Transform Lives. Be the Change.



Supporting access, equity and quality in health service delivery and outcomes.

The School of Social Welfare integrates micro and macro social work and builds collaborations across systems and disciplines to create multi-level change.  From early life experiences of children and adolescents, through adulthood, and older adult life stages, health is essential for all populations throughout the lifespan.  We work in collaboration with other disciplines to advocate for policies and practices that are empirically driven and generate positive change in the health of all individuals in the context of broader systems.  Health is connected, even central, to many aspects of life and certainly many facets of social work education, practice and research.



Research Projects


Kansas Strong Children & Families

  • PI: Akin, Becci; Co-PI: Zinn, A and Brook, J.
  • Funder: Administration on Children & Families
  • Dates: 10/1/18 to 9/1/23

Engaging Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in Healthcare Research

  • PI: Holmes, Cheryl; Co-PI: Levy, Michelle
  • Funder: Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Integrated Health Scholars

  • PI: Levy, Michelle; Co-PI: Matejkowski, Jason
  • Funder: Administration on Children & Families

Assessing the Acceptability, Feasibility, and Efficacy of a Novel Intervention to Reduce Cervical Cancer Risk Among Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

  • PI: Bagwell-Gray, Meredith
  • Funder: American Cancer Society



Meredith Bagwell-Gray, Assistant Professor

Meredith Bagwell-Gray Scanlon

Scholarship Focus
Reduce health disparities for survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV); sexual safety planning intervention to address HIV/STI risk, substance use, and trauma.

 Grand Challenge
Stop family violence.

Crystal Coles, Associate Professor

Crystal Coles

Scholarship Focus
Child welfare and the intersection of the African-American/Black diaspora through the lens of health disparities in rural and urban communities; focusing on the child and maternal well-being as a preventative method of children transitioning into the foster care system.

 Grand Challenge
Ensure healthy development for all youth.

Cheryl Holmes, Research Project Director

Cheryl Holmes

Scholarship Focus
Frontier and rural; integrated care; behavioral health.

 Grand Challenge
Closing the health gap. Eradicating social isolation.

Sarah Jen, Assistant Professor

Sarah Jen

Scholarship Focus
Intersections of social work, gerontology, and sexuality; support the sexual needs of aging populations and to improve the health and well-being of LGBTQ midlife and older adults.

 Grand Challenge
Achieve equal opportunity and justice. Close the health gap. Advance long and productive lives.

Michelle Levy, Research Project Director

Michelle Levy

Scholarship Focus
Recruitment, retention and workforce issues; health and behavioral health; interprofessional education, integrated care; prevention; rural perspectives; engagement; organizational intervention; cross-systems collaboration.

 Grand Challenge
Ensure healthy development for all youth. Close the health gap. Achieve equal opportunity and justice.

Research Office Contacts
Amy Mendenhall
Associate Dean for Research
Jenni Atwood
Research Office Manager
Social Welfare Research Events
Recent Publications & Presentations
Moon, J., Damman, J., & Romero, A. (2018). Preventing maltreatment through primary care-based parenting interventions: A systematic review. American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children's 25th Annual Colloquium, New Orleans, LA.
Levy, M. (2018). Examining social determinants of health from rural and urban community perspectives. Invited presenter & panelist, Kansas Center for Cultural Competency Advancement, Webinar.
Levy, M. (2018). Educating social workers for health care practice. Invited presenter & discussion facilitator, Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care, Mo-Kan Chapter, Mid-America Rehabilitation Hospital, Overland Park, Kansas.
L Fernandez-Rhodes, EK Lodge, D Sotres-Alvarez, N Franceschini, MM Llabre, EM Arredondo, LC. Gallo, W Arguelles, ML. Daviglus, CR. Isasi, P Smokowski, P Gordon-Larsen, AE Aiello, K Perreira, KE North (2018), Population Association of America Annual Meeting. Demographic, Sociocultural, Behavioral and Health-Related Factors and Adulthood and Migration-Related Weight Gain Among Hispanic/Latino Adults: Results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). Denver, Colorado, USA.
Warren, S. (2018). Not all who wander are lost: Therapeutic labyrinth walking for health. Presentation at the Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education, and Social Development. Dublin, Ireland.
Cai, H., Spreckelmeyer, K., Mendenhall, A.N., Holmes, C., & Levy, M. (in press). A Regional Survey on Residents’ Preferences on Patient Centered Medical Home Design in Rural Areas. Health Environments Research & Design Journal.