Main content
Emory School of Nursing receives gift to train pediatric psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners
Media Contact
Lauren Powers
Director of Communications and Marketing
Practitioner with patient

The nation's leading experts in pediatric health, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), have named the mental health crisis among children a national emergency. Shortages of qualified mental health professionals are at crisis levels locally, statewide, nationally, and globally. This shortage disproportionately affects the pediatric and adolescent populations, and this crisis is compounded for children of color.

To address this shortage, Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing is partnering with the Liz Blake Giving Fund and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Children’s) to develop a scholarship program to expand and equip the workforce of mental health professionals.

The Blake Scholars Program will provide full tuition for nurse practitioners with an interest in child and adolescent behavioral and mental health to pursue a post-graduate certificate in psychiatric mental health nursing from Emory’s School of Nursing. Graduates of the Blake Scholars Program will be considered for pediatric psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner positions at Children’s, including the new Zalik Behavioral and Mental Health Center

“The Atlanta pediatric community has been strengthened by the recent arrival of John Constantino, MD, chief of behavioral and mental health at Children’s. He has a proven track record of innovating, transforming access, and pioneering prevention strategies in behavioral and mental health care for children,” said Liz Blake, founder of the Liz Blake Giving Fund, “Through this scholarship, we are thrilled to leverage the strengths of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and Children’s to address this unprecedented crisis in mental health for children. A core value of the Liz Blake Giving Fund is collaboration. The partnership with Emory School of Nursing and Children’s is exactly the type of transformational alignment we are excited to support.”

The program is a 26-credit hour, three-semester program with six classes. Classes will be held online with both onsite and virtual intensives and clinical practica. Classes will start in Fall 2023.

For admissions requirements, information sessions, or additional program information, visit For questions, email

About the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing 

As one of the nation's top nursing schools, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University is committed to educating visionary nurse leaders and scholars. The school offers undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and non-degree programs, bringing together cutting-edge resources, distinguished faculty, top clinical experiences, and access to leading health care partners to shape the future of nursing and impact our world's health and well-being.

About the Liz Blake Giving Fund

Liz and Frank Blake have been active leaders in the philanthropic community in Atlanta for many years, both in their professional careers and in retirement. In late 2019, the Blakes launched the Liz Blake Giving Fund, which supports effective partnerships seeking to make a collective impact on women and their children through 2Generations approaches to promote: the empowerment of women as successful providers for their families and leaders in their communities, as well as the early brain and social development of infants and young children. This Scholarship supports the healthy social-emotional development in children and infants. 

Recent News