The Integrating Behavioral Health into Rural Medicine project supplements and complements ongoing Counseling Psychology (CP) Ph.D. training efforts and provides new field experiences and practicum opportunities for CP doctoral students to provide mental and behavioral health care to underserved populations living in rural areas across eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

Funding Agency: The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Years: 09/30/2017 – 8/31/2021

Funded Amount: $1,300,000

Subject/Grade level: Rural behavioral health

Graduate Assistant Support: NA

Post Doc: 1 100% post doc for each year of the project

Associated Faculty

Saba Rasheed Ali

Saba Rasheed Ali

Professor, Counseling Psychology

Charles Bermingham

Charles Bermingham

Clinical Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program


  • Grinnell College
  • UI Departments of Family Medicine and Psychiatry

Additional Information

Integrating Behavioral Health into Rural Medicine is a new collaboration between the University of Iowa (UI) Counseling Psychology (CP) program to catalyze change in the quality and quantity of behavioral treatment offered to underserve rural populations in integrated settings in the state of Iowa. The UI CP program will develop new partnerships with the University of Iowa (UI) Mobile Clinic and Grinnell College and expand ongoing partnerships with UI Health Care, the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in Iowa City and the VA Office of Rural Health in Iowa City to provide formal training to CP Ph.D. students in rural behavioral health care with a focus on veterans and Latinos living in rural areas. BHWET funds will support an increase in the number of practicum sites in rural settings serving veterans and Latinos (and other underserved groups); the development and implementation a new academic track; support a new post-doc position in rural health, and support 28 Ph.D. at practicum training at sites focused on underserved rural populations. Rural Americans, particularly Latinos, and veterans experience unique health disparities. As a group, veterans are at greater risk for PTSD and substance abuse, while rural Latinos struggle with major health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. CP students will work with family medicine residents to provide integrated health services to veterans and Latino immigrants through new and enhanced practicum experiences with the UI Mobile Clinic, the VAMC and VA Office of Rural Health in Iowa City. Project activities include mentorship from psychology and medicine faculty, supervision by allied health professionals, and participation in seminars focused on the health needs of Latinos and veterans. Training will be interdisciplinary and integrated; as part of the program, students will train with allied health students from medicine, nursing and public health. Specific Measurable Objectives: 1) add up to 12 new practicum field placements that provide integrated behavior health care in rural areas to underserved population and enhance current sites to include interdisciplinary training with allied health professionals, 2) develop a specialty track in integrated health service provision to underserved rural communities with a focus on veterans and Latinos and rural college counseling, 3) provide 7 stipends per year to students in interdisciplinary practicum experiences in rural settings with allied professionals, 4) provide cultural competence training to psychology graduate students and training on how to work effectively with allied health professionals and, 5) create a post-doc position in rural psychology within the UI CP program. The UI requests priority for Qualifications 1 and 2: The University of Iowa Counseling Psychology program seeks Funding Preference Qualification 1 and 2: 1. 44 % of our program graduates from AY 2015-2016 serve residents from MUC or in VA settings. 3 currently serve veterans in VA settings; 1 is working in a medically underserved rural communities; 1 is in the military and 4 are in university counseling centers. Qualification 2: 50 % of our program graduates from AY 2014-2015, 3 serve veterans in VA settings; none work in MUCs; 1 serves in a MUA, 1 works in private practice and 1 in a university counseling center.



Helping veterans, Latinos in rural communities

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Iowa veterans and Latinos in rural communities will have better access to mental health care thanks to a new $1.3-million-dollar grant received by the University of Iowa. The grant, “Integrating Behavioral Health into Rural Medicine,” is a new collaboration between the UI Counseling Psychology Program in the College of Education, the UI Mobile Clinic, and Grinnell College. Over the course of 4...