Here are some highlights of research, teaching, and engagement related to health care in the School of Social Work.
Professor Colleen Fisher investigates individual, cultural, and structural factors promoting sexual health. For the past two years, she has been studying the effects of HIV/AIDS on women in Kenya. Her scholarship also examines health and well-being among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth, with emphasis on the experiences of marginalized sub-groups such as transgender, homeless, and rural youth and development of youth-driven interventions.
Addiction and recovery
Assistant professor Amy Krentzman researches factors that promote recovery from alcohol and other substance-use disorders, especially the mechanisms of therapeutic change precipitated by professional treatment, recovery community organizations, and 12-step programs. Her current projects include the development and testing of positive psychology interventions for individuals with alcohol and substance-use disorders, the relationship between spirituality and alcoholism recovery, and the role of sober-living houses on long-term abstinence.
The role of culture
Associate professor Hee Yun Lee’s major research area is cancer health disparity among underserved minority populations. Using mobile health technology and a community-based participatory research approach, she is developing and testing intervention programs to promote cancer screening behavior.
The role of medical social workers
Associate professor Joseph Merighi examines the professional roles and contributions of social work practitioners in health care settings with a particular emphasis on nephrology social workers in dialysis clinics. He conducts quantitative and qualitative studies that describe the changing landscape of social work practice in nephrology settings and explores how social workers enhance the physical and psychosocial well-being of patients with end-stage renal disease.
Mental health of trauma survivors
Assistant professor Patricia Shannon focuses on improving the health of refugee communities by identifying the mental health needs of refugee trauma survivors when they first arrive in the United States. She has developed culturally responsive tools and processes for assessment, referral, and treatment of refugees in need of mental health services.
The Minnesota Center for Chemical and Mental Health
This center joined the School of Social Work in 2014. Its focus is on advancing the science and practice of treating mental health and substance-use disorders. Center staff members work collaboratively with policymakers, clinical researchers, and providers in the field to advance clinical mental health and substance abuse care that will benefit all of Minnesota’s diverse communities. Teaching specialist Peter Dimock is a co-principal investigator of the center.
Learn more about the School of Social Work.
Story by Jacqueline Colby | Fall 2015