Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded FIU-CBRI a $1.8 million grant (M01HP31299) to expand the South Florida professional workforce trained to provide inter-professional behavioral health care. The grant, entitled “FIU Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Fellowship,” is part of HRSA’s Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program. CBRI Director Eric F. Wagner, Ph.D., was the FIU-BHWET Principal Investigator; Adriana E. Foster, M.D., is FIU-BHWET Training Director; Dr. Foster was the Professor and Vice Chair of Clinical and Research Programs in FIU’s Department of Psychiatry.

FIU-BHWET focused on three FIU masters programs across two colleges: Master of Social Work, Professional Counseling, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The grant’s goal was to train clinicians competent to provide behavioral health services the underserved, the uninsured, the economically disadvantaged, and those with chronic health conditions. Training emphasizes:

  • integrated behavioral health-primary care;
  • an inter-professional approach to patient care; and
  • social determinants of health.

In teaching this curriculum, we leveraged FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) NeighborhoodHELP™ (NHELP) innovative inter-professional model of health care delivery. Field placement sites include the NHELP program, Citrus Health Network, and Banyan Health Systems (both of which are Federally Qualified Health Centers), and the Village South. FIU has strong existing relationships with these partners who not only train, but recruit and hire our programs’ alumni. The grant’s goals were:

  • Expand field placement and internship slots with an integrated behavioral health focus to a total of 28 annual internships slots across three professional training programs serving medically underrepresented, vulnerable, and culturally diverse populations and communities throughout South Florida;
  • Expand and improve the cohesive inter-professional curriculum focused on integrated behavioral health-primary care, inter-professional approaches to patient care and social determinants of health by increasing practicum opportunities, biweekly scheduled activities, continuing education training seminars, and individual guidance to participants;
  • Demonstrate trainees’ proficiency in inter-professional team practice and application of integrated behavioral health-primary care model as shown in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior changes measured through validated assessment scales and evaluations; and,
  • Demonstrate the program’s impact on retention and employability of alumni at integrated behavioral health care sites that serve medically underserved populations and communities through post program surveys and reports from participating internship sites.

Principal Investigators: Eric Wagner, Ph.D. & Staci Leon Morris, Psy.D. (Former Co-I: Adriana Foster, M.D.)

Project Coordinator: Jordan Quintana, MSW | | (305) 348-4720
Katherine Perez, MSW, MPH | | (305) 348-4721

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