Koleen Slusher

LCSW, DSW Candidate

Integration of a Person-centered Care Conceptual Framework in Forensic Healthcare: Implications for Macro Social Work Practice


There is extensive research on the efficacy of person-centered care in general healthcare settings, but only a paucity on its utility across behavioral health, specifically forensic care. This presentation explores the connection between the integration of person-centered care in forensic healthcare settings and improved outcomes across the micro to macro social work practice continuum. A synthesis of current literature, the development of a conceptual framework, and the necessary implementation science considerations for systemwide integration of person-centered care through federal evidence-based policymaking are discussed.


Koleen Rowland Slusher, LCSW, serves as the hospital director of the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center (KCPC), which operates under the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID) as Kentucky’s sole forensic psychiatric hospital. Koleen previously functioned as the director of behavioral health division at DBHDID and as a co-principal investigator for federal grant awards including Assisted Outpatient Treatment, COVID-19 Emergency, and the Technology Transfer Initiative for Kentucky Incentives for Improving Outpatient Engagement Project.

Koleen was appointed as a Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network Southeast Region Advisory Board member and as Kentucky’s Single State Authority (SSA) for oversight of the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant. Koleen worked at Central State Hospital as the director of social work, Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, and Seven Counties Services as a clinical supervisor, clinician, and medical necessity trainer. She currently conducts academic peer reviews for the Journal of Forensic Social Work and serves as the Southern Regional Representative for the Forensic Division of National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. Koleen received an undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky, a graduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is a current doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky College of Social Work. Her doctoral research focuses on the macro-level social work implications of integrating a person-centered care conceptual framework into forensic healthcare for improved treatment outcomes.