EDUCATION ADVOCACY LEGISLATIVE ISSUES UPDATE
GPE grantee receives APF prize
Congratulations to Joseph H. Evans, PhD, professor, Department of Pediatrics, and director of the Munroe-Meyer Institute Psychology Department at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). Dr. Evans was awarded the 2008 American Psychological Foundation Cummings PSYCHE Prize during the APA annual convention in Boston for his work in integrating behavioral health into pediatric primary health care practice. Dr. Evans noted that financial support for these efforts, including funding for four interns who train in rural integrated health sites around the state, is partially provided through a Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) grant from the Bureau of Health Professions. Dr. Evans further noted that GPE funding has enabled him to place behavioral health providers in medical practices in 14 clinics throughout Nebraska.
Dr. Evans’ GPE grant is focused on addressing the critical shortage of psychologists treating children, adolescents, and families in underserved rural communities by expanding the psychology internship training program located in the Psychology Department of the Munroe-Meyer Institute at the UNMC. This “integrated behavioral health internship model” provides interdisciplinary training experiences in serving children and adolescents with disabilities and their families and integrated “learning through service” clinical experiences in rural primary care settings. With continued funding from the GPE program, the behavioral health model will be extended to a minimum of three additional rural sites over the next 3 years with the goal of providing internship training and placement of interns into integrated behavioral health practices in underserved health professions shortage areas. The GPE grant provides support to train 18 psychology interns, 12 pediatric and family medicine residents, and 20 midlevel mental health practitioners (counseling, marriage and family, and social work) students. Gaining increased funding for the GPE grant program is a top priority for the APA Education Government Relations Office.