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Congressman Gonzalez Announces $480,000 for UTRGV Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training Program

June 8, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced $480,000 in federal funding for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s (UTRGV) Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training Program awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  

This funding will be used for the interdisciplinary Integrated Primary and Behavioral Healthcare (I2PBH) initiative. The program aims to train the next generation of mental health graduates to deliver high-quality Integrated Behavioral Health clinical services by promoting a culture of well-being for surrounding communities in the Rio Grande Valley, a historically high-need, high-demand, medically underserved region. 

“I am proud to bring funding focused on expanding and improving access to mental health professionals in South Texas,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “It is vital our community has access to quality, state-of-the-art health care services. Better trained healthcare professionals will be able to better serve our community—especially as we deal with the personal effects of the pandemic.” 

“Behavioral health services are greatly needed in our area and we appreciate HRSA’s allocation of resources to this project which is designed to encourage behavioral health professionals to work in communities such as ours,” said John Ronnau, Ph.D., professor and senior associate dean for Community Health Partnerships, UTRGV School of Medicine. “The purpose of this grant is to increase the supply of behavioral health professionals while also improving the distribution of a quality behavioral health workforce, thereby increasing access to behavioral health services.”