From the CEO
President Barack Obama's $787.2 billion economic stimulus package includes substantial investments in psychology-related programs and offers tremendous opportunities to show how psychologists' work can fuel the economy and improve the nation's health and well-being.
To start, the stimulus includes significant funding for federal agencies that support psychological research, including $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health. In addition, there is:
• $3 billion for the National Science Foundation, of which $2 billion will go to peer-reviewed research grants.
• $1.6 billion for research at the Department of Energy Office of Science.
• $1.1 billion for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for comparative effectiveness research.
• $1 billion for NASA's research program.
• $300 million for the Major Research Instrumentation program, which competitively awards grants to university researchers.
• $200 million to restart the Academic Research Infrastructure program, which awards laboratory construction grants.
• $200 million to energy-related research at the Department of Defense.
• $100 million for NSF's Education and Human Resources Directorate.
Psychology education and training also got a boost from the stimulus package, with $500 million for health professions training programs. Of that total, $300 million is allocated for National Health Service Corps recruitment and field activities that will benefit all the eligible health professions, including psychology. Another $200 million is allocated for all health disciplines, including psychology, to train professionals through the primary-care medicine and dentistry program, the public health and preventive medicine program and the scholarship and loan repayment programs authorized by the Public Health Service Act.
We are also celebrating the stimulus's inclusion of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, which provides many of the health records privacy and security provisions long sought by the APA Practice Organization. This new law builds on the federal government's efforts to develop a national network of electronic health records—an effort that is expected to improve patient care and lower costs.
Stimulus money is also supporting many initiatives that are in line with the APA Public Interest Directorate mission of "supporting and promoting efforts to apply the science and profession of psychology to the advancement of health, education and human welfare." The directorate advocates for programs that are supported by our members' research and expertise on a variety of issues, such as Head Start, violence prevention, homelessness prevention, child care and many others.
One significant win for psychology is a $1 billion Prevention and Wellness Fund, which includes $650 million to implement evidence-based clinical and community-based prevention and wellness strategies. The fund will also help restore and create health-care jobs at the community level, and it offers relief to families by providing services that can stave off the need for more expensive treatment down the road.
Other public-interest-friendly gains in the stimulus include:
• $87 billion to increase the federal share of Medicaid expenses to help states avoid cutting eligibility and services for beneficiaries.
• $12.2 billion for special education.
• $1.5 billion to provide assistance to families who may become homeless due to the economic crisis.
• $2 billion for the child care and development block grant.
• $1 billion for Head Start and $1.1 billion for Early Head Start.
• $225 million to prevent violence against women, to provide treatment for victims of such violence and for housing assistance grants.
As more details emerge in the coming month, we will keep you apprised of how to apply for all of these funding opportunities.
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