Grants Aim to Train, Retain Psychiatry Students in WNY

Published June 28, 2018

Department of Psychiatry students are the beneficiaries of two grants for internships and scholarships totaling $494,250 from the Patrick P. Lee Foundation.

Doctoral Internship Program Funded

One of the grants, totaling $302,250, supports a psychology doctoral internship program overseen by Daniel Antonius, PhD, assistant  professor of psychiatry and director of the Division of Forensic Psychiatry.

“The psychology doctoral internship provides one year of full-time training that serves as the transition between doctoral study and professional life, and is the capstone experience in doctoral psychology training,” Antonius says. “We believe the internship has the potential to substantially benefit Western New York, where there is a lack of mental health professionals and treatment resources.”

“The internship will provide advanced training and high-quality trainees and services here, with the goal of retaining these psychologists in the area upon graduation from the program,” he adds. “This, in turn, will add invaluable quality and recognition to the mental health field in Western New York.”

Renewed Commitment to WNY Scholarship

The other grant, for $192,000, is a renewal of the foundation’s commitment to the Western New York Medical Scholarship Program, and provides scholarships to third- and fourth-year students who pledge to work in the eight-county region after completion of a psychiatry residency.

Steven L. Dubovsky, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry, said he is grateful for the “generous gift” from the Lee Foundation to the scholarship program, which “supports third- and fourth-year students committed to going into psychiatry and remaining in Western New York for at least five years.”

Training Experienced Mental Health Workforce

Jane Mogavero, executive director of the Lee Foundation, said the foundation is grateful for the university’s partnership and commitment to mental health issues.

“These grants are very complementary and well aligned with the Lee Foundation’s goal to promote a well-trained, experienced mental health workforce in Western New York,” she says.

Mogavero says the Lee Foundation will continue to fund scholarships for medical students entering psychiatry “to address the considerable shortage of mental health professionals, specifically psychiatrists and psychologists, in our community.”

“And we will expand our support to develop a psychology doctoral internship. With a focus on serious mental illness, the internship will ensure students do not need to leave Western New York to complete their training,” she adds.

The Patrick P. Lee Foundation, based in Williamsville, New York, focuses its investments in mental health and education. Patrick P. Lee, who built International Motion Control, a worldwide conglomerate with manufacturing facilities, formed the foundation in 2007.