Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

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$2.8M Federal Grant Will Help Underserved Communities

$2.8M Federal Grant Will Help Underserved Communities

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded a $2.8M grant to Jenny O’Rourke, PhD, APN-BC, CHSE, Assistant Professor and Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, to support scholarships for Niehoff nurse practitioner (NP) students during the last year of their program.  The funds extend the P-PATH (Promoting Primary Care Access To Healthcare) to M-PATH (Mental Health) project, which seeks to strengthen and enhance the education of primary care NPs to meet the needs of underserved communities with a focus on mental health and substance use disorders.  Students will participate in clinical sites throughout Chicago, including with Access Healthcare, a new partner.  As part of the grant, O’Rourke and her team will develop content for students and preceptors in mental health and addiction, and will work with other awardees from across the country to  develop a telehealth toolkit. 

The M-PATH project aligns with Loyola University Chicago’s Jesuit mission and its commitment to the poor, social responsibility and justice.  The project and students will help address the inadequate and uneven distribution of health care professionals, particularly primary care nurse practitioners, as well as meet the increasing needs of people with complex mental/behavioral health and addiction issues, many of which can be addressed with primary care NPs.