For immediate release
Contact: Sean McFarland, MA
Public Relations & Communications Manager
Exposed by COVID-19 Pandemic, Mental Health Needs of Rural, Vulnerable and Underserved Populations Central to CURE Program
PITTSBURGH – Carlow University is the recipient of a $1.9 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to enable hands-on, interprofessional, interdisciplinary training for students in Carlow’s Master of Social Work (MSW) and Counseling Psychology Doctorate (PsyD) degree programs. The Carlow Underserved and Rural Engagement (CURE) program will provide stipend support for a behavioral workforce with experience in serving vulnerable populations in rural and underserved areas.
This significant monetary support will be distributed over four years to support 25 graduate social work and 36 counseling psychology students at Carlow University. Made possible through this grant are competitive learning techniques that will increase their knowledge and competencies, including cultural competencies, in each student’s respective discipline.
“Advocating for vulnerable and underserved populations is central to Carlow University’s own values,” said President Dr. Kathy Humphrey. “The CURE program is a timely and much needed reflection on how Carlow continues to adapt to the needs of our community regardless of what is happening around the world.”
The CURE project team will also engage with diverse groups within the community in accord with the university’s commitment to diversity and anti-racist practices. Students, faculty, staff and university partners will benefit from interprofessional, integrated behavioral health that emphasizes service delivery to, and advocacy for, rural, vulnerable and underserved populations. These will take place through training seminars, telehealth training, curriculum changes, outreach programs for field supervisors and faculty, and the development of a new Integrative Health Certificate program.
“Funding for the CURE program will allow Carlow to address real and current needs for these populations,” said Ken Smythe-Leistico, EdD, director of field education in Carlow’s MSW program. “As we have seen magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic, rural and medically underserved areas face specific and unique behavioral health challenges. This would place our students in meaningful internships in areas of need and expose them to locations that may desperately need qualified staff.”
The mission of the CURE program also aligns closely with Carlow University’s values of service beyond ourselves to prioritize the needs of others over our own self-interest. Training starts in August of 2021 and will run through June of 2025.
About Carlow University
Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds, Meds, and Tech” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1929, Carlow’s curricula and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in two colleges: the College of Health and Wellness and the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Health and Wellness includes the departments of Nursing, Respiratory Care, Healthcare Data Analytics, Health Management, and graduate degrees in Speech-Language Pathology and the Physician Assistant programs. Graduate programs in Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy will soon be added.
Carlow University also believes in the education and growth of students both inside and outside the classroom, where they can join student government, clubs, and academic honorary societies where they can develop skills in judgment, leadership, analysis, decision-making, and communication. For student-athletes, Carlow’s 14 athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.