Trinity Washington University and Kaiser Permanente to Expand Trauma Informed and Responsive Professional Development for Clinical Mental Health and School Counselors in D.C. Wards 7 and 8



Washington, D.C. Trinity Washington University, with funding from Kaiser Permanente, will expand
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. The professional development
program is also available to mental health and school counseling practitioners in other Wards in the
District, and surrounding area who serve marginalized and underserved communities.

Now it its second year, the program will provide current best practices and evidence-based research
instruction to two cohorts of 15 practitioners, who will receive mentoring and professional development
in multi-cultural counseling, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), trauma and its manifestations such
as racialized trauma, virtual counseling techniques, the Expressive Arts and Indigenous healing
techniques; and earn graduate-level credits that can be used for maintaining their professional
certifications and/or licensure.

“We express gratitude to Kaiser Permanente for their continued financial support in our effort to provide
professional development for mental health practitioners and school counselors in Wards 7 and 8. These
practitioners are essential workers who need support from the community to be able to provide the most
effective support services and resources for communities that are marginalized,” said Dr. Cynthia Greer,
associate professor of counseling who also leads Trinity’s Research Team Initiative on Adverse
Childhood Experiences and Trauma.

“Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to supporting the health and wellbeing of our members and the
communities we serve. This includes support for students, teachers and staff in schools as part of our
national Thriving Schools initiative,” said Ondrea McIntyre-Hall, Senior Director, Community Health at
Kaiser Permanente. “We are delighted to support Trinity University’s unique and innovative program to
support school counselors in Wards 7 & 8.”

In collaborating with community partners, Dr. Greer and her team determined there is a need for
additional culturally competent, trauma-informed, and responsive counselors to meet the mental health
needs of residents in underserved areas in the District. Mental health professionals and school counselors
need to be better prepared for the challenges of their clientele including the stigma of mental health in
communities of color, and the likelihood that mental health professionals themselves have experienced
some form of trauma. “Given Trinity Washington University’s long history of social justice advocacy and
in educating and developing school counselors and mental health professionals, who are ACEs and
trauma-informed and responsive, we know that we must be collaborators in building a better normal,”
said Greer.

Trinity will continue to work closely with D.C. Public Schools and community-based organizations to
identify and recruit school counselors and mental health professionals who are recommended by their
supervisors, have completed a 60-credit graduate program, and have a graduate degree. Upon acceptance,
Scholars must agree to facilitate the integration of their coursework into their workplace setting and with
their clients, and mentor graduate students in Trinity’s Counseling/Mental Health program. Upon
graduation, Scholars will be mentored and supported by Trinity counseling faculty for one year.

Mische Walden, a Kaiser Permanente Practitioner Scholar, and school counselor at John Hayden Johnson
Middle School in Ward 8, said “Applying to be a Kaiser Permanente Practitioner Scholar turned out to be
one of the best professional decisions I have made of my career. Being a Professional School Counselor
for 13 years, this program was beneficial to my professional growth. It helped to prepare me as I returned
to my students after being separated by the pandemic for 18 months. It gave me ways to think outside the
box with interventions and provided techniques that would best fit the students I serve. It also allowed me
to be creative and untraditional which works well with my school’s population.”

For more information about Trinity’s Research Initiative on ACEs and Trauma and the Kaiser

Permanente Practitioner Scholars, visit

About Trinity Washington University

Celebrating its 125th anniversary, Trinity Washington University was founded in 1897 as one of the
nation’s first Catholic colleges for women. Today, Trinity sustains the undergraduate women’s college
while offering coeducational programs in professional and graduate studies. With an enrollment of almost
2,000 students, Trinity enrolls more D.C. residents than any other private university in the city and in the
nation and is the only university offering a degree program east of the Anacostia River at THEARC in
Ward 8. The U.S. Department of Education classifies Trinity as both a Predominantly Black Institution
(PBI) and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), only one of three private universities in the country. Learn
more at

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. Kaiser Permanente is
recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in
1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to
improve the health of its members and the communities it serves. Kaiser Permanente currently serves
almost 12.6 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is
focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians,
specialists, and team of caregivers. Kaiser Permanente’s expert and caring medical teams are empowered
and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease
prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser
Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of
community health. For more information, go to:

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