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Dominican's School of Social Work Receives $1.5 Million HRSA Grant for Behavioral Health Training

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Dominican University's School of Social Work is pleased to announce receipt of a $1.5 million grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for a Behavioral Health Training and Interprofessional Project (BHTIP). The four-year grant will be used to increase the number of Dominican master's level social work graduates who are employed in agencies with integrated behavioral health and primary care programs, particularly those in medically underserved communities whose residents face systemic barriers to adequate healthcare.

Through the project, Dominican will recruit diverse students who have an interest in behavioral health and interprofessional care and will provide support and training, including internships, as well as career placement assistance in medically underserved communities. The grant funds will also provide enhanced training for current Dominican students who are completing their advanced field placements. The program will provide $10,000 stipends for 15 students completing their final year of field internship this year and a total of 90 students by the end of the four-year grant period.

Designed to reduce persistent health disparities, the project specifically targets the neighborhoods of Austin, North Lawndale, South Lawndale and Pilsen in Chicago, as well as several communities in Lake County.

The grant will also facilitate an interprofessional collaborative of students and faculty in the disciplines of nursing, nutrition, and physicians assistance studies as well as social work. As part of the grant, Dominican University's School of Social Work expects to establish an integrated medical and behavioral health concentration focusing on these disciplines.

"This grant allows the School of Social Work to train social workers who can provide health care coordination at a time when mental health and primary care is so critical for the well-being of individuals and families," said Julie Bach, interim director of Dominican University's School of Social Work and principal investigator for the grant program.  "It will support students pursuing master's degrees in social work while providing communities with increased behavioral and integrative health training."‚Äč