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KP Scholars 2024

Clinical Mental Health Practitioner Program for Wards 7 & 8 Renewed

Partnership between Trinity and Kaiser Permanente continues for under-served areas, and receives glowing coverage from the Washington Informer.

For a third year, Trinity Washington University and Kaiser Permanente announce the continuation of a program training and deploying clinical mental health practitioners to provide critical, trauma-informed mental health care to under-served, majority African American populations in Washington D.C. Wards 7 and 8. Upon the announcement, the program received comprehensive coverage from proudly Black and Woman Owned D.C. newspaper, The Washington Informer.

Sam P. Collins of the Washington Informer writes,”[T]he Kaiser Permanente Practitioner Scholars Professional Development Program [is] a partnership between Kaiser Permanente and Trinity Washington University intended to equip mental health professionals with the tools needed to effectively serve marginalized youth, particularly those living in communities east of the Anacostia River. ”

“An award to Trinity Washington University by Kaiser Permanente will allow for another cohort of school and clinical-based mental health professionals. This fall, new program participants will take one course per semester and receive post-program professional development that helps them maintain their professional certification or licensure.”

“This wasn’t cookie cutter or something you can take out the DSM 5 [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition] for,” said Nardia Greenwood a licensed mental health counselor to primarily incarcerated men ages 18-24 at D.C. Jail’s Maya Angelou Academy, and recent Kaiser Permanente scholar at Trinity. “We talked about real situations. We were talking about disparities and speaking about these truths. It was something that really…made me want to do more work to address it.”

Read the entire article at the Washington Informer.

Read the Press Release below:


Kaiser Permanente Practitioner Scholars Professional Development

Project for Mental Health and School Counseling Professionals

Fall 2024 – Spring 2025

“Healing Trauma, Fostering Equity, and Building Resiliency”

Kaiser Permanente and Trinity Washington University are announcing the continuation of the Kaiser Permanente Practitioner Scholars Professional Development Program for clinical mental health and school counselors serving Wards 7 and 8 of the District of Columbia and other under-served areas.

Kaiser Permanente is providing funding for a third year. The professional development program will provide current best practices and evidence-based research instruction for a cohort of practitioners, who will receive mentoring and professional development to improve cultural competency, to become aware of the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), trauma, and its manifestations such as racialized trauma and generational trauma. Practitioners will also gain advanced counseling techniques in the Expressive Arts and other Indigenous healing techniques. After completion of the course requirement, practitioners will earn graduate-level credits that can be used for maintaining their professional certifications and/or licensure.

Need and Purpose

COVID-19 created, what has been called “a tsunami” of mental health challenges for African Americans and other marginalized and under-served populations, who were already dealing with the effects of systemic and structural racism, racial and ethnic inequality, and a growing wealth gap. The pandemic compounded the impact of trauma on children and youth, who were already facing many challenges that impacted their overall mental health, and specifically their emotional and social development and their ability to learn. School counseling and mental health professionals need to be better prepared for the additional challenges that children, and their parents, guardians, and caregivers, as they encounter “a new normal”.  Kaiser Permanente recognizes this need and has provided critical funding to support the initiative developed by Trinity Washington University to provide professional development for mental health and school counseling practitioners. The cost of tuition, books, and supplies for each scholar will be provided through the grant.

There is a significant need in the District of Columbia for a greater number of practitioners who are culturally competent as defined by the communities they serve, and who are trauma-informed, and trauma-responsive clinical mental health counselors and school counselors.  Because of the complexities of issues due to the two pandemics, practitioners must enlarge their “toolkit” of strategies, techniques, and interventions to support children and youth, and their parents, guardians, and caregivers.  Through this project, Trinity and Kaiser are prioritizing the need to support current mental health practitioners/professionals and school counselors working with community members impacted by two pandemics.

Frameworks and Models

The professional development and continuing education will be based on the transformative theoretical framework and model of Building Community Resilience (BCR) that addresses both Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adverse Community Environments (ACEs). Additionally, Trinity and Kaiser have developed a circular and transformative model for delivering professional development/Continuing Education. This framework provides an understanding that the adversity and trauma that individuals encounter lie also within a larger community context that recognizes systemic inequities that compound the challenges encountered by individuals (Ellis & Dietz, 2017). Therefore, those practitioners who will be selected to become Kaiser Scholars, after completing their continuing education/professional development, will continue to be mentored by Trinity counseling faculty for one year. Kaiser Practitioner Scholars will also become mentors to Trinity Counseling students and will contribute a specified number of service hours to any future programming sponsored by Trinity, to provide support services and programs for children and their families from Wards 7 and 8.

Potential applicants should contact Dr. Greer by email if interested in receiving information about the application process or if practitioners have further questions about the professional Development program. The contact information is as follows:

Dr. Cynthia Greer, Associate Professor of Counseling

Lead Faculty Member for the Research Team Initiative on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma

202 884 9595

Trinity Washington University

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Social Work, B.S.W.School Counseling, M.A.Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.Post Master's Counseling/Prepare for L.P.C.