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Scholarly Projects

Our LEADS Scholars


Spencer Tomberg and Christopher Rogers

 Kate Arata, Katy Lewis and Molly Ainsman
Chris Rogers and Spencer Tomberg identified and disseminated best practices for the interaction between First Responders and people with Autism
Kate Arata, Katy Lewis and Molly Ainsman, created a text messaging program for teens to anonymously text in questions pertaining to sexual health.  Check out the website: In Case You're Curious (ICYC)
Students selecting a focus in leadership, advocacy, and community service can elect to participate in a LEADS scholarly project during their summer internship which will entail completing their Mentored Scholarly Project related to community health or vulnerable populations during their fourth year. 


We're pleased to post our most recent class research in development! 


2010 LEADS Summer Projects Project  Name Project Description
The Bell Policy Center  Looking Forward

Maggie Tillquist
Rocky Mountain Youth Clinic Health Outcomes in a Pediatric Population with Insurance Churn at a Safety Net Provider

Kate Grimsrud
Courtenay Holscher
Micelle Rappaport
Compare the quality of health care (as measured by proxy health care outcomes) provided to patients who have and have not experienced insurance churn.
Determine if patients who experience better health care outcomes have common demographic or other traits.
Determine if patients who experience better health outcomes have different patterns of health care utilization, and if those patterns correspond to insurance status and/or churn.
Determine if patients who stay in the safety longer experience better health outcomes and  compare patient populations who did and did not experience churn.
 COPIC Diagnostic Errors Resulting in Patient Harm: Identification, Assessment, and Prevention

Brandon Morris
Extract data necessary to complete a qualitative descriptive analysis of missed or delayed diagnosis events recorded in the COPIC database.
Colorado Coalition for Medically Underserved
Aurora Health Access Taskforce

Liz corey-Pachecho
Understand the community health profile of Aurora: General
Demographics. Health status of residents. Capacity of community health system. Access of residents to community health system. Research various models of care. Provide recommendations of best practices/successful model elements
Denver Public School Based Clinics Pregnancy Prevention Program Texting Programs in Pregnancy Prevention Education

Molly Ainsman
Kate Arata
Katy Lewis
Creating a text messaging program for teens to anonymously text in questions pertaining to sexual health. We will be targeting teens that are at the three middle and high schools associated with the Denver Teen Pregnancy Prevention Partnership (DTPPP). We have three major goals by the end of the summer, so that the program can launch in the fall.  Manual: We plan to write a complete manual with possible questions and answers so that an employee of Planned Parenthood can answer any texts that come into the line. All texts will go through, a website that will track questions being answered and store the data. Website: We plan to create a website associated with the texting line so that teens can access more detailed information. Marketing: We plan to create a marketing scheme to spread the word about the program.
Colorado Coalition for Medically Underserved Barrier to Primary Care Access and Emergency Department Utilization:  Implications for Healthcare Reform on a National and Community Level

Paul Cheung
Data collection and analysis of NHIS data
Lowry Family Health Center and Colorado Asian Health Education and Promotion Student/Refugee Health Education Collaborative

Ray Choi
Will incorporate the goals of the LEADS program, the Urban Scholars track, and the Global Health track, and the Office of Diversity, but will be open to students of all professions. The goals for student participants are to provide clinical experience and the importance of culture in medicine, while providing the refugees much needed health
services. We hope to offer the elective in the Fall of 2011 and adjust the curriculum as needed.
Metro Community Provider Network Documenting Best Practices of Clinical Workflow in the Management of Chronic Diabetes: What Variables Affect HbA1c as a Measure of Clinical Outcomes in a Community Clinic 

Chloe Hughes
Verify the initial data set Metro Community Provider’s Network (MCPN) has for HbA1c values in its diabetic patients. I then plan to use surveys and observation in order to look forvariations between clinical sites in order to explain the variation MCPN has found in HbA1c values. The overarching aim is to attempt to identify
“best practices” within the organization in orderto optimize clinical effectiveness for their patients.  
Harm Reduction Action Center Factors Related to Quality Healthcare Services Among Active Injection Drug Users in Denver, CO 

Jessica Kohring
The Center  GLBT Provider Database

Nathan Reich
Update contact information for providers currently on the database. Perform quality control by verifying all licenses of providers on the database and limiting number of listed specialties to three. Perform an informal survey of each contacted provider to determine if there is a desire for additional training in GLBT specific healthcare competencies. Manually update the database by re-entering all of the updated information in a way where we have control over the listings by setting a standard password for administrators rather than individual providers. Look for gaps in the database regarding specialties. Investigate new ways to both advertise the database to the GLBT community and to providers so that the database may grow and become more useful for the GLBT community.
Autism Society of Colorado Identify and Disseminate Best Practices for the Interaction Between First Responders and People with Autism

Chris Rogers
Spencer Tomberg

Identify the “best practices” for interactions between autistic people and professionals in education, healthcare and social services (primarily within EMS, police, fire dept.’s, health care).
Work with the EMS, fire department and police communities to incorporate the identified best practices into their training programs. Present resources to ASC and member families that will facilitate positive interactions with the EMS community.
Encourage communication and shared responsibility between the EMS community and the autistic community and their families. Explore avenues for promotion and sustainability of the recommendations that we provide (i.e., funding, training personnel, legislation). Explore expanding the program to personnel in emergency rooms.

UPDATE: Developmental Disability Awareness Online Training Team: The development of the first responder training programs. Earlier this month Chris and Spenger gave a presentation about their training programs at the Colorado State EMS Conference. This was an exciting opportunity for them to get the word out about the online training, the EMT-B training and the parent resource guide we developed. The session was well attended (we estimated that 40-50 people were present) and audience members had a number of questions and stories related to working with people who have developmental disabilities. At the end of the session we distributed all of our EMT-B training program CDs and gave out close to 100 “encounter tip” cards. As part of their presentation they worked with LEADS to create a video that attempts to couple the reality of having a developmental disability with the consequences that can occur when first responders interact with people who have developmental disabilities (click here to link to video). We think that this was a powerful way to begin the presentation and we are working on incorporating the video into our trainings. They would like to thank LEADS for their support. They are working hard to expand the number of people who participate in the trainings. They have sent out a flyer about the online training to EMT training programs across the state and have presented at a number of conferences. They are also woking with the Autism Society of Colorado to set up meetings with government administrators so that they can encourage them to incorporate Their material into existing training programs. Chris and Spencer think that this is an effective way to expand the base of first responders who get exposure to the challenges and rewards of working with people who have developmental disabilities.







Faculty: Dr. Christine Gilroy


Lydia Archuleta
Jessica Nicholas
Mee Na Song




“Patient Engagement”
Plan to facilitate Health Coop member engagement that can be suggested for implementation at the conclusion of the internship this summer.
Paper and presentation giving background, successful models, obstacles and recommendations for implementation of values-based benefit design within the co-op.


Faculty: Dr. Catherine Battaglia


Amanda Neidermeyer
Stephen Quach


“Funding and Implementation of Mental Health Care in the School Based Health Care System”
The goal of this project is to research and understand that barriers and difficulties that school based health canters face in financing and implementing integrative behavioral health care. Based on the information that is gathered a report of best practices and recommendations will be written and submitted to CASBHC for future use.
To research and understand that barriers and difficulties that school based health canters face in financing and implementing integrative behavioral health care. Based on the information that is gathered a report of best practices and recommendations will be written and submitted to CASBHC for future use.


Faculty: Dr. Jeremy Long


Laura Kahn
Sam SkCCMUovgaard
CHI Member Audit”
Conduct an audit of CCHI member organizations to see what their needs are to help their constituents enroll in the healthcare exchange in October.
Prepare findings in a report for CCHI staff and board
When the healthcare exchange goes live for enrollment, it is a huge logistical undertaking with lots of potential for error and stress on the system beyond capacity.  Populations that are already vulnerable are at a high risk for being lost in the shuffle and being under enrolled.  We are seeking to find what will most facilitate our member organizations in making sure none of their population is overlooked.


Faculty: Dr. Catherine Battaglia


Markus Hannan

“A Toolkit to Address Social Determinants of Health in Healthcare”
These have changed dramatically. Weeks 1-2 have been broad research on the field to better understand SDoH issues. Weeks 3-4 will be used to find SDoH facts for a video which will be scripted by weeks 5-7 for evaluation on week 8.
Doctors all across the state have varying degrees of knowledge about SDoH issues, which especially matters for ACCs that seek to implement a holistic treatment plan for Medicaid patients to reduce costs. As such, a way to spark a conversation about SDoH is needed, and a video and possible supplementary materials is a good way to start. Eventually, further implementation of an educational program will be developed, but first, awareness must be raised.

Heath Teamworks

Faculty: Dr. Catherine Battaglia


Geoff Slater
Sarah Tietz


“Readiness of primary care for health reform in Colorado”
Inform HealthTeamWorks and other high-level Colorado organizations the readiness of the primary care system for health reform
Not much is known about how ready primary care practices are for the influx of patients starting in 2014 with full implementation of the PPACA. We will look at how prepared practices are and strategies for practices to take on more
patients, specifically the patient-centered medical home model.
Inform HealthTeamWorks and other high-level Colorado organizations the readiness of the primary care system for health reform

Colorado Department of  Public Health and Environment - Hep C Program

Faculty:  Dr. Jeremy Long


Erin Hagerman
Lynne Wood


“Hep C Program”
Reach out to Colorado Community Health Network CCHN FQHCs.
1.         Update Hep B and C Guidelines to include Bocepevir and Telepavir
a.         Incorporate new information in guidelines that is on CDPHE website
2.         Set up meetings with appropriate health department physicians and officials to get it approved
3.         Disseminate guidelines in the CCHN FQCHC’s by face to face meeting if possible.  Also post online. Face to face may be more effective than email because of the “newsletter” debacle.
4.         Use this as an inroads to talk about needs of community health centers for Hepatitis C testing
a.         Find contacts in these centers that work with high risk patients
b.         Interview about barriers to
i.          testing at their center
ii.         barriers to referral in addition to updated guidelines
c.         Explore why US Preventive Services Task force D grading for screening – maybe explore Colorado statistics about that.


Faculty:  Dr. Rita Lee


Zia Choudhury
Erin Hickey
Sterling McLaren
Shamita Punjabi


“Cross Systems Crisis Prevention and Intervention in Colorado”
           To develop a needs assessment to determine gaps in access to treatment for children who live in Colorado and have a dual diagnosis of developmental and psychiatric/behavioral disorders.
           To perform statistical analysis looking at how various demographics and developmental characteristics impact access to care and related health outcomes including readmissions, use of emergency services, and patient satisfaction.
           To develop a pamphlet for family members and care providers addressing a solution for comprehensive care in this population.
           Crisis intervention programs will improve the overall health and well-being of families, and decrease the health care costs associated with caring for children with a dual diagnosis of developmental and psychiatric/behavioral disorders
​One Colorado

Faculty:  Dr. Rita Lee


Phillip Hannan

‘Improving the health of LGBT Coloradans”
Finished and published a CME on LGBT disparities in health care. The CME will focus on teaching health care providers how to remove these disparities and generate a welcoming environment for all of their patients.
One Colorado surveyed LGBT individuals in Colorado in 2011, and discovered a significant health care disparity that is independent of health insurance coverage. The disparity is due to perceived stigma by providers, insufficient training, and ignorance pertaining to LGBT health care.


Faculty: Dr. Christine Gilroy


Oluwatoyin Akintujoye
Sarah Davis
“Emergency Department Use Among a Sample of Shelter-Based Runaway and Homeless Youth”
There was a preliminary study done last year by a med student who found there were trends in ED use by homeless youth.  Although his sample size was small, this gave us an indication that there may be a higher use of the ED by homeless youth, especially for drug related and alcohol related medical issues. 
           Create surveys designed to help understand the reasons homeless youth use the ED rather than free and sliding-scale clinics, their primary care provider, or other services.  Additionally, we will gain demographic info, information about their internet use, social media use, some mental health issues, health insurance status, etc.
           Administer a survey to 300 homeless youth
           Administer four focus groups with 4-8 participants
           Education plan- Develop an education plan to help those who are using the ED as their primary medical home. This plan will help them understand the risks of using the ED and the effects it can have on their credit and their financial situation long-term.  We will also outline alternative options to using the ED and how to access those options






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