Primary Care Project

What is the Primary Care Project?

  • The Primary Care Project helps MSW students from disadvantaged backgrounds fulfill their training in integrated behavioral health services within a primary care setting as part of their final MSW internship. Each year, selected students will receive up to a $30,000 scholarship.
  • Participants must meet the federal definition of a student from a disadvantaged background, which includes under-represented minorities (URMs), first-generation students, and those considered educationally, environmentally, or economically disadvantaged.

By The Numbers

$3.25M
Amount received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to award scholarships over 5 years.
65%
of USC MSW students are people of color.

Project Goals

The Primary Care Project’s goal is to train 110 MSW students from 2020 to 2025 to provide integrated and interprofessional behavioral health services in primary care settings for vulnerable populations. In addition to the scholarships awarded to students, the school will  commit $10,010 of cost sharing annually.

The goals of the PCP are:

  1. Recruiting, increasing, and retaining MSW students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to working in primary care settings;
  2. Improving education and preparation of MSW interns from disadvantaged backgrounds to work in primary care settings;
  3. Increasing the number and capacity of primary care agencies offering MSW internships; and
  4. Supporting participants to gain employment in primary care/integrated behavioral health settings.

This scholarship is funded by a federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration through its Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) program.

Program Details

This one-year year scholarship of up to $30,000 is available annually to selected campus-based and Virtual Academic Center (VAC) MSW students who will graduate in the spring or summer semesters and who are committed to providing primary care services in medically underserved communities (MUCs) in southern California and throughout the United States. 

Recipients of this scholarship must complete qualified field placements and be from either the Adult Mental Health and Wellness (AMHW) or the Children, Youth and Families (CYF) department. They must meet the federal definition of a student from a disadvantaged background, which includes under-represented minorities (URMs), first-generation students, and those considered educationally, environmentally, or economically disadvantaged. The student MUST apply for the FAFSA to be considered.  Students selected for the PCP will receive integrated behavioral health training in primary care internships and will commit to seeking employment in primary care settings with a focus on MUCs upon graduation.

Please keep in mind that this program is a federally funded program and awarded annually. 

How to Apply

  • For students graduating spring or summer 2023, please carefully review the Primary Care Project Information Sheet 2022-23 Third Cohort for more details.
  • For Third Cohort students graduating in spring or summer of 2023, the PCP application will remain open through May 31, 2022. Click this link to access the Primary Care Project Application (please see the attached application survey template).
  • Questions regarding the HRSA application status can be sent to Ms. Keisha Lee, Administrative Support, Workforce Development Stipend/Scholarship Program, via keishale@usc.edu.  Applicants will receive notice of award by email summer 2022.

Involved Faculty

  • Suh Chen Hsiao

    ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, FIELD EDUCATION
    CLINICAL ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL WORK

    Dr. Hsiao specializes in community health promotion and interventions through interdisciplinary/interprofessional collaboration in behavioral health settings serving medically underserved populations across the lifespan.

     

  • Ruth Cislowski

    CLINICAL ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL WORK
    FIELD EDUCATION

    Ruth Cislowski specializes in nonprofit management, workforce development, grant administration and oversight of integrated behavioral health services for low-income and medically underserved communities.

     

  • Ruth Ann Supranovich

    DIRECTOR, FIELD EDUCATION
    CLINICAL ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL WORK

    Ruth Supranovich serves families impacted by child sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, and exposure to family and community violence.

  • Omar Lopez

    DIRECTOR OF STIPEND PROGRAMS
    CLINICAL PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL WORK
    FIELD EDUCATION

    Specializes in the administration of grant-funded initiatives with a focus on workforce development programs that train MSW students.

  • Placeholder image

    CLINICAL ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL WORK
    FIELD EDUCATION

  • Melissa Singh

    CLINICAL ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL WORK
    FIELD EDUCATION

    Melissa Singh is a Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

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Quote

The increased need for competent social workers to work in primary care settings in California is acute, particularly in historically underserved communities. The scholarship is one way to create opportunities for students to pursue practice in their communities without the worry of unmanageable student loan debt.

- Suh Chen Hsiao, clinical associate professor and co-principal investigator.

Resources for Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at USC

Racial Justice

Our Commitment to Racial Justice

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work is dedicated to eliminating racial injustice and promoting an ongoing process of healing and reconciliation to dismantle racism. 

Commitment to Racial Justice Statement

Land Acknowledgement

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Video