Over the past year, we have tested PARTNERme, our social connectedness screening tool, in a number of unique pilot projects with community partners in health care, education, and mental health sectors. We learned a great deal about measuring social connectedness in a variety of unique settings.

On November 9th, 2021, we gathered partners from various PARTNERme projects to share their experiences and lessons learned firsthand. They discussed their approach and strategy, explained what they learned with their results, and provided tips and advice for others looking to measure and strengthen social connectedness.

You can our webinar about measuring social connectedness above for free or learn more about our moderator and our three gues panelists below. T

Our Measuring Social Connectedness Panelists

Caitlin Barba_photo 3_2019

Caitlin Barba, MPH

Executive Director of Colorado Center for Primary Care Innovation
Caitlin Barba is the Practice Administrator at Westminster Medical Clinic, an independently owned, family medicine practice in suburban Colorado. Her role includes practice strategy, implementation and operational management, financial management, grant writing, and co-leading the Patient Advisory Council.

Caitlin also serves as Executive Director of Colorado Center for Primary Care Innovation. Caitlin is responsible for co-leading 8 advanced, family medicine practice named Aspen Renaissance Transformation Team (ART2). This year, the ART2 practices began an initiative called The Colorado Loneliness Project.

Caitlin hopes to influence health, wellbeing, and healthcare by challenging and innovating what seems impossible, creating the possible. She received a Master’s in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health and a dual-Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Biology from the University of Denver. Caitlin has three loves outside of serving in her roles. Caitlin met her husband, Justin of 12 years, in college and they have two sweet daughters, Sydney (6) and Hallie (4).
Dr. Bryann DeBeer

Dr. Bryann DeBeer

Director of the VA Patient Safety Center of Inquiry Suicide Prevention Collaborative
Bryann DeBeer, Ph.D., is the Director of the VA Patient Safety Center of Inquiry – Suicide Prevention Collaborative, a Clinical Research Psychologist at the VA Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, and a Visiting Associate Professor at Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Her research focuses on three interrelated topics: 1) understanding risk and protective factors for suicide; 2) translating these factors into novel interventions; and 3) leveraging implementation science to improve suicide prevention in organizations.

She has conducted research regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and suicide risk. She has received funding from the VA, DoD, and the American Psychological Association to support her work.
Nick headshot

Nicholas Buchholtz

Family Services Manager, Jefferson Center
Nick Buchholtz is the Intensive Family Services Manager at Jefferson Center where he oversees the Trauma Systems Therapy, Ascent, and Adolescent DBT programs. Nick is a licensed professional counselor and licensed addiction counselor and has worked closely with the Jefferson County Department of Human Services and the judicial system over the last 10 years providing in-home therapy to at risk youth. Nick works closely with the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention to reduce the number of firearm related deaths through the Gun Shop Project.

Nick has a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Colorado Denver and a Bachelors in psychology from Arizona State University. When not on the job, Nick enjoys riding his motorcycle, hiking, and playing tennis. Nick has been with his wife for 16 years (married for 8) and now has a beautiful and lively 3 year old daughter.
Danielle Varda

Dr. Danielle Varda

CEO & Founder at Visible Network Labs
Danielle is a scientist turned start-up founder, leading VNL as CEO. Her combination of 20 years as a network scientist studying social connectedness and health, published author, 12 years as a tenured professor at the University of CO Denver, and her successful launch and scaling of the Center on Network Science came together in one big idea to start Visible Network Labs.

She is an entrepreneur, technologist, network scientist, fundraiser, and mother to three spirited girls. She is a nationally known expert and keynote speaker on applied network science, with specific expertise in health system, public health system, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and educational system approaches.

Danielle has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles on networks and their impact. She leads VNL’s strategic partnership approach, is the company’s lead fundraiser, and has a vision for how to utilize network science to solve our most pressing and intractable problems.

More Resources Related to Measuring Social Connectedness

If you want to learn more about measuring social connectedness, here are a few additional resources to read, watch, and explore.

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The Center on Network Science is an active hub of network research, evaluation, and education and is dedicated to serving as a resource for communities, organizations, faculty, staff, and, students. Our goal is to build knowledge, skills, and tools for network leaders and managers to be able to use data to understand their networks, inform decisions, and improve collaboration. 

Visible Network Labs is a team of network scientists, developers, data analysts, evaluators and technologists working together with a shared mission: building society’s capacity to transform and strengthen social connectedness at all levels of life. We focus on creating new tools, training and services that make network science and analysis accessible to those who need it most.

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Every month at VNL, we invite one of our staff or community partners to present on network leadership topic they specialize in. We cover a broad range of areas, from building new networks and partnerships, managing them strategically, and evaluating collaboration to demonstrate impact and improve over time. If you are interested in presenting at a Network Leader Webinar in the future, please contact our team to discuss your ideas in greater depth.