About the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Grant

Project overview

The overall goal of the project is to increase the number of trainees in counseling psychology (CP) who have been taught how to engage in interprofessional collaboration with mental health counseling (MHC), nursing (DNP), social work (MSW), pharmacy (PharmD) and family medicine (FM) trainees, in order to provide culturally sensitive, integrative primary care services in a medically underserved community. The expansion will include 1 pre-doctoral intern in addition to 6 CP doctoral students in an academic program (per yr.) for a total of 21 CP trainees.


Objective 1: To provide didactic, team-based instruction to 7 CP, 10 FM, 6 DNP, 6 PharmD, 2 MSW and 2 MHC students in integrated, interdisciplinary primary care.

Objective 2: To provide didactic instruction to 7 CP, 2MSW and 2 MHC in culturally sensitive health delivery.

Objective 3: To enhance 7 CP, 6DNP, 2 MHC, and 30 FM trainees’ competencies in providing integrated behavioral health in primary care settings.

Objective 4: To provide training in behavioral health services for Spanish-speaking clients to 3 bilingual CP and 2 MHC trainees per year.


Interdisciplinary training will occur within six components. a.) DNP, PharmD, CP, MSW & FM trainees will engage in a one-week, 40 hour “Interprofessional Immersion” experience, which will allow them to utilize a team-based approach to provide services to patients in several primary care settings. This immersion will be co-taught by FM, DNP, MSW, PharmD and CP faculty. b.) MSW, MHC, DNP and CP trainees, will take a course, “Primary Care Psychology,” which uses a problem-based approach to case study analysis, as well as a field experience in primary care settings to teach the biopsychosocial model of health and the effectiveness of multidisciplinary collaboration (8 hr/wk). This course will be taught by a CP faculty, but will feature guest speakers from the other disciplines. c.) In the subsequent semester, the CP trainees will collaborate with the FM residents at the FM residency clinic in addition to providing services at a FQHC as part of a practicum titled, “Behavioral Health Practicum” for 18 hr/wk. d.) CP trainees will continue to provide services in the following Summer or Fall Semesters as part of “Field Experience in Primary Care” for at least 150 hrs. e.) MSW, MHC, and CP trainees will take a Mindfulness class in order to enhance their understanding of the mind-body integration. f.) Bilingual CP & MHC trainees who are providing behavioral health services in Spanish will receive bilingual supervision. Students engaging in all of these training components will earn an Integrated Behavioral Healthcare Graduate Minor. Trainees’ self-confidence in providing integrated primary care will be measured before and after the grant activities, along with supervisors’ evaluation of CP trainees’ primary care competencies. CP program completers of the project will be better prepared to provide culturally competent, integrated primary care in MUCs.

Training Sites

Family Medicine Center (FMC) of Southern New Mexico Family Medicine Residency Programfam-med-center

The FMC is a training clinic for the SNMFMR Program and it is staffed by physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners. It is the clinic site for a three-year Family Medicine residency program sponsored by Memorial Medical Center (MMC) in Las Cruces (a fully-accredited tertiary care hospital). FMC is a modern, full-service facility designed to meet the comprehensive health care needs of individuals and families with an emphasis placed on sensitivity to local ethnicity and culture (over 15,000 patient contacts a year). In the FMC there is a commitment to the patient as a whole person, continuity of care, and accessible and affordable care. Treatment uses a family systems approach, and is community oriented. The FMC offers pediatric, obstetrical, and adult medical services so that the entire family can be seen by the same physician. The FMC serves patients from ethnically diverse backgrounds, primarily serving patients of Latino descent, and also serving Native American, Caucasian, and other ethnicities. Over 50% of patients have Medicaid or Medicare.

The FMC has an established relationship with the CEP department as a result of this grant. On-site supervision and coordination efforts will be provided by Dr. Hoover and the Graduate Assistant assigned to him. CP students will provide assessment and diagnosis for a wide range of mental disorders; individual and family therapy; psychoeducational interventions for scheduled group sessions on certain health behaviors such as smoking cessation, dietary changes, and stress management (including mindfulness-based meditation); and develop treatment plans for patient adherence to medications and other life-skills training. We are proposing that 18 CP students, 6 MHC students, and 30 FM residents will provide services at this site as part of the grant activities over the three year period.

La Clinica de Familia (LCDF)LCDF-Administration

LCDF serves Southern Dona Ana County, with seven Primary Health Care Clinics and four School-Based sites. LCDF is designated as a Federal Qualified Health Center (FQHC), a Migrant Health Center and a Community Health Center; and is a HRSA grant recipient. Recently LCDF also became a Core Service agency providing behavioral health services in two clinics for all of Dona Ana County. LCDF staff includes physicians (internal medicine, family practice, gynecological), certified nurse practitioners, dentists, dental hygienists, social workers, behavioral health psychologists, and prescribing psychologists . LCDF provides services to 30,000 patients/clients. The Promotora Family Education Program helps pregnant women access early prenatal care, families access health & social services, and provides community education on health-related topics. The Adult Wellness Program offers free classes focused on exercise and diet. The Adolescent Family Life Program offers teen pregnancy health-related and parenting education; family support for teens 18 and under; individual, group and family counseling; domestic violence prevention; car-seat safety education; and presentations on conflict resolution, building communications skills and promoting self-esteem for grades 5-12. The Early Head Start, Primero Los Ninos, is a child development program with an emphasis on family involvement. Services include early childhood education, and Healthy Start provides services for pregnant women and family support services.

LCDF has school-based health centers (SBHC) during school hours at four high schools in Dona Ana County: Centennial, Santa Teresa, Chaparral, and Gadsden. These SBHC provide primary care, mental health services, reproductive counseling, and substance abuse treatment to any student at that school regardless of whether the students possess insurance. The SBHC are staffed by counselors, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, primary care physicians, public health educators, family nurse practitioners, emergency medical technicians, school nurses, and psychologists. The SBHCs already have an established relationship with the CP, and DNP programs. Coordination of services is provided by Dr. Linda Summer and Dr. Harper. The CP students have predominantly provided individual therapy and consulted with other treatment providers, but we would like to expand services to include: group therapy, family interventions, and psychoeducational interventions in classrooms on stress management, anger and conflict, sexuality, and career planning. The SBHCs will take CP, MHC, and DNP students.

LCDF has an established relationship with the CEP department, including sharing one temporary faculty line, a behavioral health psychologist. This position was created in order to increase the capacity at LCDF to provide more integrated behavioral health care in the LCDF system, as well as to increase the training opportunities for CEP students. In addition, LCDF already has an established relationship with the FM program including several program completers now working as LCDF medical staff. More recently, as the residency program is expanding its number of positions, LCDF has become the other training site (besides FMC) for the residents. CP and MHC students will provide individual, group, and family therapy, consult with the treatment teams, and provide psychoeducational groups for patients with diabetes and asthma.

Mesilla Valley Hospice

For 32 years, Mesilla Valley Hospice has provided that comfort, care, and compassion to families throughout Doña Ana County. They provide service in home, in assisted living facilities and nursing homes, and at our hospice house, La Posada.

Ben Archer Health Center serves Dona Ana, Luna, Sierra and Otero Counties, with eleven Primary Health Care Clinics and six School-Based Health Center sites. BAHC is designated as a Federal Qualified Health Center (FQHC), a Migrant Health Center and a Community Health Center; and is a HRSA grant recipient.  Ben Archer Health Center has been providing primary care services since 1971. BAHC provides services to over 38,000 patients/clients.
Behavioral health services are integrated with primary care and include individual counseling, couples counseling, family counseling and group counseling for women with issues of depression and low self-esteem.  BAHC has school-based health centers (SBHC) during school hours at four high schools in Dona Ana County: Mayfield, Las Cruces, and Onate High Schools and recently added Arrowhead Early College High School and recently began providing behavioral health services at Dona Ana Community College.  These SBHCs provide primary care, mental health services, reproductive counseling, and substance abuse treatment to any student at that school regardless of whether the students possess insurance.  The SBHCs are staffed by mental health providers, psychiatric nurse practitioners, family nurse practitioners, and emergency medical technicians.


Grant Curricular Components


Read more about our graduate minor in Integrated Behavioral Health