The Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) program is a federal grant source specifically funding psychology internships. The purpose of this Munroe-Meyer Institute project, “Internship Training in Integrated Behavioral Health: Meeting the Needs of Medically Underserved Communities to Prevent Opioid and Substance Abuse”, is to expand the number of psychologists with expertise in working with children and adolescents in underserved areas, in particular to rural, frontier, and inner-city families. A particular emphasis for this funding beginning in 2019 will be to address opioid and substance abuse disorders. This grant is a continuation of earlier GPE – funded grant programs (2003 to present) awarded to the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Specific objectives of this grant program are to:
- Attract, recruit, train, place, and retain pediatric psychologists in underserved areas;
- Provide faculty in integrated behavioral health primary care clinics training in OUD/SUD screening, identification, & treatment and trauma-informed care;
- Provide a team-based care training experience in integrated behavioral health in primary care for GPE interns and related BH professionals with an emphasis on OUD/SUD & trauma-informed care;
- Expand & disseminate the integrated BH model program in primary care to other primary care practices.
Interns participate in interdisciplinary training experiences which include exposure to 13 MMI health care professions as well as training in the development of competence in working with rural, minority, and disability cultures. Interns participate in integrated behavioral health service provision with primary care physicians and nurses in either rural or inner-city significantly underserved areas.
To be able to provide integrated behavioral health services to remote areas, interns are also exposed to the use of telehealth by MMI faculty. A series of video telehealth “modules” have been developed for use in training interns and related professionals.
The MMI internship program attracts more than 100 applicants to Nebraska from universities across the country. Our GPE grant supports 7 interns annually, which has allowed us to “leverage” additional state funding from the Nebraska legislature to expand outstate clinics in Columbus, Norfolk, Chadron, Hastings and Kearney, as well as in inner-city areas of Omaha.