HRSA Includes the Graduate Psychology Education Program in the FY2010 Budget!

For the first time ever, the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program was specifically included in the President’s Budget for FY 2010 (i.e., in the description of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Bureau of Health Professions’ programs).

Why did this happen?  Because of you!  Sustained grassroots efforts (letters and email, along with face-to-face hill meetings) by psychologists all across the country, combined with numerous visits and contacts with hill staff by Education Government Relations Office (GRO) staff, are paying off.  Like former Senator Everett Dirksen stated so many years ago: “When I feel the heat, I see the light.”

Why is this the first time the GPE Program has been included in the HRSA budget?

As noted above the GPE Program is currently operating under a general authority in Title VII of the Public Health Service Act for “Allied Health and Other Disciplines” and is funded through this account during the annual appropriations process. Therefore, the GPE Program has not had its own “line” in the budget.  Report language in the Labor-Health & Human Services-Education bill each year has provided the GPE Program with funding. However, because the GPE Program has continued to receive strong support from both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, this year the Office of Management and Budget has included the GPE Program in its FY 2010 budget justification document for the Health & Human Resources & Services Administration.

Unfortunately, the President requested only flat-funding at $2 million for the GPE Program for FY 2010.  However, the GPE Program was not among those slated for elimination. Nevertheless, APA is pushing hard to garner Congressional support to increase GPE funding to $7 million in FY 2010.  This would allow for approximately 30 GPE grants, including those that focus solely on the needs of older adults and returning military personnel and their families.

There are approximately 900 universities, professional schools and hospitals nationwide eligible for a GPE grant. Currently GPE supports 18 grants in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. Since 2002, there have been 70 grants in 30 states including the District of Columbia for a total of $23.7 million. Check out a listing of the current GPE Grants.