California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is among 12 universities and colleges in the state to receive a combined total of $1.47 million in grants to enhance family nurse practitioner and physician assistant training programs. With its $170,000 award, CSULB, along with USC, received the largest of the grants.
Administered through the Song-Brown Program within the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), the funding is meant to assist the growing demand for health care practitioners throughout California.
“This Song-Brown grant will enable us to educate more culturally competent and linguistically more proficient family nurse practitioner students to care for patients and families in underserved areas,” said Lucy Huckabay, director and professor, CSULB School of Nursing. “Also, it will enable us to offer the Spanish medical courses so that our family nurse practitioner students can communicate with our mostly Spanish-speaking patients.”
The Song-Brown program was established by the Song-Brown Act of 1973 to increase the number of family practice physicians and physician assistants being trained in the state to provide needed medical services to Californians. OSHPD works in conjunction with the California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission to award Song-Brown program funding.
“Family nurse practitioners and physician assistants are uniquely positioned to improve access to vulnerable populations,” said OSHPD Acting Director Stephanie Clendenin. Family nurse practitioners were added to the Song-Brown program in 1978, and in 2005, the program expanded to include registered nurses. Song-Brown funds come from a health facilities fee that goes into a special OSHPD administered California Health and Data Fund, which was statutorily established to receive and expend revenues in support of health care related programs.