The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research has been awarded two Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) agreements to fund research centers.

With the 5-year $4.5M award, Brianna Lombardi and deputy director Lisa de Saxe Zerden will become the only federally-funded workforce center specifically focused on the behavioral health workforce. The UNC Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center (UNC-BHWRC) will conduct rigorous, data-driven research that will inform policy and planning to strengthen the behavioral health workforce and increase access to quality services delivered by practitioners from diverse backgrounds. UNC-BHWRC will produce the evidence needed to inform funding programs and strengthen training that improves access to, supply of, distribution, diversity, and quality of the behavioral health workforce.

The Program on Health Workforce Research and Policy also received a 5-year, $2.25 million award to support the Carolina Health Workforce Research Center (CHWRC). The CHWRC, established in 2013 and directed by Erin Fraher, focuses on a wide range of emerging health workforce topics. This year, the CHWRC will conduct research on: the changing number and composition of the nation’s health workforce in response to the pandemic and evolving care delivery and payment models; the organizational, professional and societal factors that contribute to provider wellness and career satisfaction; the interprofessional, team-based models of care needed to provide integrated primary, behavioral health, and social care to underserved populations; and the contributions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities to physician workforce diversity.