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Clinical Pharmacy Specialist Mental Health

Big Spring, TX, USA | USA Government

  • Industry:
    Government / Military
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
  • Experience:
    1-3 years
Job Description:
78 people have viewed this job

Work Schedule: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, 8:30 am - 5 pm, or otherwise as defined by supervisor.

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required for this position.

Recruitment/Relocation Incentive may be authorized.

This is a drug testing position.

Incumbent may be eligible to apply for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP) if funding is available. Please contact Human Resources at this medical center and speak with the EDRP Coordinator for additional information.

The Mental Health Clinical Pharmacy Specialist is a licensed pharmacist. The incumbent is responsible for providing pharmaceutical care to patients seen in the mental health setting. The primary responsibility of the Clinical Pharmacy Specialist is the provision of evidence-based pharmaceutical care services through direct care with patients and consultation with other providers on their team. This pharmacist promotes and manages drug therapy based on current clinical knowledge that is consistent with policies and guidelines established at the national, VISN, and local levels. The incumbent strives to consistently provide pharmaceutical care to patients and optimizes patient care outcomes and functions at the highest level of clinical practice, works independently under their scope of practice as defined by the medical center to directly care for patients. Responsible for or provides back-up for all pharmacist functions within the pharmacy.

Functions include:


(1) Reviews and evaluates request for non-formulary and restricted drugs for appropriateness and compliance with established criteria where applicable

(2) Is directly involved in the design, implementation, and monitoring of therapeutic drug plans to achieve definite outcomes through direct interactions with patients and providers in assigned areas in mental health

(3) Functions independently under scope of practice as defined by the medical center to provide pharmaceutical care to patients the includes but is not limited to the following: Initiating, modifying or discontinuing medication therapy, ordering labs and other tests to help determine efficacy or toxicity of medications, designing, implementing, assessing, monitoring and documenting therapeutic plans utilizing best evidence or VHA and/or West Texas VA HCS guidelines.

(4) Incumbent is actively involved in reviewing patient psychotropic medication regimens for clinical effectiveness, drug selection, dosing, contraindications, side effects, potential drug interactions, and therapeutic outcomes as required. Communicates findings with prescribers and provides appropriate alternatives to current treatment plans as needed. Is able to apply knowledge of normal laboratory values in the evaluation of patient care and recognizes significant abnormalities.

(5) Has expertise in the principles of clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and is knowledgeable and able to make dose adjustment recommendations based on objective laboratory findings.

(6) Provides patient-specific drug therapy to maximize patient response and minimize drug interactions, adverse drug effects, and polypharmacy while providing cost-effective treatment. The assessments are based on clinical reviews and objectives measures. Clinical pharmacy specialists will determine if a referral to the physician is necessary when disease progression occurs or adverse drug events require treatment interventions.

(7) Incumbent works with other Mental Health Staff (i.e. Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Nurses, etc.) and assists in providing psycho-education and medication management to patients in both individual and group settings. Documents Clinical interventions and therapeutic plans accurately in CPRS in a timely and professional manner as appropriate.

(8) Incumbent serves on medical center and/or VISN committees as requested.

(9) Has a good working knowledge of information resources, both written and electronic. Uses appropriate references to research drug information.


(1) Involved in educational activities, providing in-service, intra-service or other presentations.

(2) Educates patients on the safe and appropriate use and care of their medications.

(3) Serves as an effective preceptor directing and supervising pharmacy students or residents as assigned.

(4) Assists in the development, enhancement and operation of student training programs.

(5) Participates in activities of interdisciplinary training and in-servicing of medical staff, nursing staff, residents, students and other allied health professionals at WTVAHCS as required.


(1) Assist in planning and implementing of Pharmacy Quality assurance activities. Serves on committees requiring pharmacy input.

(2) Assist in the operation of all areas of Pharmacy Service including distribution and clinical work in other areas (e.g, medication order review and verification, patient counseling, inpatient staffing and filling prescriptions if needed)

The incumbent is under the general supervision of the Chief, Pharmacy Service. However, the position will be directly supervised by either the Assistant Chief, Pharmacy Service or Clinical Coordinator, Pharmacy Service.

The incumbent will be required to meet customer service, age-appropriate/developmental/cultural needs of patients, security, patient safety and other requirements as specified.

You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job

Designated and/or random drug testing may be required

Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959

You may be required to serve a probationary period

Subject to a background/security investigation

Must be proficient in written and spoken English

Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 10/04/2019.

Basic Requirements:

United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.

Education: Graduate of an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredited College or School of Pharmacy with a baccalaureate degree in pharmacy (BS Pharmacy) and/or a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. Verification of approved degree programs may be obtained from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 20 North Clark Street, Suite 2500, Chicago, Illinois 60602-5109; phone: (312) 664-3575, or through their Web site at:

(NOTE: Prior to 2005 ACPE accredited both baccalaureate and Doctor of Pharmacy terminal degree program. Today the sole degree is Doctor of Pharmacy.)

Graduates of foreign pharmacy degree programs meet the educational requirement if the graduate is able to provide proof of achieving the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Commission (FPGEC) Certification, which includes passing the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT).

Licensure: Full, current and unrestricted license to practice pharmacy in a State, Territory, Commonwealth of the United States (i.e., Puerto Rico), or the District of Columbia. The pharmacist must maintain current registration if this is a requirement for maintaining full, current, and unrestricted licensure. A pharmacist who has, or has ever had, any license(s) revoked, suspended, denied, restricted, limited, or issued/placed in a probationary status may be appointed only in accordance with the provisions in VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, section B, paragraph 16.

NOTE: Individuals who have or have had multiple licenses and had any such license revoked for professional misconduct, professional incompetence or substandard care, or who surrendered such license after receiving written notice of potential termination of such license by the State for professional misconduct, professional incompetence, or substandard care, are not eligible for appointment to the position unless such revoked or surrendered license is fully restored (38 U.S.C. § 7402(f)). Effective November 30, 1999, this is a requirement for employment. This requirement does not apply to licensed pharmacists on VA rolls as of that date, provided they maintain continuous appointment and are not disqualified for employment by any subsequent revocations or voluntary surrenders of State license, registration or certification.

English Language Proficiency: Pharmacists must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d)

Grade Determinations: In addition to the GS-12 requirements (1 year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level, or completion of an ACPE-accredited Pharm.D. program), must have 1 year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. GS12 KSAs are listed here as a reference:

1. Knowledge of professional pharmacy practice.

2. Ability to communicate orally and in writing to both patients and health care staff.

3. Knowledge of laws, regulations, and accreditation standards related to the distribution and control of scheduled and non-scheduled drugs and pharmacy security.

4. Skill in monitoring and assessing the outcome of drug therapies, including physical assessment and interpretation of laboratory and other diagnostic parameters.

Assignments: For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, administrative independence, complexity (difficulty) and range of variety as described in this standard at the specified grade level and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time.

Clinical Pharmacy Specialist: The clinical pharmacy specialist (CPS) functions at the highest level of clinical practice, works independently under their scope of practice as defined by the individual medical center to directly care for patients. A CPS plays a defined role in budgetary execution and serves as a mid-level provider who functions to initiate, modify or discontinue medication therapy and as a consultant for intensive medication therapy management services. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: designing, implementing, assessing, monitoring and documenting therapeutic plans utilizing the most effective, least toxic and most economical medication treatments; helping achieve positive patient centric outcomes through direct and indirect interactions with patients, providers, and interdisciplinary teams in assigned areas; performing physical assessments; and ordering laboratory and other tests to help determine efficacy and toxicity of medication therapy.

Pharmacists assigned to this position must demonstrate the following KSAs:

a. Ability to communicate orally and in writing to persuade and influence clinical and management decisions.

b. Expert understanding of regulatory and quality standards for their program area.

c. Ability to solve problems, coordinate and organize responsibilities to maximize outcomes in their program area or area of clinical expertise.

d. Expert knowledge of a specialized area of clinical pharmacy practice or specialty area of pharmacy.

e. Advanced skill in monitoring and assessing the outcome of drug therapies, including physical assessment and interpretation of laboratory and other diagnostic parameters.

Preferred experience: Postgraduate Year-2 Residency training in Mental Health or equivalent clinical experience in Outpatient Mental Health are preferred for this position.

Creditable Experience:

Knowledge of Professional Pharmacy Practices: To be creditable, the experience must have demonstrated the use of knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with professional pharmacy practice. Professional practice means paid/non-paid employment as a professional or unlicensed graduate pharmacist as defined by the appropriate licensing board.

Residency and Fellowship Training: Residency and fellowship training programs in a specialized area of clinical pharmacy practice may be substituted for creditable experience on a year-for-year basis. The pharmacy residency program must be accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). A fellowship program that is not accredited by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) will need to have comparable standards for experience to be creditable (Professional Standards Board refers to the Deputy Chief Consultant for Professional Practice for the determination).

Quality of Experience: Qualifying experience must be at a level comparable to pharmacy experience at the next lower level. Experience as a Graduate Pharmacist is creditable provided the candidate was used as a professional pharmacist (under supervision) and subsequently passed the appropriate licensure examination.

Part-time Experience: Part-time experience as a professional pharmacist is credited according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. For example, a pharmacist employed 20 hours a week, or on a 1/2-time basis, would receive 1 full-time workweek of credit for each 2 weeks of service.

References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G15

Physical Requirements: The work requires regular and recurring physical exertion such as prolonged standing, bending, reaching for supplies or materials and lifting moderately heavy items. The work may require specific physical characteristics and abilities such as dexterity and color vision.

The full performance level of this series is GS12. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is the GS13.


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