Herzing University awarded $1.92 million grant to promote behavioral health education

George Vandervalk

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ST. LOUIS, MO — Herzing University has received a $1.92 million federal grant to help improve the health of underserved and vulnerable populations through its Master of Science in Nursing - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program.

The grant will be used to fund a new Herzing program called Every Experience Counts, designed to educate underrepresented minorities to serve as mental health nurse practitioners in mental health and primary care settings in high-need, high-demand areas.

Herzing University President Renee Herzing said, "Mental health care is a persistent need in underserved communities and Herzing University is proud to educate professionals who can lead diagnosis and treatment efforts."

He then added, "The Every Experience Counts program and this grant align with our mission of access to education and healthcare, empowerment of individuals, and strengthening of our communities."

Meanwhile, vice president of marketing at Rogers Behavioral Health and member of the Herzing University Healthcare Advisory Board, Anne Ballentine, commented, "This funding will ultimately increase the pipeline of nurses with behavioral health expertise at a time when they are so needed."

The grant will allow Herzing University through Every Experience Counts to educate and train 120 students in the PMHNP program through 2025.

The nursing department chair at Herzing University, Dr. Tricia Wagner, remarked, "Our efforts through Every Experience Counts will focus on our campuses across six states, our clinical partners across the U.S. and many of our students which are in high need and high demand areas."

The six states where a disproportionate number of residents live in medically underserved areas, especially related to mental health care, are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Herzing's HRSA award was announced in June and is included in the $22 million provided to 56 recipients as part of the (BHWET) Program for Professionals.

Funded through the American Rescue Plan, the new grants bring the total of BHWET awards to $66 million for 168 organizations.

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