ACNL wishes to congratulate Alexa Colgrove Curtis, PhD, MPH, FNP-BC and the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions (SONHP) on the recent receipt of a federal grant in the amount of $2,462,647. The grant will be distributed over four years from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). It will be used to develop an innovative academic-practice partnership for preparing Family Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner students for practice with rural and medically underserved populations.
Dr. Curtis is an ACNL member and serves as the Project Director for this grant. SONHP faculty and students will work with clinical partners—Community Recovery Resources/Granite Wellness, Chapa-De Indian Health, and Dignity Health—to meet goals to increase access to culturally-competent integrated behavioral health in primary care among rural and medically-underserved populations in Northern California (CA) and the CA Central Valley, through collaborative education practices between NP trainees and clinical preceptors.
"As a rural healthcare provider, I am keenly aware of the acute need for healthcare workforce development in rural and otherwise under-resourced communities,” Dr. Curtis said. “Of particular importance is the preparation of primary care clinicians to address critical behavioral health issues, including opioid use. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with our partners to develop solutions that meet the needs of the local community."
These efforts respond to critical needs in the aforementioned communities, including the development of a theoretical and clinical focus on substance use disorders, including opioids, and other mental health issues, as well as childhood obesity and development of telehealth competencies in students and preceptors to extend the accessibility of integrated behavioral health services in primary care. The grant will also support recruitment of NP students who plan to work with rural and medically-underserved populations, providing 64 students overall (16 students per year) with traineeship, thus fostering employment of nurse practitioners in rural and medically-underserved areas.