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Agnes Scott Receives $1M to Train Physician Assistants, Mental Health Counselors

Leocadia I. ZakLeocadia I. ZakAgnes Scott College has been awarded $1 million in federal funds to train physician assistants and clinical mental health counselors in maternal and pediatric care.

“We are immensely grateful to Senators [Jon] Ossoff and [Raphael] Warnock for their support of our work to educate healthcare professionals, especially those who can make a difference in the lives of women and children,” said Agnes Scott College President Leocadia I. Zak.

The grant funding, part of the 2024 omnibus appropriations bill signed March 23 by President Joe Biden, will support the equipment, curriculum development, and technology needed for the college’s physician assistant and clinical mental health counseling graduate programs. It is expected to prepare more than 160 master’s students annually to practice as licensed professional counselors and certified physician assistants by 2027.

“This legislation makes strong investments that will lower childcare costs, support small businesses, strengthen rural health care and more,” said Senator Warnock, speaking about the appropriations act. “I’m proud it reflects my commitment to serving Georgians from Rome to Valdosta.”

Agnes Scott launched its clinical mental health counseling program in 2022 to address the state’s mental health crisis and plans to launch a physician assistant program in 2025 to meet the growing demand for physician assistants.

“Healthcare needs are growing dramatically in Georgia for providers specializing in maternal, neonatal, and pediatric health,” said Kelly H. Ball, associate vice president and dean for graduate studies. “By building these master’s programs, Agnes Scott is committed to transforming healthcare and addressing the most urgent healthcare needs in Georgia.”

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