This position is located within the Behavioral Health Service Line at VAMC Philadelphia. The Suicide Prevention Coordinator has advanced knowledge and skills to make independent decisions regarding the assessment, treatment and case management of the diagnostically diverse patient population. Incumbent must maintain effective working relationships with staff across various program pathways.

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The Social Worker Program Coordinator (Suicide Prevention Coordinator) independently conducts VA-approved screenings and evaluations of Veterans when identified as being in crisis or at risk for hurting self or others. The incumbent uses the established biopsychosocial admissions criteria to determine the need for different treatment components with special emphasis on crisis intervention. While the patient is in treatment, the SPC continues to reassess and monitor the status of problematic behaviors; routinely evaluates the impact that therapeutic interventions have on patient problems; assesses patients’ progress toward meeting treatment goals and objectives; and determines the need for additional assessment of specific problem areas.

Major duties include, but may not be limited to:

  • Policy and procedure development that is in alignment with national policy.
  • Ensures clinical practice guidelines are followed, makes recommendations to clinicians based on guidelines.
  • Tracks performance metrics by reviewing High Risk Flag database and Post Discharge Engagement databases on a regular basis to ensure that performance requirements are met (to include high risk flag timeframes and post discharge engagement requirements).
  • Participates in Root Cause Analyses.
  • Reviews the Suicide Risk Identification Process Fall-outs database on a daily basis and initiates corrective actions when the proper screening and assessments were not completed.
  • Provides backup risk assessment intervention for clinics throughout the medical center to support the Risk ID program and serves to educate providers throughout the medical center about suicide risk assessment and lethal means counseling.
  • Collaborates with inpatient treatment providers/practitioners to support appropriate discharge planning following recommendations for treatment of Veterans at high risk for suicide, including Face-to-face and/or telephone contact with the Veteran to assess their safety and ongoing compliance with treatment.
  • Initiates emergency interventions appropriate to the situation, including but not limited to, contacting Veteran’s identified emergency contact, and /or calling 911.
  • Contacts and collaborates with the Veteran’s mental health treatment coordinator (MHTC) to coordinate monitoring activities, track appointments and coordinate enhanced care as needed.
  • Responds to consults from the Veterans Crisis Line in accordance with VA guidelines.
  • Assists with provision of on-going Operation SAVE Training program for new employees and non-clinical frontline staff, such as clerks, and as needed, to assure that all VA staff are aware of options for Veterans with whom they come in contact during crisis situations.
  • Possesses expertise in public-speaking and relationship-building to excel in representing the CMCVAMC Suicide Prevention Program within the broader Veteran community. Works closely with CMCVAMC Public Affairs Officer to coordinate outreach events.
  • Conducts outreach to community resources such as Veteran service organizations and other community groups to assure that they are aware of how to recognize Veterans at risk for suicide and their options for getting these Veterans assistance. Conducts outreaches at public events within the Philadelphia area.
  • Maintains professional knowledge of principles and practices, clinical case management, and experience in providing care to suicidal and/or mental health Veterans to provide discharge planning, medical services, managed care, utilization review and resource allocation to develop plans to solve Veteran, provider/practitioner, and system problems, inefficiencies, or duplication.
  • Expresses an on-going desire to remain up to date on current/new information and evidenced base practices in the field of suicide prevention through all regulatory agencies.
  • Independently makes professional evaluations, decisions, and recommendation for treatment planning and implementation.
  • Provides complex crisis intervention and stabilization to patients who are in psychological distress
  • Performs other duties as required.

Work Schedule: 8:00am – 4:30pm, Monday – Friday

Telework: Available; up to 3 days per week.

Virtual: This is not a virtual position.

Functional Statement #: 000000 / Social Worker – Suicide Prevention Coordinator

Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized

Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not authorized

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required



Conditions of Employment

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


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: Have a master’s degree in social work from a school of social work fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Graduates of schools of social work that are in candidacy status do not meet this requirement until the School of Social Work is fully accredited. A doctoral degree in social work may not be substituted for the master’s degree in social work. Verification of the degree can be made by going to http://www.cswe.org/Accreditation to verify that the social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a masters of social work.
  • Licensure: Persons hired or reassigned to social worker positions in the GS-0185 series in VHA must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master’s degree level. Current state requirements may be found by going to http://vaww.va.gov/OHRM/T38Hybrid/.

  • English Language Proficiency: Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. 7403(f).

Grade Determinations: Social Worker (Program Coordinator), GS-12

Experience and Education: One year of experience equivalent to the GS-11 grade level (Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services; Skill in independently conducting psychosocial assessments and treatment interventions to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational and other diversified backgrounds; Knowledge of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities and treatment procedures (i.e. acute, chronic and traumatic illnesses/injuries, common medications and their effects/side effects, and medical terminology) to formulate a treatment plan; Skill in independently implementing different treatment modalities in working with individuals, families, and groups who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical, and social problems to achieve treatment goals; Ability to provide consultation services to new social workers, social work graduate students, and other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients and the impact of psychosocial problems on health care and compliance with treatment).Experience must demonstrate possession of advanced practice skills and judgment, demonstrating progressively more professional competency. Candidate may have certification or other post-master’s degree training from a nationally recognized professional organization or university that includes a defined curriculum/course of study and internship, or equivalent supervised professional experience.

Licensure/Certification: Individuals assigned as social worker program coordinator must be licensed or certified at the advanced practice level and must be able to provide supervision for licensure.

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:

  • Knowledge of program coordination and administration which includes consultation, negotiation, and monitoring.
  • Knowledge and ability to write policies, procedures, and/or practice guidelines for the program.
  • Ability to supervise multidisciplinary staff assigned to the program.
  • Skill in organizing work, setting priorities, meeting multiple deadlines, and evaluating assigned program area(s).
  • Ability to provide training, orientation, and guidance within clinical practice.


The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-12. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-12.

Physical Requirements: The physical demands of this position involve active listening, reading, observing, and evaluating verbal and nonverbal behavior, walking, speaking, writing clinical notes, using office equipment such as computers, telephones, fax, photocopy machines. This position is primarily sedentary in nature.


A transcript must be submitted with your application.

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

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

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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Corporal Michael J Crescenz Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center

3900 Woodland Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19104