clients post-discharge to see if there were any lingering questions, how their transition went, and if there were any barriers to following through with their discharge goals. Based on the findings from this small study, post-discharge follow up can be beneficial and helpful for clients.
Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas School Board
The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences
My poster explains what Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are and how the trauma that comes with these experiences, may impact children as well as adults. A child’s background and home life are not always taken into consideration when they are experiencing difficulties during school. By educating teachers, parents, and school administrators, a social worker is better able to help give these children the protective factors they need to thus promote healthy development and alleviate these traumatic factors.
Van Go, Inc.
Benefits of Implementing a Suicide Screening
The purpose of a suicide screening tool at Van Go is to both fill a gap in service and to eventually lead to the creation of a pipeline between community organizations. Early intervention and identification are imperative to suicide prevention for young people and Van Go’s target clients fall within the age group where suicide is the second leading cause of death. Implementing the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) periodically throughout the year will allow clients to disclose suicidal ideation and be connected to additional services as needed.
Swope Community Health Center
Enhanced Care Pathway
Enhanced Care Pathway is a program to provide extra support to patients at risk for suicide. This was inspired by Zero Suicide, and similar programs have already been implemented in other clinics in the area. This will start in the behavioral health clinic, but the end goal is for the entire clinic (including remote locations) to participate fully.
Living with Loss: Practice Theory Applied to Caregivers of Persons with Dementia
Relationship changes between persons with Alzheimer’s Disease (pwAD) and caregivers are perhaps some of the saddest consequences of dementia. These changes often result in role reversal, detachment, and/or isolation. Due to the nature of loss in the caregiver and pwAD’s relationship, it can become challenging to work through feelings of grief. Due to the unique impacts this has on caregivers, I wanted to explore theories that can be used to devise interventions that meet the challenges of caregiving and improve the relationships between pwAD and caregivers at end-of-life.
Valeo Behavioral Health Care
Assessing & Improving Interprofessional Collaboration in a Community Mental Health Center
Integrated care models have become the gold standard in healthcare due to their ability to simultaneously deliver excellent quality of care at optimized costs while improving population health and the work life of health care providers. However, the "quadruple aim" of integrated healthcare can only be achieved with effective interprofessional collaboration (IPC). Recognizing the important role IPC plays in the equitable delivery of high-quality, person-centered, comprehensive healthcare, I developed a survey to assess IPC within my agency. I then used the results of this survey to inform a report offering research-based suggestions for improving IPC within the organization.
Edan Alemayehu Belihu
University of Kansas Health Systems
Undocumented Patients and Leukemia Treatment
As part of the integrated healthcare team, I have had the opportunity to work with Leukemia and Bone Marrow Transplant patients. While most patients experience some difficulties during treatment, I have seen undocumented patients impacted the most. Undocumented patients face a broad range of social, financial, legal, and language barriers as they strive for treatment. My project focused on how to work within the interdisciplinary team to reduce these barriers and ensure that undocumented patients are treated and achieve positive outcomes.
Jacob Manfred Bigus
Tabletop Roleplaying Games (TTRPGS) for Therapy
TTRPGs can be used for group therapy. They can effectively treat the symptoms of multiple disorders in a diverse group of clients. This poster gives the basic information necessary for a therapist to achieve an understanding of what this therapy can do. Along with a little research and experience, they should be able to lead or co-facilitate a TTRPG therapy group.
University of Kansas Health Systems Strawberry Hill Campus
Accelerated Resolution Therapy for Trauma Survivors
Clinical social workers use specialized interventions to treat symptoms of trauma and promote desired outcomes. Accelerated Resolution Therapy has been used to relieve symptoms and increases patient motivation for treatment.
USD 497-Southwest Middle School
Empowering Teachers to be Student Allies
I observed a multifaceted gap within the school setting regarding LGBTQ awareness and inclusivity both in the educational systems and in the classrooms. Because there was a void of comprehensive LGBTQ policies and basic knowledge, students were burdened with the responsibility to make space for themselves. As a social worker and ally, I wanted to advocate for students by addressing the questions and concerns teachers had and how to effectively advocate for LGBTQIA students. Through providing education, resources, and giving updated tools to the staff to implement in their practice.
Family Guidance Center
Do You Know Your Resources?
Previously during the training process at Family Guidance Center, workers were only given a resource list for the largest county that is served. However, the agency serves nine counties altogether. This project focused on creating a comprehensive resource list for each county that is served and then distributing it to each employee during the training/orientation process.
University Health-Truman Medical Center
Psychological First Aid for Victims of Crime
This poster provides an overview of Psychological First Aid for Victims of Crime (PFA-VC). Psychological First Aid (PFA) is traditionally used to help adults, children, and families in the aftermath of a disaster. This form of PFA focuses on assessing and creating interventions for those who are victims of crime. The PFA-VC approach allows social workers and other victim advocates to identify and meet each victim’s specific needs.
Research Psychiatric Center
Facilitating Group Therapy in an Acute Inpatient Psychiatric Setting
Research Psychiatric Center is an inpatient psychiatric care center in Kansas City, MO that provides comprehensive behavioral health services for teenagers, adults, and seniors. One of my roles as a student was facilitating forty-five-minute group therapy sessions daily for adult patients at different ages with a variety of psychiatric diagnosis facing many different barriers. I asked patients for their feedback on groups using a set of questions I created. This project is focused on patient feedback and provides resources for future students conducting group therapy in inpatient settings.
Michele Fields & TJ Lakin
Four County Mental Health Center
Evidence Based Assertive Community Treatment Four County Community Mental Health
The Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model is an evidence-based practice that gives services to clients in need that would not do well in a traditional setting. Not only providing individual therapy and case management, but also the ACT team will assist with medicine management and other client needs. Four County Mental Health is the first rural use of this model in the United States and offers key insights into success and setbacks.
Children's Mercy Hospital
Reducing Crisis in Emergency Department Behavioral Health Interventions
This topic was selected due to the noted increase in pediatric behavioral health patients visiting the Emergency Department who are experiencing continued mood and behavior dysregulation in conjunction with the increase of wait times and difficulty connecting to resources during these emergency visits. This project will provide an overview of the ER environment in comparison to the therapeutic environments of behavioral health urgent cares currently being developed around the nation. In addition, potential for implementing change within the emergency room will be explored in order to mitigate wait times, increase resources, and create a safer environment for both staff and patients based on the therapeutic models of behavioral urgent cares.
KU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
Changes in perception of people with Alzheimer's and other dementias after listening to the Experience League
The Experience League is a panel of people with early-stage Alzheimer's or another form of dementia that virtually speak with students about what life is like living with a diagnosis. When asked what three words come to mind when thinking about dementia/Alzheimer's before listening to the Experience League, students frequently responded with forgetful, sad, and confused. When students were asked the same question after listening to the Experience League, they frequently responded with support, strong, resilient, and courageous.
Utilization of START Module when working with children who are exposed to SUD
The Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) module is a child welfare intervention that has been shown, when implemented with fidelity, to improve outcomes for both parents and children affected from prenatal substance use disorder. This START module uses a variety of strategies from theories such as Attachment Theory and Self Determination to promote collaboration and system-level change within and between the child welfare agencies. Prevention, permanency and parent recovery outcomes show promise for the START module.
Atchison Community Health Clinic
Implementing SBIRT in Integrated Health Care
The purpose of this project was to take what I learned in our February IHS training and apply it to my practicum site. Atchison Community Health Clinic (ACHC) is an FQHC serving northeast Kansans in an integrated and holistic manner. The primary care physicians would address patient needs with initial positive screens, but not use psychoeducation or motivational interviewing techniques to decrease substance or alcohol use. I feel like I can make a difference as a Behavioral Health Consultant by freeing up time for our PCPs and by helping the patients with motivational interviewing, referral to specialty clinicians when needed, psychoeducation of the effects of alcohol and substance use on the mind and the body, and encouragement for all.
Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas
Crime and Care
Police officers are progressively the first responders/professionals to assist individuals within the community when a mental health crisis is being experienced. Many officers have shared that they do not feel equipped, prepared, or obtain the needed skills to respond appropriately to mental health crises. An operative and effective approach in response to mental health crisis involves collaboration between health, mental health, and police professionals. This is to warrant the safety of the effected community members and provide beneficial emergency access to mental health support, if needed.
Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas
Childcare Services While Parents Receive Behavioral Health Services
I had a two-question survey at the reception desk for adults to volunteer to fill out that came into the behavioral health side of the clinic for services. First question: Should childcare services be offered while parents receive behavioral health services. The second question was what other resources you would like to see offered on the behavioral health side. Also wanted to see if there was any research study done on trauma link to children being present listening in on parent's therapy sessions. I have had several small children attend parent sessions because of no babysitter. I could not find any research data of this nature.
Southeast Kanas Mental Health Center
CCBHC in Rural Kansas
Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center (SEKMHC) is located in rural Southeast Kansas (SEK) and covers six counties: Bourbon, Lynn, Neosho, Woodson, Allen, and Anderson. The mission of SEK is to advocate and coordinate quality mental health services in our area and to improve quality of life in SEK. By adopting the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) model, it has enhanced training opportunities for therapists and staff, offered effective treatment to match the needs of clients, and reached underserved populations throughout SEK. This shift in mindset has given the agency the most impact with clients, high frequency sessions with therapists, well-coordinated and multifaceted evidence based treatments, and leverage services that have been underutilized.
Children’s Mercy Hospital – Developmental and Behavioral Health Division
Improving Healthcare Transition from Pediatrics to Adult Care in Hospital Settings
Transitional Healthcare is an important step in healthcare because it allows for a smoother transition from pediatrics to adult care. This project aims to understand the barriers that youth are faced with youth with medical complexities and the implementation for readiness for transition to adult care.
Compass Behavioral Health (Garden City)
Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and Session Rating Scale: The Importance of Client Progress Evaluation and Feedback
With each of my clients, we completed to ORS at the beginning of each session and the SRS at the end of each session with time to discuss progress and feedback. The client would rate each category on a scale of 1-10. Overtime, I complied graphs on each client’s progress and allowed them time to give me feedback surrounding the session. This is something other clinicians may implement in their own practice for progress tracking and client feedback.
Satori Counseling Services
This year my practicum was at Satori Counseling Services where I provided supervised visitation and therapy for a father. This experience sparked my interest in exploring custody bias with fathers. Awareness of this issue is important for social workers because Fathers are equally capable in determining child best interest, nurturing, providing safety, and having a predictable routine for their children. Meditation and supervised visitation can support parents in custody situations to decrease custody bias against fathers.
Pawnee Mental Health Crisis Stabilization Unit
The Crisis Intern Resource Book
A collaborative approach towards interning at the Crisis Stabilization Unit. I created this resource guide as a tool for inters as they start off at the CSU to empower them with the tools and information past interns found helpful in their work with clients on the unit. This is an effort to lessen the anxiety of being new to the field and entering an atmosphere that caters exclusively to individuals experiencing low to high levels of crisis. The aim is to keep interns from feeling as if they are starting out at "square one", but rather they have a plethora of tools created by other students who were in their same place and know what is most helpful in this setting. I was the sole creator of the project, however, did gather information from a plethora of sources, and got feedback directly from therapists on the unit, and other inters already placed there. Additionally, the hope is for future interns to add their own tools and frameworks they found to be of most help, so that the book never stops evolving and keeping with the latest and best practice.
Blue Valley West High School
Implemented the BackSnack Program at Blue Valley West High School. This is a confidential program to students, families, and staff. The BackSnack Program provides weekly food packs to those who want to participate. It’s important for schools to be aware of food insecurity that students may face and how it can impact them academically and socially.
Children's Mercy Hospital
Medical Wheelchair Transportation
Children’s Mercy Hospital provides transportation assistance to patients and families to increase access to medical care. Due to a widespread shortage in accessible vehicle rides through these services and through Medicaid transportation, patients using wheelchairs struggle to find rides, resulting in long waits, missed appointments, and long-term barriers to care. Using information recorded in Children’s Mercy EMR, I gathered and presented information regarding the need for improved accessible transportation options and suggested possible next steps to hospital stakeholders.
Children's Mercy Hospital (Development & Behavioral Clinic)
Behavioral Health Care: Bridging Language & Cultural Barriers
Developing, implementing, and providing health literacy supports to non-English speaking families accessing developmental & behavioral care at Children's Mercy. By providing additional, cost-effective supports and making small adjustments to the existing intake system, that will help increase Spanish and non-English families to be able to access care that will align more with other clinics at Children's Mercy. This will promote diversity and inclusion of all community members and will reduce healthcare disparities among patients.
University Health Behavioral Heath
Effectiveness of Discharge Planning
Acute mental health care settings work with vulnerable populations including individuals with severe mental health illness and substance use. Patients are often readmitted due to chronic mental illness and substance use and this is prevalent in the mental health field. Coordinating patients care after discharge is crucial because this can improve their quality of life by ensuring continuity of care to deal with crisis management, coping skills, and meaningful communication with their health service providers.
Transgender Youth in Inpatient Psychiatric Settings
KVC Hospital Kansas City is an inpatient psychiatric facility with the goal of stabilizing clients in crisis. There are five inpatient units, caring for clients ages six to 17. Currently, clients are assigned to units based on gender and age. Transgender and gender-diverse clients are usually placed on a unit on their gender assigned at birth rather than gender identity. Transgender and gender-diverse youth deserve an environment where they feel safe and affirmed. Specialized units on which clients can milieu based on gender identity, not assigned gender, is necessary for treatment and identity confirming healthcare.
Osawatomie State Hospital
Effectiveness of Interdisciplinary Teams
I completed my Capstone Project on the effectiveness of interdisciplinary teams (IDT). My practicum is at Osawatomie State Hospital, and IDT meetings are an essential part of daily services. The IDT involves team members from different disciplines working together with a common purpose to set goals, make decisions, and share resources and responsibilities. The IDT team meetings contribute to better care and satisfaction for the clients.
Goodland Regional Medical Center
Animal-Assisted Interventions in an Integrated Health Setting
My project is about Animal-Assisted Interventions in an Integrated Health Setting. In my research I found the benefits of utilizing animals (mostly dogs) in a healthcare facility to foster therapeutic relationships. Human-animal interactions have been found to have beneficial short and long term physical and mental health outcomes and are even considered a protective factor for people who own companion animals. Utilizing therapy animals in inpatient & outpatient healthcare settings have benefits that far outweigh the risks and could benefit our especially challenging populations such as children & the aging population. Therapy animals in any healthcare facilities, including nursing homes, have substantial benefits to patients & residents that could improve health, satisfaction of care, and boost morale.
Jonathan E. Ruiz
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center
Practicing Clinical Cultural Competency using Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
In the United States, there is a big disparity in access to healthcare, it is often thought of as a luxury, whereas in other “western” countries it is more widely available, because of that the access that marginalized identities such as black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) women have to healthcare is greatly impacted. But making it to the appointment is one thing, but facing medical bias is another thing as well, that is something that black, indigenous, womxn of color face disproportionately. In a system that has this type of bias it’s important to practice cultural competency in all settings, my research poster poses suggestions to social work practice that we can incorporate into our practice, and using the effective Behavioral Health Consultant model, just like the one used at Samuel Rodgers Health Center we can strive for better culturally competent patient outcomes.
Johnson County Mental Health – Adult Detox Unit & Crisis Recovery Center
COVID-19 & Staff Burnout in Residential Settings
My practicum is at Johnson County Mental Health in the Adult Detox and Crisis Recovery Center. Client’s come here for 3-5 days to socially detox (not a medical detox). They are then provided with a drug and alcohol assessment which the state will pay for unless they have private insurance. The assessment helps determine the level of care recommendation for the client. The crisis recovery center is with the adult detox, which is for clients who are needing a step down from inpatient hospitalization. It is considered a residential center. The problem that was identified for the poster was “Staff burnout during COVID-19” (specifically in residential settings). To measure this, I created a survey to see the impact on Covid-19 and burnout with staff: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BCCVM9M. We then created a list of possible solutions to prevent and decrease staff burnout after getting the results of the survey. We have found some articles that discuss Covid-19 and burnout or about the "Great Resignation" as well. This issue is unfortunately so prevalent right now in many workplaces.
Access Family Care
BHC Resource Book
The BHC (Behavioral Health Consultant) Resource Book was created to provide providers with accessible, helpful materials to share with patients during warm handoffs. Access Family Care uses warm handoffs in the primary clinic, pediatrics, dental, and OBGYN offices. The Resource Book contains handouts and information on topics ranging from tobacco cessation to depression and anxiety. The book is a living document that can be adjusted as time goes on and is utilized in hard copy and digital format in the clinic.
Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults in the United States, with the majority of suicides occurring among LGBTQ+ youth. Due to the tumultuous time of development and social pressures, there is an immense need for interventions targeted to adolescents. In order to meet this need, I created a 4-week adolescent intensive outpatient program for my practicum site. This will increase accessibility to treatment for adolescents in the Kansas City area.
Integrating Family Therapy in Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Working with adolescents in mental health, social workers often hear them say that they wished their parents understood their mental illness. Social workers also hear from parents and caregivers that they do not know how to best support their teenager and feelings of inadequacy. By integrating family therapy in adolescent intensive outpatient dialectical treatment, social workers can best support the family as a unit and as individual members through teaching effective communication, coping skills and strategies.
Blue Valley Academy
Teen Suicide Prevention and Peer Support Practices
In the Blue Valley School District, teen suicide risk and mental health issues are a growing concern as we are seeing an uptick in the prevalence of teen mental health issues. Children’s Mercy paired with the Blue Valley School District to provide more support in school for youth in grades K-12 by providing more social workers in schools. With the added support, programs have been implemented to assist in intervening with suicide risk on a district wide level through peer support programming. Peer support programming aims to empower youth to de-stigmatize mental health as well as aid in changing school norms that are harmful through the power of social connection. At Blue Valley Academy, we have implemented a program called Sources of Strength and worked with our youth in using their skills and connections to generate conversations around mental health with their peers.
Kansas Suicide Prevention Headquarters
Working with Youth and Young Adults in Suicidal Crisis
This project involved creating an ongoing training that centers around work with youth and young adults for staff and volunteers answering national and local suicide hotlines. The aim is to bring awareness to issues and risk factors specific to this population and provide resources to better serve young people experiencing crisis.
University of Kansas Health System Case Management
Maximizing the Multi-Visit Patient Program Impact
The University of Kansas Health System (TUKHS) developed a multi-visit patient (MVP) program to support patients with complex needs, which are difficult to meet with typical case management services. For this project, I interviewed several TUKHS providers about their knowledge of and collaboration with the MVP program. Interview respondents indicated that their care coordination tasks varied by their specialty and individual workflow. Providers also had a strong interest in data on the MVP program's outcomes.
The University of Kansas Health System, Community Primary Care
Diabetes Management in Integrated Health
Type 2 diabetes affects millions of Americans and managing this chronic illness places considerable stress and expense on patients and the healthcare system. An integrated health approach allows patients to receive comprehensive care from a multidisciplinary team of professionals. This qualitative study shares the results of interviews regarding diabetes management within an integrated Internal Medicine practice. It emphasizes how clinical social workers can contribute to patient care through their expertise on behavior change and resource referrals for negative SDOH (social determinants of health).