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La Salle News

January 17, 2023

Addressing the mental health needs of Northwest Philadelphia and beyond

Campus in spring

The MacCready Family Foundation grant will enhance La Salle’s Psy.D. program, its community clinic, and clinical training opportunities for its doctoral students. 

 La Salle has received a $100,000 grant from the MacCready Family Foundation that will enable the University’s Department of Psychology and its doctoral program in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) to better serve the mental health needs of its Northwest Philadelphia community and beyond. The grant also will support the Psy.D. program’s training clinic and benefit students through curricular and programmatic enhancements. 

The six-figure provision from the MacCready Family Foundation better positions La Salle, its Psy.D. program, and a training clinic that supports the mental health needs of its neighboring community.  

The six-figure provision from the MacCready Family Foundation better positions La Salle, its Psy.D. program, and a training clinic that supports the mental health needs of its neighboring community.

“This partnership reflects a shared commitment to support psychologists in training, bridge gaps in mental health care, reduce barriers to mental health treatment, and reach historically underserved populations in need of mental health care,” said Elizabeth Goetter, Ph.D., director of La Salle’s Psy.D. program. 

For years, the La Salle University Community Psychology Services, or LUCPS, has acted as a valuable resource serving the Belfield neighborhood and the Olney section of Northwest Philadelphia. The community clinic provides high-quality, evidence-based psychological services at little or no cost to members of the neighborhood around La Salle and the broader Philadelphia community. Further, LUCPS provides unique training opportunities and experiences to Psy.D. students.  

Launched a quarter-century ago, La Salle’s Psy.D. program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and is known nationally for its excellence and student success rate in preparing exceptional practitioners of clinical psychology. 

The MacCready Family Foundation’s grant will allow LUCPS to expand access to its low- or no-cost services and to purchase test kits and other vital assessment materials. The grant will also allow the clinic to obtain physical resources for the LUCPS. Furniture upgrades and child-friendly enhancements will increase the utility and comfort of the space, making it a more therapeutic environment for the child and adolescent patients seen in the clinic.  

Learn how you can support this and other programs at La Salle by contacting John Zabinski, La Salle’s Vice President of University Advancement, at 215-951-1969 or zabinski@lasalle.edu.

The grant also strengthens La Salle’s Psy.D. program by increasing available funding for students seeking research development opportunities and broadening the PsyD program’s existing speaker series. Additionally, it will allow the program to more deeply invest in diversity and advocacy initiatives core to the program’s mission. These include faculty development in diversity, equity, and inclusion pedagogical strategies and potential scholarships for students. 

The COVID-19 pandemic, said Goetter, has amplified the need for mental health resources and cognitive assessments not just locally in Philadelphia, but beyond. In some cases, she added, the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing conditions or brought on new diagnoses—all as health systems are grappling with inequities in access to and availability of treatments, resources, and more. 

“We are grateful for the MacCready Family Foundation’s incredible support, which unquestionably delivers a profound impact on our students and our Philadelphia neighbors,” said Goetter, also an associate professor in La Salle’s Department of Psychology. “A hallmark of our psychology department and the Psy.D. program is the skillful training of our students, maximally equipping them to become practitioner scholars and culturally responsive psychologists. This grant supports that mission. It’s a win-win for our students and community.” 

The MacCready Family Foundation grant, Goetter added, will enhance the patient experience and the psychological service offerings in the LUCPS through sustainable programmatic and clinic changes with a multi-year impact. La Salle Psy.D. students will also have a more enriched training experience which will provide meaningful benefit to current and future clients. 

“We are honored to be in a position to support the mission of La Salle’s Psy.D. program, as well as LUCPS,” said MacCready Family Foundation president Molly Knox. “We had the privilege of visiting the clinic recently and speaking with both Dr. Goetter and clinic director Ken Gold, Psy.D. The ongoing work of educating upcoming clinical practitioners and providing affordable and immediate mental health care for residents in Philadelphia is vitally important in this time. We look forward to a continuing relationship with La Salle.” 

—Christopher A. Vito