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 Integrated Health Scholars 2019-2020 Capstone Project Presentations

Treating Substance Use Disorders Together with Trauma
Brenda Alarcon – New Chance (Dodge City)

Substance use disorders are treated separately from other emotional or behavioral health disorders. Data shows that individuals who have experienced trauma are at a significantly higher risk of developing a substance use disorder. It also suggests that those who have a substance use disorder are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing repeated traumatic events. To address this cyclical health issue, trauma-informed programs such as Seeking Safety, provide an integrated approach to address both issues together.



Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS):  Awareness, Assessment & Prevention
Claire Albert – Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas (Dodge City)

My goal in providing this information to my agency was to advocate for the implementation of the C-SSRS within the programs that are provided by our therapists and staff. Suicide prevention is an important part of every social worker’s assessment. However, you do not have to be clinically trained to be effective at administering the C-SSRS. The questions are simple and use plain language so anyone can ask them. Everyone can be a part of suicide prevention by asking the right questions about suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviors and then referring on to a trained clinician if necessary. The training is free and only takes about 30 minutes to complete online, with a certificate available at completion. 



Coyotes Rise Up: Resilient-Inspired-Successful-Empowered
Jamie Burkhart –Unified School District 347 (Kinsley-Offerle)

The Coyotes Rise Up program at Kinsley Junior-Senior High School (KJSHS) is geared towards supporting the student’s social and emotional needs, academic development and success, building resiliency and grit, self-esteem, responsibility, leadership skills, and more. The program consists of small group counseling as well as Leaders in Action. The program was created based on results from the 2019 Kansas Communities that Care survey. The survey showed that students at KJSHS often feel depressed, anxious, and bullied. Students report not feeling empowered within the school such as having a voice or positive relationships. My hope is to create change through supportive relationships.



SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) in Schools
Christina Dimattia – Unified School District 473 (Chapman)

The influence of substance use on today's youth commands attention. To get a better understanding of its impact, students at a local middle school listened to a brief presentation covering the effects substance use has on the body and decision making after which they completed several SBIRT assessments. Results offered revelations about the prevalence of substance-related issues among youth in this rural community. These findings point to schools as an important setting where interventions could be considered essential to prevent and address substance use.



Expanding Health Literacy Handouts in a Variety of Languages to Improve Inclusivity and Behavioral Health Psychoeducation
Christian Espinosa – Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (Kansas City)

My goal was to promote self-determination to empower clients to participate more directly in their health-care. The simplest most direct way I could contribute was to ensure the accessibility of patient education for our recently-arrived immigrant and refugee community. My hope with this project initiative was to review the Integrated Health handouts that were readily available in English and collaborate with the onsite agency translators to restructure the same information in at least five more languages.



Preadolescent Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Kaitlyn Fernandez – Compass Behavioral Health (Dodge City)

This poster will explain the core concepts of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and why it would be helpful to teach these skills to individuals prior to adolescence. Most mental health centers that offer DBT offer only adult groups for 18 and above or adolescent groups for kids ages 13-18, I am lucky enough to work at a center who offers both. Through my practicum, I have seen a huge need for these skills to be taught prior to the adolescent ages in hopes that if they had the skills taught in DBT they could cope in more healthy ways and avoid self-harm and even suicide.



Suicide Prevention in Schools
Lauren Frederick – Children’s Mercy Hospital (Kansas City)

Children’s Mercy Emergency Room staff assess approximately 200 school-aged youth per month for suicide/homicide/behavioral complaints. The issue of youth suicide in our community is not decreasing. Early intervention and prevention efforts are important for keeping youth safe. This poster is about the findings of suicide prevention strategies utilized within schools in the KC Metro area. As well as the efforts of Children’s Mercy. The hope is that Children’s Mercy can use this information to better partner with our community’s school to enhance the prevention of youth suicide.



Laura Hagebusch – Central Kansas Mental Health Center (Salina)

Recognizing and treating trauma in children with an integrative approach such as Trauma-Informed Care in the school and community setting with trained providers is key to helping children heal and improve functioning across all settings. The collaborative efforts and team approach from school staff, behavioral health providers, medical health providers, child welfare agencies, and parents will help to ensure the best outcomes and address trauma that is often manifested in multiple behavioral problems and poor functioning. Providing training in trauma-informed care for all those who touch the life of a child who has experienced trauma will help adequately address needs and offer appropriate interventions to help the traumatized child across all settings.


Emotional Development of Urban Teenage Girls 
Alexandria Hall & Brianna Woods – Swope Health (Kansas City)

Over the years research on urban American American youth depicts a multitude of ailments that affect their well-being such as higher rates of poverty and discrimination. They also experience more interactions with the criminal justice system while having a lack of healthcare and educational opportunities. The research does not portray how these injustices are affecting the emotional development of African American youth. Therefore, in our capstone project, we aimed to give context to the relationship between systematic barriers and the wellness of Black adolescents. We created a girl's teen group for urban African Americans to gain insight into their emotions. This was accomplished by creating activities and topics of discussions that focused on their unique challenges and emotional development. As the group progressed we observed interesting behaviors from our participants evoked by certain activities. 



YOLO – You Only Live Once Therapy
Devera L. Helwer – City on the Hill (Garden City)

Substance use treatment facilities treat alcohol and drug addiction but do not generally address mental health disorders that commonly co-exist with addiction. This poster presents a new therapy tool called YOLO, You Only Live Once, to address co-occurring disorders. It is simple, and it is easy to implement into substance abuse treatment. It may also be beneficial for mental health treatment as well.



Improving Universal Suicide Screening for Suicide Risk in an Emergency Department
Monica Kurz – LMH Health Integrated Crisis Team (Lawrence)

Improving Universal Screening for Suicide Risk in an Emergency Department​ summarizes a two-semester long project conducted in the LMH Health Emergency Department with the Integrated Crisis Team. LMH Health implemented a suicide screening strategy in their triage system in July 2019. To improve the system a fidelity screening tool was created and a random monthly sample of screens was reviewed. Updated training for emergency department nursing and tech staff was created to improve cross disciple understanding of the role of substance use and suicide to eliminate gaps in screening with the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale, a validated screening instrument.



The importance of the Kansas City Assessment and Triage Center
Breonna Lindsey – Rediscover (Kansas City)

View poster here (PDF)

This poster consists of a program overview and a summary of research related to why the Kansas City Assessment and Triage Center (KC-ATC) is needed. Kansas City and surrounding areas are experiencing an increase in individuals suffering from mental health and/or substance use disorder. This has caused a spike in arrests and hospital visits. KC-ATC was designed to bridge the gap between individuals suffering and access to care.  



Nutrition: An Ally in Reducing Hospital Readmissions
Consuelo Martinez – Ascension Via Christi Hospital (Manhattan)

This poster presents how nutrition through proper assessment, inter-professional collaboration, advocacy, and resource education and referral can reduce hospital readmissions. In the hospital setting, a social worker will meet with every patient. After the initial assessment, if it is determined that the patient will need further nutritional assessment; the social worker will collaborate with the inter-professional team to ensure the patient receives an advanced screening by the appropriate team member. The poster shows ways a social worker can advocate at micro, mezzo, and macro levels. It also shows a list of Manhattan, Kansas community food resources. 



Trauma-Informed Yoga: Restoring Mental Health through Integration of Mind-Body Interventions
Callie Mauk – Compass Behavioral Health (Garden City)

Trauma-Informed Yoga (TIY) programs are specifically designed for engaging survivors of trauma in treatment. These programs demonstrate efficacy in meeting the unique needs of individuals diagnosed with Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders in accordance with social work values. This presentation highlights the relationship between mental health and physical health outcomes as well as principles for overall growth defined within TIY programming.



Bright Beginnings:  A Look at Perinatal Mental Health
Jennifer McConico – North Kansas City Hospital (North Kansas City)

In a world where mental health is stigmatized, there are many new mothers that are suffering during a time that should be joyous. Research shows that 1 in 7 women who deliver a child will be diagnosed with postpartum depression. Postpartum blues or "baby blues" are experienced by 80% of women who deliver a child. Bright Beginnings is a postpartum support group that was created due to the need for perinatal mental health support.​ The evidence-based Bright Beginnings Group allows for women to connect with other women who are also experiencing postpartum mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD's).



Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale:  Application in Public Health Settings
Amber Meczywor – Cloud County Health Department (Concordia)

View poster here (PDF)

Suicide and suicidality are often a difficult subject to discuss with client or other people, but it is still a very important and necessary conversation to have. After noticing a lack of policy, protocol, or follow up at my practicum agency when a client identifies suicidality, my goal was to educate myself and my co-workers regarding the importance of discussing suicidality and having a protocol in place for a positive screen. The Columbia Suicide Severity and Rating Scale (CSSR-S) is an essential tool when discussing with and screening clients for suicidality and knowing what steps to take following a screening. The CSSR-S offers plain, simple questions that can be used in numerous settings with screens that have been adapted for children, adults, and individuals, intellectual disorders, etc. CSSR-S also offers a free training that can be utilized by any person, from all walks of life.


Benefits of a Palliative Care Team
Lisa Mongold – University of Kansas Health System Saint Francis Campus (Topeka)



Research shows introducing the palliative care team within the first 48 hours can reduce intensive care unit (ICU) readmissions along with the length of stay for patients that are diagnosed with a chronic health condition. As a social work intern in the ICU, I noticed this is a particular concern for patients and their families, and this poster will highlight the importance of the interprofessional team and the national standard for palliative care.



The Importance of Social Work Integration for Individuals and Families Navigating Early Stage Dementia
Lindsey Northup – KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center (Kansas City)

As the number of new dementia diagnoses continues to rise around the world, we cannot expect sufficient emotional support to be provided within the timeframe of an annual neurology or primary care visit. The addition of social workers in dementia care can help to fill these gaps and increase client disease understanding, behavioral management skills, and feelings of competency and preparedness related to continuous disease navigation. Early social work integration provides a unique opportunity for professionals to implement empowering interventions that have the potential to completely transform a family’s experience of dementia. 



A Look at How SDoH Has Been Used in Primary Care: Insights from Health Professionals 
Madison Noyes – Jayhawk Primary Care (Kansas City)

View poster here (PDF)

My practicum, Jawhawk Primary Care, has implemented the use of their own social determinants of health (SDoH) screening tool and data collection. While many health workers can appreciate the connection between social factors and poor health, the actual process of integrating SDoH into routine care can be challenging. This poster summarizes the findings and common themes taken from interviews I held with physicians about their experiences with SDoH. The overall purpose of this project was to examine how SDoH is informing practice and patient outcomes while acknowledging common experiences, challenges, and implications. 



Program Development in Early Childhood Mental Health
Maria Ordonez Vicente – Russell Child Development Center (Garden City)

View poster here (PDF)

Russell Child Development Center developed a pilot program to meet mental health service needs for children and families. This practicum developed the pilot program and provided in-home therapy services to those who experience barriers otherwise. Evidence-based programs were combined with one another to teach families in their home environment. Likert scales were used as a measurable way to evaluate success and impact. 



Development and Utilization of a Social Determinant of Health Acuity Tool in Community Social Work
Carrie Pfannenstiel – HaysMed (Hays)

With hospital social work moving towards a community and outpatient model of care, acuity tools are essential in monitoring patient progress and tracking staffing needs. Patient success and adherence to medical recommendations is a complex balance interrelated with numerous aspects of their life. Evaluating a patient’s social determinants of health, and assigning an acuity, can aid in understanding and assisting patients to overcome barriers to health and wellness. This tracking can also properly reflect a worker’s caseload demands, the intensity of a patient’s needs, and staffing hours needed to meet this need. While some patients may need short term solution-focused interventions, others will need longer and more comprehensive support.  he assessment and assignment of a social acuity will reflect all levels of intervention. 



Housing As Healthcare: Social Determinants of Health and Housing Resources and Shortfalls in Lawrence, Kansas
Jennifer A. Robinson – Heartland Community Health Center (Lawrence)

In this poster, I define health and identify the social determinants of health. I then go on to look at the research behind housing as healthcare, identify housing shortfalls in Lawrence and reasoning behind developing a comprehensive housing resource list. Lastly, I discuss the implications for social work. 



Behavioral Health Therapy with Hispanic and Latino Populations
Arnoldo Ruiz Sapien – Vibrant Health (Kansas City)

This theme was chosen given the disparities I see present within marginalized groups, such as the Hispanic and Latino communities, in the United States and the rest of the world. There are social, political, economic, and health impacts that oppressed communities, and people of color, face within each of these contexts. By highlighting this information, it gives professionals and a curious audience an insight into the differing bodies and ethnicities harboring within Mental and Behavioral Health spaces.



Mental Health through the Biopsychosocial Model Approach
Stacy Scheetz – Hoxie Clinic (Hoxie)

In today’s society, people are so busy they sometimes forget to stop and think about how important their mental health is when getting their physical health checked during their routine exams. When medical staff and behavioral health staff collaborate and work together, there are better outcomes for the patients they serve. To live happier and healthier lives, we need to educate our communities on how very important it is to take care of ourselves socially, biologically, and psychologically.   



Reducing Depression thru Yoga in the Elderly
Michele Stevens – Compass Behavioral Health (Dodge City)

According to the CDC in 2011 and 2012, 49% of long-term nursing facility residents were affected by depression. It was clear that the development of a program in the area would reduce depressive symptoms for residents of nursing facilities with a rapidly aging population. A six-week study was conducted using volunteers of Brookdale Senior Living in Dodge City, where chair yoga was introduced to residents by Jyme Cimmamon of Wellness Yoga. Objectives included helping residents reduce depressive symptoms and better adjust to nursing facilities through the use of mindfulness and physical movement. Due to resident safety concerns involving COVID19, the conclusion and presentation were unable to be completed.



Food 4 Kids- Weekend Food Program for Students Experiencing Chronic Hunger
Bethann R. Volden – Unified School District 480 (Liberal)

For my capstone project for the Integrated Health Scholarship, I have started a weekend food program for USD 480 in Liberal, Kansas. The program provides weekend shelf-stable food packs provided by the Kansas Food Bank. I decided to start this program because I recognized a need with many students whose families struggle to meet their basic needs at home. Every weekend, a total of 147 food packs are provided to children experiencing chronic hunger. 



Initiation of Universal Substance Use Screening in Primary Care
Rebecca Winterburg – University of Kansas Health System Family Medicine (Kansas City)


It is recommended that all adults age 18 years or older be screened for substance use. The Family Medicine – Interprofessional Teaching Clinic at the University of Kansas Health System will implement and study the initiation of universal screening substance use. Through screening efforts, the clinic will examine what components of the screening process can be adjusted to improve patient experience and the referral process.


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