Public Health Student Stipend Recipients

Colorado

Ana Brown-Cohen

Student: Ana Brown-Cohen

School: University of Colorado

Status: Graduate year 3, MPH program

Field placement site: Colorado Access has held the Regional Care Collaborative Organization

Field placement setting: Community-based organization

Project: Colorado Access has held the Regional Care Collaborative Organization (RCCO) Medicaid contract for the Northeast region of the state since the inception of Colorado’s Accountable Care Organization.  As of July 1, 2014, Colorado Access is the Behavioral Health Organization (BHO) Medicaid contract for this region of the state as well. This offers an unprecedented opportunity to internally merge and analyze behavioral and physical care data for the Medicaid population in Northeast Colorado.

Through this MPH practicum, Colorado Access lead and supported Ana in an effort to characterize this population in terms of care access, identify follow-up questions regarding access variability (i.e. geographic, demographic) and develop and implement supplemental data collection/analysis plans to answer these questions.

LeeAnne Brummer

Student: LeeAnne Brummer

School: University of Northern Colorado 

Status: Graduate year 2, MPH program

Field placement site: City of Greeley Farmer’s Market

Field placement setting: City government

Project:  Refugee resettlement is a long process with a quick transition once individuals arrive in the United States. This rapid transition leaves refugees without a solid grasp of the English language, working in unskilled jobs despite previous professions and existing with little knowledge of their new communities. Farmers’ markets are especially well suited to this task because they not only provide access to locally grown nutritious food, but also function as community hubs. The Greeley Farmers’ Market took on the process of developing relationships with organizations serving refugees and gathering feedback from refugees themselves in order to make the market a safe and more welcoming place to shop. Through the distribution of surveys in local English language learning classes and informal conversations with high school aged refugees, the Greeley Farmers’ Market learned about the barriers to market access and determined ways to alleviate them. LeeAnne’s capstone project included the development of a guide that describes the process that the Greeley Farmers’ Market used to create relationships and gather information. This guide can be utilized by market managers in other refugee resettlement locations to allow those markets to more effectively learn about and engage with their own refugee communities, while supporting the health and cultural needs of these communities.

Crystal Dinh

Student: Crystal Dinh

School: Colorado State University

Status: Graduate year 2, MPH program

Field placement site: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Field placement setting: Academic institute

Project: For Crystal’s MPH capstone project, she will be examining whether the underrepresented student population perceive barriers to using the Colorado State University medical and counseling services due to their race/ethnicity using focus groups.

Kiley Floren

Student: Kiley Floren

School: University of Northern Colorado

Status: Full-time

Field placement site: Sunrise Community Health, Greeley, CO

Field placement setting: Community-based organization.

Project:  Incoming refugees arrive in the United States after years of physically and mentally traumatic experiences and limited access to healthcare. Newcomers complete required health screenings, but beyond these requirements experience barriers to accessing health care in the United States. Sunrise Community Health is dedicated to facilitating access to care by becoming a medical home for newcomers in Greeley and Evans, Colorado. The refugee health program at Sunrise Community Health provides education to alleviate cognitive and normative barriers. The purpose of Kiley’s project was to identify barriers to care among refugees in the community and create an educational component that Sunrise Community Health could implement to decrease these barriers.

Emily Harkless

Student: Emily Harkless

School: University of Colorado

Status: Graduate year 4, MPH program

Field placement site: Aurora Colorado and Pine Ridge South Dakota

Field placement setting: Tribal Health

Project: Emily’s project is a collaborative project through the Center for American Indian Health. The project is the culmination of the practicum experience and is a manuscript that documents the cultural adaptation of the evidence based substance abuse prevention program for youth residing on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Holly Kingsbury

Student: Holly Kingsbury

School: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Status: Full-time

Field placement site: Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, Denver, CO

Field placement setting: Community-based organization

Project:  The mission of the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved is to ensure health care systems meet the needs of the medically underserved and the needs of those providers’ and systems of care dedicated to caring for the underserved. Holly’s project experience will provide exposure to the organization as a whole, and with specific focus on the organization’s statewide collaboration-building effort, the Colorado Network of Health Alliances. CCMU convenes these 27 alliances in a learning network, focusing on sharing best practices to strengthen their individual collaborative and the health systems in their communities. Holly’s project will afford opportunities to understand how communities across the state use collaborative alliances to improve the health system for all members of the community. Additionally, the experience with CCMU specifically will allow Holly to understand the role nonprofit organization can play in supporting these collaborative and seeking to improve the health of the community.

Casey Peirce

Student: Casey Peirce

School: University of Northern Colorado

Status: Graduate year 3, MPH program

Field placement site: Lutheran Family Services: Safe Touch Program, Greeley Colorado

Field placement setting: Community-based organization

Project:  Casey will be working with Lutheran Family Services in Greeley for her Practicum and Capstone in spring, 2015. The focus of her efforts in these courses is child sexual abuse prevention education programming. Currently, Safe Touch is a program that is given to young children and adolescents, but there is no program for parents of these children. Casey will be creating a supplemental parent curriculum for Safe Touch during her Practicum experience. Within this curriculum, she will provide parents with an understanding of child sexual abuse and prevention. This curriculum will also include an introduction and overview of the definition, statistics, signs and symptoms, as well as strategies to prevent and cope with child sexual abuse. For her Capstone project, she will implement and evaluate the curriculum for Weld County residents.

Dakotas

Michael Dulitz

Student: Michael Dulitz

School: University of North Dakota

Status: Graduate year 1, MPH program

Field placement site: Northeast Public Health Collaboration C/O Debbie Swanson - Grand Forks Public Health Department. Grand Forks, ND

Field placement setting: Local health department

Project: For his practicum, Michael will be assisting the public health units in the collaboration to further their electronic health records implementation through cooperative learning sessions utilizing an active learning classroom at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. These sessions will allow individual units to bring concerns to the group and work to address these issues in an active learning environment. During the five scheduled sessions, he will work to identify issues that he can work to solve. This will help to decrease the immense workload that individual, rural public units have had while trying to implement electronic health records without a strong support network.

Kelsie Ferguson

Student: Kelsie Ferguson 

School: North Dakota State University

Status: Full-time

Field placement site: Dakota Medical Foundation

Field placement setting: Local health department

Project: This summer Kelsie will be assisting with Legacy Elementary School in West Fargo, ND. The principal of the school has applied for funding through the Dakota Medical Foundation's Breakthrough Idea Challenge. Legacy is a new building and this fall will be their first year. The principal of the school is very health and wellness oriented. He intends for the entire school to follow this direction as well, by changing "from good to great". Her role will be to assist him in preparing the school before it opens, such as assisting with training school staff; measuring the impact of the school's wellness improvements; bringing the message of wellness to all stakeholders including children, school staff, parents, and the community; and using research, literature, and evidence-based practices to create a wellness environment both inside and outside the classroom. Focus will be on school lunch, recess, active learning and classrooms, and before and after school opportunities.

Jason McCoy

Student: Jason McCoy

School: North Dakota State University

Status: Graduate 2 year, MPH program

Field placement site: Fargo-Cass County Public Health, Fargo, ND

Field placement setting: Local health department

Project: Jason intends to do a joint project with Clay and Cass County Public Health creating and presenting training materials on the harms of e-cigarettes.  The material would then be presented to local youth groups in a prevention effort to raise awareness of how the tobacco industry is targeting youth with their new flavored "vapors."

Gaurav Mehta

Student: Gaurav Mehta

School: University of North Dakota

Status: Graduate year 1, MPH program

Field placement site: University of North Dakota SMHS National Resource Center on Native American Aging Grand Forks/ ND

Field placement setting: Tribal Health

Project: Gaurav intends to perform clinical outcomes research with Native American data and compare it to the national database with regards to vascular surgery and amputation rates. Such a clinical outcomes study could help understand the health disparity leading to a life-long disability. The incidence of smoking is known to be very high in Native American population and based upon the national evidence, the incidence of vascular disease in such a cohort must be higher compared to the general population. Thus, clinical outcomes could help place this disparity on the map and help focus on this problem.

Kahlee Werner

Student: Kalee Werner

School: University of North Dakota

Status: Graduate 1 year, MPH program

Field placement site: University of North Dakota and Altru Health Systems

Field placement setting: Academic institute

Project: Kalee’s project is designed to help educate and promote pregnant women to exercise. The intervention will provide the tools necessary for proper nutrition and exercise education during pregnancy. Exercise classes will be offered specific for pregnant women that range from beginner status to more advance. With this stipend, Kalee hopes to reduce the costs of the class or possibly make it free to all women, regardless of membership status. By reducing the costs of the classes, Kalee hopes that this will get more women willing to come and exercise. She understands that the cost of gym membership and extra specialty classes’ fees can be quite burdensome, and this stipend will help to drastically reduce the costs for members and non-members.

 

Montana

Jill Marie Patterson Steely

Student: Jill-Marie Patterson Steely

School: University of Montana

Status: Graduate Year 1, MPH program

Field placement site: West Yellowstone, MT

Field placement setting: Community-based organization

Project: Jill-Marie will be working with the Community Health Partners, FQHC, to bring breastfeeding support to West Yellowstone. The health department just received a grant for one full-time Lactation Education Program Coordinator from the Kellogg Foundation. Her plan is to use West Yellowstone as a pilot project for rural breastfeeding support (the breastfeeding rates are very low in West Yellowstone). She will coordinate meetings between the health department and Community Health Partners, write a work plan for implementing breastfeeding support in their community, help create a curriculum for the lactation educators in the community, and devise an evaluation plan.

Lindsay Shankle

Student: Lindsey Shankle

School: University of Montana

Status: Full-time

Field placement site: Flat Indian Reservation

Field placement setting: Tribal Health

Project:  The Partnerships to Prevent Childhood Obesity on the Flathead Indian Reservation is a community-based participatory research project involving academic researchers from the University of Montana and community partners from Salish Kootenai College and Tribal Health.  In order to meet the needs of eight geographically defined communities on the Flathead Indian Reservation, the research process includes: working closely with an advisory board from the Reservation community, community readiness interviews, organizational network meetings with community leaders, and community forum meetings in each of the eight communities.  This will allow the collaborative research partnership to design childhood obesity prevention intervention strategies based on the priorities and needs of each community.  Lindsey will assists in the planning and implementation of community forum meetings on the reservation.

 

Amy Stiffarm

Student: Amy Stiffarm

School: University of Montana

Status: Full-time

Field placement site: St. Luke Community Healthcare

Field placement setting: Hospital Setting and Birthing Center

Project:  Amy will be working under the supervision of Beth Moree, RN, CLC of the St. Luke Community Healthcare New Beginnings Birth Center. This is one of two OB/GYN wards located on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Nurse Moree and Amy are both members of the newly revamped Mission Valley Breastfeeding Coalition, which has the mission of increasing the breastfeeding rate in the Mission Valley and involves partners from Lake County Public Health, WIC, and other local lactation consultants. Amy’s project we will create a survey for the nurses at the Birth Center to assess their breastfeeding knowledge and their comfort level for assisting their patients with breastfeeding issues. From this information we plan to develop a resource for the nurses to use to increase their provision of accurate information and up-to-date resources to their patients.

 

Utah

Alison Kemp

Student: Alison Kemp

School: University of Utah

Status: Graduate year 2, MPH program

Field placement site: Montezuma Creek and Monument Valley, Utah, at the Utah Navajo Health System clinics in both locations

Field placement setting: Tribal Health

Project: Alison’s practicum provides rapid testing for arsenic in water for the Navajo populations in Southern Utah. There will be multiple events where community members will be able to provide water for testing, including at the local schools and at the health centers in Montezuma Creek and Monument Valley, Utah. Depending on the success and interest from the community, she will be able to provide more testing at other community health center locations and schools in Southern Utah. Local students will also be asked to participate in the testing process. Her goal

for this project to educate the community about their water supply and drinking water habits to improve their health and address their concerns about the water supply.

Hilary Kohler

Student: Hilary Kohler

School: University of Utah

Status: Graduate year 2, MPH program

Field placement site: Navajo Reservation (Utah strip) with Moran Eye Center

Field placement setting: Nonprofit Outreach Organization

Project: For Hilary’s practicum she has designed and is implementing a needs assessment to investigate the cultural barriers, access to health care and perceived quality of health care services on the Navajo Reservation.  After background investigation and literature review, she has developed two separate questionnaires, one for the local population, and one for the local health care providers.  These questionnaires will be administered and collected online and in person during outreach trips once to two times per month.  Six trips have been scheduled and planned for the face-to-face interviews during the 2015 spring semester (January-April) to Blanding, Montezuma Creek, and Monument Valley, Utah, each lasting two to three days.  A complete report with recommendations will be created for the Moran Eye Center and Utah Navajo Health System, Inc.

Elisabeth Rogers

Student: Elisabeth Rogers

School: Brigham Young University

Status: Graduate year 2, MPH program

Field placement site: Utah Department of Health; Salt Lake City, Utah

Field placement setting: State health department

Project: The tribes in Utah have identified their need to conduct Community Health Assessments (CHAs) within their tribes. The objective is for the Tribes to conduct CHA’s. This will be accomplished by empowering them to do so through trainings, access to resources, and technical assistance. Elisabeth’s role is to help advance the capacity of Tribes to complete CHA’s. One way she will accomplish this is through functioning as the liaison between the Tribal Council of Utah and Red Star Innovations.

Ashley Rush

Student: Ashley Rush

School: University of Utah

Status: Full-time

Field placement site: San Juan, Duchesne, Emery, and Wayne Counties

Field placement setting: Tribal Health

Project:  Ashley will be working with Dr. Sara Simonsen and the Urban Indian Center for Salt Lake on research in interventions to promote healthy eating and healthy lifestyles in culturally diverse communities throughout 4 rural counties, including San Juan, Duchesne, Emery, and Wayne Counties. This project utilizes community wellness coaches from the American Indian/Alaskan Native community (as well as African, African American, Hispanic, and Pacific Islander communities) to promote healthy behaviors focused on obesity prevention and reduction. 

Ryan Ward

Student: Ryan Ward

School: University of Utah

Status: Graduate year 2, MPH program

Field placement site: Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake, SLC, UT

Field placement setting: Tribal health

Project: Ryan will be working on a collaborative project/practicum focused on American Indian Health with the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake (UIC-SL) and Dr. Sara Simonsen of the University Of Utah Division Of Public Health. The project consists of three main pieces.  The first is an ongoing study of the impact of community wellness coaches on the health behaviors of women and their families in 5 underserved urban communities including American Indians/Alaskan Natives and 4 rural Utah counties (San Juan County, Duchesne County, Emery County, and Beaver County). The second piece will include assisting with Urban Indian Center activities and programs.  He will be assisting with the Urban Indian Center Summer Youth Program and other programs and activities as needed. The third piece involves assisting with data analysis and dissemination of results of a needs assessment that Dr. Simonsen conducted with Urban Indian Center staff and board members focused on the health and health-related needs of urban American Indians.  Results will be disseminated to Urban Indian Center board members, staff, and the broader community and feedback will be obtained and incorporated into the final report.