Graduate Psychology Education (GPE)

New GPE 3 Year Grant Cycle

The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) announced the recipients of the Graduate Psychology Education Program (GPE) grants in the Fall of FY 2007, which are administered by HRSA’s Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr). Like most of the other programs in BHPr, the GPE program received $1.8 million for FY 2007 (same as FY 2006) and $1.9 million for FY 2008 in both the House and Senate Labor-Health & Human Services-Education Subcommittee bills. The most recent competition resulted in 18 grants being awarded for three years under the Graduate Psychology Education Program totaling $1.8 million. These grants went to universities and medical institutions to train psychologists in mental and behavioral health to work with underserved persons in medically underserved areas.

Many of the grants will be used to provide resources for underserved ethnic minorities, mostly African American and Hispanic consumers. Some are specializing in children and adolescents while others are focusing on the family, the homeless, immigrants, or women. The grants are a mix of rural and urban settings and internship and doctoral programs.

FY 2008 Bureau of Health Professions National Conference

Several of the new GPE grantees attended the recent BHPr Conference, which represented over 1,200 health profession education grants across the country. The GPE grantees in attendance not only had an opportunity to go to Capitol Hill to meet with their delegations to garner support for an increase in GPE funding but they were able to promote the inclusion of psychology as part of an integrated approach to health care and request that the umbrella federal agency, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), recognize the role of psychology and endorse the provision of integrated services that includes mental/behavioral health.

FY 2008 Health Professions & Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC)

For the first time, psychology was represented with a booth at the Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition Briefing and Open House titled, "Strengthening the Health Safety Net, Title VII and Title VIII Health Professions Training and Nursing Workforce Programs," held on Capitol Hill in early February. GPE grantees participating in the open house, Dr. Doug Tynan and Dr. Barbara Bonner, were able to illustrate the value of federal support for psychology education & training as well for the other health professions. Throughout the open house, Dr. Tynan and Dr. Bonner were able to inform congressional staff of their work and the services their GPE programs provide and also interact with other representatives of the health professions training and nursing workforce programs. Following the open house, Dr. Bonner had a chance to meet with staff members from the offices of Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) to discuss FY 2009 appropriations for the GPE Program. By participating in programs like these, the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program can hopefully gain wider exposure which may help in garnering federal funding for years to come.

FY 2008 GPE Funding Final

A big coup for the GPE Program was a result of a last minute Education GRO advocacy effort. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) successfully offered an amendment to the Senate Military Construction VA Appropriations bill on the Senate Floor on September 5, 2007 to allow the transfer of up to $5 million to HRSA for the GPE Program for a focus on returning military personnel with PTSD, TBI or post-deployment readjustment problems. There was a subsequent meeting with Toni Zeiss, Ph.D., Deputy Director, VA Mental Health to discuss a Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies on use of funds. The House also included report language in its Military Construction VA Appropriations bill. Congressmen Sam Farr (D-CA) and Bill Young (R-FL) and Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) all expressed support to the subcommittee chairman. All of these Members of Congress were honored by the Education Directorate over the past few years. APA Members instrumental in securing support included current President Alan Kazdin, Ph.D., Luli Emmons, Ph.D., Gloria Khan, Ph.D., and Herb Goldstein, Ph.D. Unfortunately the funds have yet to be transferred. Senator Murray has formally asked the VA Secretary for reassurance that the funds will be forthcoming.

FY 2009 GPE Funding

For FY 2009, $7 million is being sought for the GPE Program to: increase the amount per grant; reinstate the geropsychology training grants; and create a focus on training for addressing the needs of returning military personnel and their families. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is spearing efforts in the House to restore the GPE funding level to $4.5 million, its highest level between FY 2003 and FY 2005. Dr. Alan Kazdin was instrumental in garnering her support. Thanks to the efforts of GPE grantees and other APA members, other House appropriators are expected to express support including Congressmen Jim Walsh (R-NY), Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL),Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-NY) and possibly Barbara Lee (D-CA), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Sam Farr (D-CA), and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI). Also due to the efforts of APA members, in the Senate we expect Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to request an increase in funding to allow for a new set-aside for military personnel and their families and we expect support from other appropriators including Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and hopefully others.