Grant awarded to increase the number of doctoral health service psychology students serving in Kentucky

As Kentucky faces a need for more well-trained psychologists, Spalding University has created new opportunities for students to enter the field of health service psychology with an emphasis on providing services to communities most in need. To support this work, Spalding University has been awarded a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) program. Their award of nearly $1 million over three years will support the new Integrated C.A.R.E. (Community-based, Accessible, Recovery-oriented Education) Program. Funding will provide stipends for doctoral psychology students to train in integrated, interdisciplinary primary care settings (IIPC).  

The Integrated C.A.R.E. program will focus on IIPC training with a concentration on trauma-informed substance use/ opiate use disorder treatments as well as telehealth. Dr. Norah Chapman, Associate Chair of the School of Professional Psychology at Spalding University, will be the project director. Her passion for developing evidence-based practices in increasing the access to, and quality of, mental health care amongst underserved populations is reflected in this program.

Dr. Chapman states, “I am thrilled for our students to have the opportunity to support underserved populations in interdisciplinary primary care sites across the state. Their work will result in approximately 4,400 hours of additional behavioral health care support for Kentuckians each year of the three-year grant cycle. I have every confidence it will change their lives and the lives of those with whom they work.”

This grant also aligns with Spalding’s mission to create a diverse and inclusive learning environment. The program will increase the diversity of the psychology workforce by specifically recruiting students who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

The focus on diversifying our workforce is crucial. Chapman explains, “The Integrated C.A.R.E. program is dedicated to using the resources provided through HRSA to especially support diversifying our workforce. For example, in Kentucky, only 4% of Psychologists are BIPOC. This is a significant underrepresentation in our community and a disservice to the Commonwealth. We will be recruiting BIPOC students especially for the program who will be able to receive financial support through the grant along with high quality training in health service psychology, to improve representation in our workforce in high need and high demand areas of Kentucky.”

Over the three-year cycle, twenty-one advanced doctoral psychology students will receive training in integrated, interdisciplinary primary care settings. Training sites are located in Medically Underserved Areas, including rural areas of Kentucky. Students will also receive specialized training in opiate use/substance use disorder (SUD/OUD) and will attend the annual Collaborative Family Healthcare Association (CFHA) conference. A final key element of the program will provide long-term sustainability by training six faculty in the School of Professional Psychology in IIPC and SUD/OUD assessment, prevention, and recovery. These faculty can train psychology students in these methods for years to come. Together, these outcomes will create transformative opportunities for our doctoral psychology students, while increasing the capacity in Louisville Metro and the Commonwealth of Kentucky to provide interdisciplinary behavioral healthcare for vulnerable and medically underserved populations. 



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