Southern Illinois University to host behavioral health workforce center

Southern Illinois University in Carbondale will serve as the primary administrative hub for the state;s new Behavioral Health Workforce Center, according to a Sept. 22 article written in the Springfield State Journal-Register by Jerry Kruse, MD, dean and provost of the SIU School of Medicine.

The center was initially established through the Health Care and Human Services Reform Act of 2021, the healthcare pillar of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. SIU was selected as the primary hub by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in March.

The BHWC will be a model for ongoing research and collaborative programs, enhancing the training for psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers and licensed clinical professional counselors across the state.

"The expansion of training programs, training sites, and continuing education programs for mental health professionals will be the BHWC Field of Dreams," Dr. Kruse said. "'If you train them, they will stay.'"

The BHWC at SIU will work in collaboration with a secondary hub at the University of Illinois Chicago.

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