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Psychologist - Chief Of Psychology

Wilkes Barre, PA, USA | USA Government

  • Industry:
    Government / Military
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    General Management
  • Experience:
    3-5 years
Job Description:
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The Psychologist (Assistant Chief) reports directly to the Associate Chief of Staff (ACOS) for Behavioral Health Service and is highly skilled in the delivery of Behavioral Health services. He/She has advanced knowledge of psychological diagnostic· assessment and behavioral health therapeutic interventions which qualify him/her to provide advice and consultation to professionals across a variety of disciplines.

Supervision of all psychologists and multi-disciplinary staff in several integrated behavioral health programs for Wilkes- Barre VAMC to include:

Inpatient psychiatry unit and Outpatient Mental Health (BHIP)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Primary Care Mental Health Integration (PCMHI)

Compensation and Pension Evaluations

Staff include psychologists, Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, psychology technicians

The major duties include but are not limited to:

Planning, developing, coordinating, directing and evaluating integrated behavioral health programs for Wilkes Barre VAMC.

Performing a wide range of program management functions through participation and planning on various committees and workgroups on both the station and VISN level.

Developing and maintaining continuous programming in the areas of organizational improvement, continuing education, scope of practice, clinical privileging and other quality improvement activities for the programs under direct supervision

Providing direct health care to patients within his/her area of clinical expertise by applying advanced professional psychological diagnostic methods and evidence-based intervention strategies to a full range of patient issues in his/her work setting.

Collaborating with leadership of other services (e.g. social work, primary care)

The multidisciplinary nature of this position requires the incumbent operate within different conceptual frameworks of each profession. The ability to integrate this information on a flexible nature is essential to ensure success of behavioral health programming. Adding to the complexity of this position is the physical dispersion of clinical operations, with behavioral health services provided at Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) across a large catchment area. The incumbent must travel to CBOCs on recurring basis to ensure effective leadership and supervision.

As a psychology executive, the essential responsibilities include full oversight of the professional practice of psychology, as well as operations and professional management of highly complex, multidisciplinary staff, specialty programs and administrative tasks that are complex in scope and impact a significant portion of Veterans presenting to the medical center. Supervision of staff and Specialty Program oversight includes: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Care Mental Health Integration (PCMHI), Compensation and Pension evaluations, inpatient/outpatient Mental Health programming.

-Has line and staff authority for resource allocations within the area of responsibility, translating management goals and objectives to both professional and non-professional staff within the programs to provide well-coordinated, efficient operation of the unit. Develops all necessary information related to resource utilization for specialty programs, availability of multidisciplinary staff and changes in procedures and policies as they affect resource utilization for specified programs.

-Provides budgetary recommendations to include staffing requirements, equipment, projects, and supplies to ACOS Behavioral Health Service based on data and projections for workload trends and knowledge of specialty program goals and objectives.

-Provides leadership and guidance to ensure all multidisciplinary activities are closely coordinated to achieve effective integration of key program elements. Skill in interpersonal relationships with various professional disciplines and related supervisors within and outside service line.

-Establishes long range goals for specialty programming under purview and develops new programs as required.

-Ability to coordinate efforts of multiple program elements across a complex mental health system.

-Responsible to the ACOS, receiving broad and general supervision with latitude for use of individual judgement and independent action to make decisions and resolve operational problems within complex programming, balancing wide range of responsibilities with autonomy.

-Monitors compliance with practice standards and guidelines on documentation, workload, data entry and overall delivery of service.

-Participates in peer review procedures, including serving on the Peer Review Subcommittee Review Board as needed or required.

-Ensures compliance with regulatory standards applicable to all programming under purview to include TJC, OIG and CARF

-Responsible for direction of human resource management program within programs of oversight and is responsible for personnel actions, performance evaluation for staff under direct supervision.

- Full range of Clinical Psychologist Responsibilities and teaching and training responsibilities.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

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


Basic Requirements. The basic requirements for employment as a VHA psychologist are prescribed by Public Law 96-151 codified in 38 U.S.C. § 7402. To qualify for appointment, all applicants for the position of psychologist in VHA must meet the following:

a. Citizenship. Be a citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g, this part)

b. Education

(1) Have a doctoral degree in psychology from a graduate program in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) at the time the program was completed.

The specialty area of the degree must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. For the purpose of meeting this requirement, the term "specialty area" refers to the specific specialty areas recognized by the accrediting body and not to specific job duties that might require special skills. Currently, APA accredits doctoral programs in the specialty areas of clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, or combinations of two or more of those areas. PCSAS accredits doctoral programs in psychological clinical science. CPA accredits doctoral programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, clinical neuropsychology, and school psychology. There are no job assignments in VHA that require the skills of a school psychologist; therefore, an applicant with a degree in the specialty area of school psychology is not eligible for appointment. Strictly for the purpose of determining eligibility for appointment as a psychologist in VHA, there is no distinction between the specialty areas (with the exception of school psychology).


(2) Have a doctoral degree in any area of psychology and, in addition, successfully complete a respecialization program (including documentation of an approved internship completed as part of the respecialization program) meeting both of the following conditions:

(a) the respecialization program must be completed in an APA or a CPA accredited doctoral program; and

(b) the specialty in which the applicant is retrained must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. OR

(3) Have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally-accredited institution, with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature.

NOTE: The applicant must provide an official transcript and/or certificate documenting the completion of the respecialization program, which includes completion of an APA or CPA internship.


(3) Internships

(a) Have successfully completed a professional psychology internship training program that was accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed and that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed.


(b) New VHA psychology internship programs that are in the process of applying for APA accreditation are acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement, provided that such programs were sanctioned by the VHA Central Office Program Director for Psychology and the VHA Office of Academic Affiliations at the time that the individual was an intern;


(c) VHA facilities that offered full-time, one-year pre-doctoral internships prior to PL 96-151 (pre-1979) are considered to be acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement;


(d) Applicants who completed an internship that was not accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed may be considered eligible for hire only if they are currently board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in a specialty area that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. (NOTE: Once board certified, the employee is required to maintain board certification.)

(e) Applicants who have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally-accredited institution with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature may fulfill this internship requirement by having the equivalent of a one-year supervised internship experience in a site specifically acceptable to the candidate's doctoral program. If the internship experience is not noted on the applicant's official transcript, the applicant must provide a statement from the doctoral program verifying that the equivalent of a one-year supervised internship experience was completed in a site acceptable to the doctoral program.

c. Licensure. Hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to practice psychology at the doctoral level in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia.

Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.


GS-14 Psychologist (Service Chief)

(a) Experience. At least 3 years of experience as a professional psychologist, with at least one year equivalent to the GS-13 level.

(b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:

1. Ability to organize work, set priorities, delegate tasks, and meet multiple deadlines.

2. Knowledge of and ability to utilize evidence based practices and clinical practice guidelines appropriately and ability to guide staff in using these tools.

3. Ability to deal effectively with individuals or groups representing widely divergent backgrounds, interests, and points of view.

4. Skill in managing and directing the work of others to accomplish program goals and objectives.

5. Ability to translate management goals and objectives into well-coordinated and controlled work operations.

6. Ability to establish and monitor production and performance priorities and standards.

7. Ability to analyze organizational and operational problems and to develop and implement solutions that result in sound operation of the program.

May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).

References: VA Handbook 5005/87 Part II Appendix G18

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-14.


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