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Team: Anya Zimmerman-Smith, Kaitlyn Paulsen


The culmination of my individualized major in Human-Centered Design (HCD) was my thesis project focused on exploring patient, caregiver, and provider relationships in neuro-oncology and employing HCD to identify and spread grief support practices for healthcare workers. Building off of what we learned from our work for The Brain Tumor Network​, my project teammate and I employed our HCD skills for the UCSF Brain Tumor Center, one of the leading divisions of neuro-oncology in the nation.


Facilitated the implementation of The Honor Project, which addresses medical professional loss in healthcare settings with high mortality rates, beyond UCSF to the National Institute of Health, MD Anderson, Dana-Farber, and the Mayo Clinic among other top neuro-oncology departments.

San Francisco, CA

Through intensive interviews, literature review, systems mapping, and a needs and opportunity analysis, we assessed the impact of the Honor Project, the need for collaborative grief support for healthcare professionals beyond UCSF, and potential barriers to implementing the program. Using all we learned, through ideation and prototyping, we created materials to aimed to convey the importance and impact of the Honor Project including the video above, an implementation guide, and impact & feedback survey.

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Article on thesis project by Claremont McKenna College

Selected pages of my thesis are below, or you can view the whole thesis. Watch my partner and me present our work for the UCSF Brain Tumor Center

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