U.S. Congressman Richard Neal joined President Sandra Doran to announce the two grants totaling over $2.9 million
Longmeadow, MA—U.S. Congressman Richard Neal (D) and Bay Path President Sandra J. Doran jointly announced that two health-focused graduate programs at the University have recently received two federal grants:
- The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies has been awarded a five-year, $1,500,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Primary Care Training & Enhancement (PCTE) Program.
- The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is the recipient of a grant from the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program totaling $1,432,781 over four years, funded through the American Rescue Plan.
“I am thrilled to congratulate President Doran and the entire Bay Path University team on this tremendous news,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “The pandemic has highlighted the need for more healthcare availability in our rural and underserved communities, as well as behavioral health specialists - the two areas that these grants will allow Bay Path to enhance. Bay Path is once again up to the task to meet the demand and I look forward to witnessing its continued success.”
The HRSA grant will better prepare Bay Path Physician Assistant (PA) graduates to assess, treat or appropriately refer for treatment patients who struggle with opioid and substance use and/or mental health issues, and provide interprofessional development around these critical issues that will engage healthcare trainees and providers in the broader community.
Massachusetts is among the top 10 states for opioid-related deaths. Primary care provider shortages, especially in medically underserved areas, has had a profound impact on access to treatment. With more than half (54%) of Bay Path’s PA graduates remaining in Massachusetts to live and work, many of them in local medically underserved areas, the project has enormous potential to address critical community needs.
According to Dr. Mark Benander, director of graduate psychology, “Funding from the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program will help us to attract and retain a well-qualified workforce to meet the region’s needs, specifically in the field of mental health counseling. It will allow us to expand internship opportunities for our students in partnership with local community health centers, like Caring Health Center and Behavioral Health Network. And we will also be developing a new four-course Certificate in Integrated Behavioral Health in the Primary Care Setting, aimed at the professional development of both our own students, as well as clinicians in the field.”
The grants come at a period when society and the healthcare sector are facing a shortage of qualified healthcare practitioners and mental health counselors, and, in particular, this need has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. “These two grants deal with two fundamental issues in our region: primary healthcare and mental health,” states President Doran. “Our Bay Path healthcare programs are leading the way in developing healthcare leaders, while improving the healthcare outcomes for our communities.”
About Bay Path University
Bay Path University was founded in 1897. Bay Path’s enrolled population of over 3,000 include traditional undergraduates; adult women at The American Women's College, the first all-women, all-online accredited degree program in the country; and women and men in master’s and doctoral programs. Bay Path’s goal is to give students confidence in the fundamentals of their chosen field, the curiosity to question the ordinary, the leadership to show initiative, and the desire to make a difference.