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Behavioral Health Preceptor Program

Increasing Behavioral Health Capacity

Background...

Behavioral health services are in high demand across the country, and the need for qualified behavioral health providers has increased even more due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goals...

  • Increase number of behavioral health providers
  • Integrate behavioral health into primary and other types of care visits
  • Improve health outcomes

Results...

  • $850,000 given in funding to 19 organizations to hire over 50 behavioral health interns
  • New Washington State bill to provide $293,334 through Washington Healthcare Authority

Details...

In 2021, GHN completed the first round of the Behavioral Health Preceptorship program. Launched in June 2020, 19 organizations received $850,000 in funding to hire over 50 interns across specialties including counseling, social work, psychology, and substance use disorders. GHN not only recognized the shortage in behavioral health professionals in the region but saw the opportunity to help connect students to the healthcare workforce.

As a means to bridge the gap between education and the workforce, we provided the needed support to organizations willing to precept students (who needed clinical hours to complete their certifications) but were not in the position to due to a variety of reasons (budgeting, supervising requirements, training resources, etc.).

GHN worked with the Washington State Health Workforce Council and Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board to advance investments in the state’s behavioral health workforce.

The success of this project led to further support by the Health Care Authority under House Bill 1504 with an additional $293,334 in further funding for 2021-2023 preceptor project for seven organizations to precept behavioral health interns.