Public Hearing Examines Rural Training Opportunities

Integrated BH Clinics - Sept. 2017

On September 8, 2017, the State Appropriations Committee held a public hearing on LR238, a resolution that created an interim study to examine the effectiveness of state funding for behavioral health internships and fellowships in rural Nebraska. The interim study legislation was sponsored by the Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Senator John Stinner of Scottsbluff.

Nick Brotzel, BHECN outreach & program development coordinator and Keith Allen, clinical director at Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI), testified at the hearing at the request of Senator Stinner. In their testimony, Brotzel and Allen highlighted the success of BHECN’s state-funded integrated behavioral health internship programs. These programs are designed to provide masters and doctoral-level psychology interns with valuable hands-on training experiences at any one of 42 integrated primary and behavioral health clinics across the state. See map above for a full complement of clinic sites.

In the past two years alone, state-supported BHECN/MMI trainees provided more than 12,000 hours of services to children, adolescents and families in integrated care settings. However, much work remains, as fewer than 15% of the 179 primary care practices outside of Omaha and Lincoln have an on-site behavioral health provider.

BHECN thanks Senator Stinner and all members of the State Appropriations Committee for their commitment to building Nebraska’s rural behavioral health workforce.

Questions regarding LR238 can be directed to Nick Brotzel at: nicholas.brotzel@unmc.edu

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