Overview

Summary

The Physician Assistant in Primary Care Mental Health Integration provides support for PACT members to assure that the mental and behavioral health needs of the primary care population are addressed. Often, this means that the PCMHI Physician Assistant will take the lead in providing mental health care for individuals identified with mental health conditions or need assistance in making health-related behavioral changes.

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Duties

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Functions of Assigned Duties: (Major Duties) Including but not limited to:

  • Provides ongoing support to other PACT members. While primary care providers often provide routine medication initiation and management, in many instances it may be preferable for the Physician Assistant to initiate medication and either treat to target or support PCP continuation of medication, either directly or by supervision of care management.
  • Performs direct in-person or virtual face to face assessment and treatment when indicated. This assessment includes a mental status examination and DSM diagnosis.
  • Communicates frequently with other primary care staff and attends primary care service meetings.
  • Provides chart-based consultation, including E-consults as needed/requested.
  • Maintains availability for informal and “curbside” consults as needed by PACT members. Ensures ongoing availability for urgent or emergent situations. Provides diagnostic clarification when needed.
  • Routinely attends PACT huddles for informal consultation and education of the team.
  • Offers and provides formal education sessions as desired by other team members.
  • Serves as a liaison between PACT providers and other mental health providers working with PACT patients who are receiving ongoing services in general and specialty mental health clinics.
  • Provides ongoing training, supervision, and backup for care management. This generally includes at least weekly meetings to discuss all patients receiving care management services. The Physician Assistant must also be readily available for consultation in urgent situations that may develop during a care management visit.
  • Provides consultation to co-located collaborative psychologists, social workers, nurses, clinical pharmacists and other disciplines as needed.
  • Physician Assistants are expected to be able to assist with understanding the often-complex interaction resulting from comorbid psychiatric and medical conditions, as well as identify psychiatric symptoms induced by other illnesses or medications. Assures that the medical workup ordered by the primary care provider is sufficient and adds to that work up if indicated
  • May initiate and manage medication assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders (SUDs) for patients whose care can be managed in PACT with PCMHI support. In general, these are individuals with lower severity of illness who do not require the intensive outpatient support typically available in higher levels of care. MAT interventions commonly include buprenorphine, acamprosate, naltrexone, disulfiram, and other less specific medications often used for SUDs.
  • May provide brief forms of psychotherapy and psychoeducation groups consistent with education and training.
  • Orders laboratory, radiologic, and diagnostic tests on patient and provide initial interpretation of results, with consultation as appropriate.
  • Orders diets, nutritional supplements, and nutritional consults as necessary.
  • Screens patients to determine the need for hospital admission and may admit patients when indicated.
  • Initiates and/or expedites requests for consultations/referrals to other services, inter and intra VAMC, as well as non-VA consultations if necessary.
  • Completes required documentation in the clinical record.

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

Telework: Available (ad hoc with the potential for regular and recurring)

Virtual: This is not a virtual position.

Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized

Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

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Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • All qualified candidates encouraged to apply. Open to U.S. Citizens but non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens.
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period.
  • Subject to background/security investigation.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
  • Must pass pre-employment physical examination.
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) – See “Additional Information” below for details.

Qualifications

Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.

Physician Assistant Basic Requirements

  • Master’s degree in any discipline or a bachelor’s degree in any discipline with one year of experience as a Physician Assistant :AND:
  • Successfully passed the PA National Certifying Exam (PANCE) (or are you in the process to taking the exam) :AND:
  • Currently hold, or will hold, a full and unrestricted license to practice in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States or in the District of Columbia.

Preferred Experience:

Experience providing behavioral health services with adult populations

Experience providing behavioral health services through telehealth modalities

Experience working as a member of a collaborative multidisciplinary care team

Experience implementing evidence-based assessment and intervention practices

Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements stated above, the following qualification criteria must be met in determining the appropriate grade assignment of candidates:(1) Physician Assistant-I (PA-I)

  • (a) Experience and Education. None beyond the basic requirements.

(2) Physician Assistant-II (PA-II)

  • (a) Experience and Education.
    • i. Two years of successful practice as a PA.

OR

  • ii. Successful completion of a PA post-graduate residency program sponsored by VHA Office of Academic Affiliations or other postgraduate residency programs accredited by VA, ARC-PA, U.S. Armed Forces, or another accrediting agency.

OR

  • iii. A doctoral degree in a health-related field from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

(3) Physician Assistant-III (PA-III) PAs at the PA-III grade are at the full performance level and lead and organize patient care independently, practice within multi-disciplinary teams, and coordinate all aspects of patient care across the health care system.

  • (a) Experience and Education.
    • i. Three years of successful practice as a PA.

OR

  • ii. Successful completion of a PA post-graduate residency program sponsored by VHA Office of Academic Affiliations or other postgraduate residency programs accredited by VA, ARC-PA, U.S. Armed Forces, or another accrediting agency and one year of professional practice as a PA.

OR

  • iii. A doctoral degree in a health-related field from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and one year of professional practice as a PA.

(4) Physician Assistant-IV (PA-IV) Positions may include but are not limited to: Facility or Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) Lead PA, Facility PA Education Lead, PA Residency Program Director, or other Clinical and/or Administrative leadership assignments.

  • (a)Experience: Requires five years of experience

(5) Physician Assistant-V (PA-V). PA positions at this grade may include but are not limited to: VISN or VHA Central Office (VHACO) leadership or administrative positions that involve a high level of strategic planning of programs that cross integrated service lines and/or disciplines.

  • (a) Experience. PAs at this level require six years of experience that includes assignments that involved directing and evaluating complex patient care or administrative programs, services or operations for a healthcare system or at multiple sites.

References: VA Regulations, specifically VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G-8 Physician Assistant Qualification Standard. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.

Physical Requirements: Eligible applicants must be physically and mentally able to perform the following: Heavy lifting, 45 pounds and over; heavy carrying, 45 pounds and over; straight pulling one (1) hour; pushing; reaching above shoulder; use of fingers; both hands required; walking seven (7) hours; standing seven (7) hours.

Education

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.

Additional information

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.

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Fayetteville AR VA Medical Center

1100 North College Avenue

Fayetteville, AR 72703

US