The Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded a $1,492,465 grant to the UAB Physician Assistant Studies program to expand mental health training for students, increase the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine and extend clinical care to more underserved patient populations.
The HRSA grant is part of the program's PA Training Enhancement Initiative and goes through 2026. It will enhance student training in opioid and other substance use disorders by delivering a specialized addiction medicine elective rotation that will be offered to five UAB PA students.
As part of the new initiatives, the grant will provide the UAB PA program an opportunity to enhance their behavioral medicine didactic curriculum. New curriculum will be added to further develop student skills in recognizing and treating patients in the area of mental health.
Recent diversity efforts from the Physician Assistant Studies program have resulted in a double-digit increase over the past two years in the number of students underrepresented in medicine accepted to their incoming cohorts.
The HRSA grant will support an expansion of the recruiting and retention efforts of these students, to surpass the national average for physician assistant programs.