With Riverview Psychiatric Center working to regain its federal accreditation, the hospital announced Wednesday that it has received a small grant that may help it make improvements in one area.

Riverview is one of 15 programs across the country selected to receive a share of $275,000 to improve the quality of it’s doctoral intern program, which provides the hospital with doctoral students seeking clinical experience. The funding is part of the Accreditation Assistance Project of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers.

The funding helps hospitals achieve American Psychological Association accreditation, the highest level of accreditation for doctoral intern programs, which in turn attracts more and better quality candidates. The interns provide the hospital with extra staff at a lower cost than hiring licensed psychologists.

“This is very good news for Riverview and it’s a sign that under Superintendent Jay Harper’s leadership, the facility is continually becoming more efficient and more proactive,” said Mary Mayhew, commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the hospital.

In the spring of 2014, an evaluation of Riverview’s internship program identified 13 areas that needed improvement to maintain accreditation. DHHS says those deficiencies have all been addressed.

Riverview has already expanded the number of doctoral interns from two to four, which means the hospital now has a licensed clinical psychologist and a doctoral intern in each unit, but the new grant will strengthen the program further.

“Winning this funding for doctoral interns not only helps to train the next generation of psychology professionals, it strengthens the team we have in place at Riverview and allows us to better serve our patients and the public,” Harper said in a statement.

The amount of money Riverview will receive is to be determined, but Elizabeth Houghton-Faryna, the hospital assistant director of psychology and clinical training director, said there are additional benefits.

“We’re essentially being sponsored, so there is some hand-holding on this at the federal level, which saves on time and resources,” she said. “And the ultimate goal is to retain quality clinicians, not just here but in the state.”

The facility has been under scrutiny since a patient attacked a pregnant mental health worker in March 2013, leading to a federal survey that revealed a number of problems and cost the hospital its certification beginning in September 2013. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services cited numerous deficiencies at the hospital, including reports of officers using stun guns and handcuffs on patients.

Riverview is ineligible for federal reimbursement of about $20 million a year until it regains its federal certification. The state is appealing the certification ruling.