Spalding University Awarded Geriatrics Academic Career Awards (GACA) Grant From the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

LOUISVILLE, KY: Spalding University’s School of Professional Psychology (SOPP) and Dr. Willie McBride have been awarded a multi-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) totaling $347,912 over four years.

The Geriatrics Academic Career Award (GACA) Program will contribute significantly to Dr. McBride’s development as an academic geriatrician with a foundation rooted in clinical neuropsychology. Dr. McBride will further his education in geriatrics and neuropsychology through targeted research and attendance at state-wide and national conferences. He will then translate this knowledge to the current and future healthcare workforce by presenting to healthcare providers and training psychology students at Spalding University. This work will also contribute to dementia-care services to underserved communities in Kentucky provided within the Complete Neuropsychology Services sub-clinic of Spalding’s Center for Behavioral Health (CBH).

This is Dr. McBride’s first HRSA grant and the fourth HRSA award to Spalding’s School of Professional Psychology within the last three years. Dr. McBride expressed his intentions about the award: “I am honored and privileged to be selected as a Geriatric Academic Career Awardee. At the top of the pyramid so to speak, I believe that brain health permeates down through all other aspects of a person’s health and wellbeing. I hope to use the GACA award to instill in clients, their families, providers, and communities the need to prioritize brain health. By doing so, I hope to see a shift in the weight of health disparities that plague many communities and enact change.”

The GACA program was developed to meet two primary goals:

  1. To develop the necessary knowledge and skills as an academic geriatric specialist to lead healthcare transformation in a variety of settings, including rural and/or medically underserved settings.

To accomplish this goal, he will receive geriatric-focused education, specialty certification, and training to incorporate innovative technologies into cognitive evaluations and treatments. His work will focus on diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Dr. McBride will attend several geriatric- and neuropsychology-focused conferences, including the Kentucky Psychological Association Conference, the National Academy of Neuropsychology Convention, and the American Geriatric Society Annual Scientific Meeting. Grant funds will contribute to his work to obtain board certification in clinical neuropsychology and geropsychology. Finally, he will be able to expand dementia-care services to underserved communities in Kentucky through the Complete Neuropsychology Services.

  1. To educate and train the healthcare workforce, within the context of the age-friendly health systems framework, to address dementia-risk reduction, health disparities and social determinants of health, and nursing home care.

Utilizing the knowledge and skills gained through his own continuing education, Dr. McBride will provide training for community leaders, caregivers, clinical psychology doctoral students, and healthcare professionals unfamiliar with cognitive assessment, dementia risk factors, early detection and screening methods, as well as appropriate caregiving interventions.

About Willie McBride, PhD

Director of Adult Neuropsychology Emphasis Area, Assistant Professor Dr. McBride, a native Louisvillian, brings a wealth of experience working with memory disorders to the SOPP. He recently finished a second neuropsychology fellowship with the Department of Neurology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Prior, he completed his first fellowship at the Tennessee Valley HealthCare System in Tennessee and his internship with the Vanderbilt/Veteran Affairs Professional Psychology Consortium. He received his doctoral degree from the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology in Norfolk VA. He is the treasurer and a co-founder for the Society for Black Neuropsychology. His research interests include neuropsychology within minority communities and health disparities.

About the Complete Neuropsychology Services (CNS) sub-clinic

The CNS is one of four sub-clinics within Spalding’s Center for Behavioral Health (CBH). The CNS at Spalding University is the premier site for neuropsychological testing conveniently located in downtown Louisville. Our directors have a wealth of experience and knowledge in clinical neuropsychology. In addition, the CNS provides supervised training for doctoral level Clinical Psychology students.

Active HRSA Grants at Spalding

Spalding University is the current recipient of five active grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration – four of which are located in the School of Professional Psychology. They include: the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program, Workforce Resiliency Training Program, Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program, the Geriatrics Academic Career Awards (GACA) Program, and the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) Program, which together total $4.4 million in support to the university.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $347,912 with 0 percent financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

Spalding University is the world’s first Certified Compassionate University. Located in downtown Louisville, Spalding University is a diverse community of learners, dedicated to meeting the needs of the times, in the tradition of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, through quality undergraduate and graduate liberal and professional studies, grounded in spiritual values, with emphasis on service and the promotion of peace and justice.