UPIKE Receives $750K HRSA Grant to Fund Master of Social Work Program

Pikeville, Ky. - The University of Pikeville, an East Kentucky Partner of SOAR, has been awarded a $750,000 competitive grant supported by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Funding will be utilized by UPIKE to create a Master of Social Work (MSW) program containing a specialization in mental health and addictions.

UPIKE’s MSW will contribute to the opioid workforce expansion program by increasing the number of professionals trained to transform integrated behavioral health and primary care teams, as well as to effectively prevent and treat substance abuse in community-based practices. The grant will aid the MSW program with student recruitment, personnel attainment, professional development, stipends for students and other key functions.

“We are grateful that HRSA invested in our Master of Social Work program in such a significant way,” said UPIKE President Burton J. Webb, Ph.D. “This investment will benefit the entire region by expanding the number of social work professionals trained in Appalachia with the skills needed to address the problems we all face together.”

Goals of the grant-funded project include, but are not limited to, placing a significant percentage of students in training areas with high levels of opioid/substance abuse disorder and having 75 percent of graduates employed in high-need areas.

UPIKE’s MSW is a 12-month program and hopes to welcome its inaugural class in the fall of 2020.