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Program recruits leaders for healthcare in Minnesota

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The Minnesota Consortium for Advanced Rural Psychology Training (MCARPT), in partnership with Sanford Health, has actively recruited and prepared students for positions of healthcare leadership in rural communities for the past four years.

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The program reaches out to doctoral-level psychology residents, and all of its graduates have assumed clinical and leadership roles in rural communities around the state of Minnesota, including Detroit Lakes, Thief River Falls, Mankato and Albert Lea.

"This program has helped to address the chronic shortage of quality-trained mental health professionals in small Minnesota towns and communities," stated Dr. Jeffrey Leichter, Sanford Clinic Detroit Lakes.

"Since its inception, trainees, under the supervision of licensed psychologists, have contributed nearly 9,000 hours of clinical service to uninsured and underinsured consumers, host sites and local communities, at a value of over $1.5 million dollars," said Leichter.

Sanford Clinic Perham has hosted postdoctoral students through this program since 2006.

The innovation and creativity of the program was recognized in 2005 by the Minnesota Department of Health as a "promising practice."

It is also one of only six post-doctoral training programs for psychologists in the state of Minnesota to be recognized by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) as meeting standards of quality training for psychologists.

MCARPT is an alliance of mental health professionals, mental health agencies, social service providers, medical health facilities and county and tribal government, along with allied agencies located in rural Becker, Mahnomen, and Ottertail and the White Earth Reservation.

The goal of MCARPT is to enhance the supply of rural mental health providers and their competencies through a one-year post doctoral training program.

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