IUPUI has announced its Clinical Scholars program will be giving $420,000 to a new project designed to help students in Indianapolis cope with violence and trauma. The program will start with students in the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township’s public schools as well as two charter schools.

The team is made up of two IUPUI faculty members: Wanda Thruston, a clinical assistant professor in the Indiana University School of Nursing and Barbara Pierce, an associate professor in the Indiana University School of Social Work. The other two members are community partners Megan Carlson, a pediatric nurse practitioner, and Kristine Eaton, a social worker who is the director of social work for Franklin Township Schools. Over the next three years, the team members will attend intensive leadership training that will prepare them to address violence and trauma issues faced by K-12 students. 

"While we can’t change the city in which they live, we can change how kids respond to what the environment throws at them and help them learn to respond in a more resilient way," Pierce said. "We can teach things like social-emotional responses and coping skills to be resilient. We can help kids deal with bullying and trauma." 

The Indianapolis project is one of 10 that were selected in 2018 from 81 applicant teams of health care providers from across the nation.