PA Programs Awarded Funding to Support MAT Waiver Training Efforts

PAEA would like to congratulate the University of Kentucky and the University of Washington MEDEX Northwest PA programs on their recent awards under the Provider’s Clinical Support System-Universities program administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

The PCSS-Universities program is intended to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) by facilitating the integration of DATA waiver training into the curriculum of PA programs, medical schools, and nurse practitioner programs. Funding of up to $150,000 annually for a period of three years is provided to grantees to implement training for both faculty and students. 

“According to CDC data, Kentucky’s overdose death rate is ranked 7th in the US.  PAs are poised to be transformative leaders in our communities and save lives! The purpose of our award, which was written in honor of two veterans who I cared for who passed away due to overdoses, is to increase the number of our students, alumni, and preceptors who complete MAT waiver training and subsequently go on to expand access to this live-saving treatment,” said Cheryl Vanderford, MPAS, PA-C, Principal Investigator for the University of Kentucky’s award. 

In addition to the PA programs directly receiving funding through the award, other PA students are also expected to receive supported training via this program. Funding awarded to the North Carolina Governor’s Institute on Alcohol and Substance Abuse will be utilized to support training for students in North Carolina programs such as the Pfeiffer University program along with other health professions students in the state. 

The PCSS-Universities program builds upon PAEA’s recent track record of federally funded activities intended to bolster substance use disorder education. From 2018-2021, PAEA administered the MAT Waiver Training Initiative to encourage PA programs nationwide to integrate DATA waiver training into their curricula, allowing students to expand access more rapidly to MAT post-graduation. The percentage of programs requiring or offering training rose from 3% in 2018 to over 70% by the conclusion of the project. 

Members with questions regarding the PCSS-Universities program or PAEA’s efforts to strengthen substance use disorder education for students are invited to contact Tyler Smith at