PAEA will receive a grant worth $476,000 over two years from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to facilitate the development, deployment, and assessment of a standardized substance use disorder (SUD) curriculum for PA programs. This recent news follows the release of the June competitive funding opportunity announcement from the SAMHSA Expansion of Practitioner Education program (PRAC-ED-PA).
From 2019–2021, PAEA staff will collaborate with the faculty of 10 pilot programs in the PRAC-ED-PA project to develop the standardized curriculum, which will be administered and evaluated prior to being expanded to an additional 10 programs in the second year of the project. Rick Dehn, MPA, PA-C, of Northern Arizona University and chair of PAEA’s Research Mission Advancement Commission, is the co-program director and will be responsible for assessment and grant outcomes research.
This grant opportunity was identified during a recent meeting between PAEA’s President Elect Howard Straker, EdD, MPH, PA, PAEA Government Relations staff, and Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Elinore McCance-Katz, MD, PhD. It builds upon PAEA’s substantive portfolio of grant initiatives related to the opioid epidemic and broader SUD crisis.
The 10 programs selected through a blinded evaluation process for the first year are: South University, Richmond; the Yale University School of Medicine; Case Western Reserve University; University of South Alabama; University of Oklahoma, Tulsa; Lake Erie College; Wichita State University; Marshall B. Ketchum University; Emory University; and the CUNY School of Medicine. Notably, this grant will allow for direct support to be provided to the participating programs in the form of honoraria for their efforts.
In addition to this newly funded project, PAEA has undertaken its MAT Waiver Training Initiative since 2018 in an effort to integrate the training necessary to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder into the curriculum of PA programs.
Complementing MAT training for students, a three-year sub-award to PAEA through the Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS) will allow the Association to conduct three annual eight-hour in-person MAT waiver training sessions targeted to faculty, preceptors, and other stakeholders. The MAT Initiative and PCSS sub-awards, combined with the PRAC-ED-PA grant award, total nearly $1 million.
Collectively, these grant initiatives represent the commitment of both PAEA and PA programs and faculty to ensure that graduates are fully prepared to provide high-quality care for those suffering from SUDs.
For questions regarding PRAC-ED-PA or PAEA’s other opioid response efforts, please contact advocacy@PAEAonline.org.