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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health Service
Department:  Department Of Veterans Affairs
Agency:  Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Job Announcement Number:  VP-13-SAW-816475-MHC

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$90,186.00 to $235,000.00 / Per Year
Monday, January 28, 2013 to Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Seattle, WA View Map
United States Citizens


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 816475

The incumbent will work in Mental Health Service Line, Seattle Division and American Lake Division. Travel between the Seattle Division and the American Lake Division is required. 

PLEASE NOTE: The announcement has been amended. Those who previously applied need not re-apply. This announcement will remain open until filled. Applications will be reviewed periodically on the following dates:

  • February 28, 2013
  • March 29, 2013
  • April 30, 2013
  • May 31, 2013
  • June 28, 2013
  • July 31, 2013
  • August 30, 2013
  • September 30, 2013
  • October 30, 2013
  • November 30, 2013
  • December 30, 2013


PHYSICIAN (PSYCHIATRIST): VM-0602-15  ($120,000 - $235,000)

NURSE: VN-0610-IV  ($90,186 - $119,941)

PSYCHOLOGIST: GS-0180-15  ($121,357 - $155,500)

SOCIAL WORKER: GS-0185-14  ($103,169 - $134,118)

Salary: To be determined by a Compensation Panel or Professional Standard Board of your peers and based on your education, experience, and professional accomplishments.

You could be part of an important initiative to provide mental health care for our nations Veterans!

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki has announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will be adding approximately 1,600 mental health clinicians – to include nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers as well as nearly 300 support staff to its existing workforce.    

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) needs mental health professionals who possess the energy, compassion, and commitment to serve those who serve our Country.  Whatever the job title, every position in VA will give you a chance to make a meaningful and personal contribution to the lives of truly special and deserving people - our Veterans.

Working for VA is one of the most emotionally satisfying and professionally rewarding ways to dedicate the best within you to your country's service.

If you are transitioning from the military or a Veteran already, we invite you to explore the benefits of continuing your career at the VA.   The VA is committed to hiring Veterans.

The VA is much more than just another employer.  It is an honorable, open and welcoming community of those who care.  Gratitude is our motivation and service is our mission.   The VA has adopted Core Values and Characteristics that apply universally across the Department.  The five Core Values define "who we are," our culture, and how we care for Veterans, their families and other beneficiaries.  The Values are Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence ("I CARE").

America's Veterans need you!

To find out more, go to

PLEASE NOTE: Qualified clinical trainees, residents, fellows, interns, etc. are encouraged to apply; please follow the instructions in the How to Apply section.



VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS) is seeking an accomplished leader to be the Associate Chief of Staff (ACOS) for Mental Health Service (MHS). The ACOS will lead a dynamic service line treating Veterans who reside in the Puget Sound region of western Washington. MHS is an integrated care line with over 375 employees, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and a variety of ancillary therapists. Acute inpatient and emergency room mental health services are located at the Seattle Division which is a 1A tertiary facility, and residential mental health treatment services are located at the American Lake (Tacoma) Division. Both divisions have a continuum of outpatient mental health services including general mental health clinics, specialty PTSD treatment, addictions treatment, tele-mental health services, primary care mental health, programs for Veterans with serious mental illness, and vocational rehabilitation services. The ACOS for MHS is administratively and clinically responsible for all MHS staff and programs at all VAPSHCS sites.

VAPSHCS has a strong academic affiliation with the University of Washington School of Medicine and is one of the core training sites for the medical school. Because the MHS trains a large number of health care professionals, the candidate will need experience in developing and maintaining excellent clinical training programs. 

The ACOS for MHS is directly accountable to the VAPSHCS Management Team for day-to-day operations of the Service and is accountable to the Chief of Staff for clinical program administration and overall compliance to VA policies and procedures. The candidate should possess clinical and administrative experience to provide oversight for a wide variety of Mental Health programs. The candidate should be interested in promoting performance optimization in the area of mental health services.


  • US citizenship
  • English language proficiency
  • Background/suitability investigation
  • Physical standards - Must pass pre-employment examination


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The incumbent will lead a multidisciplinary staff in the delivery of health care to our nation's veterans.  The incumbent will be expected to clinically practice within their specialty approximately 25% time (0.25 FTEE) and perform administrative duties a minimum of half time (0.5 FTEE).  The position may allow up to 25% time for clinical research or educational activities (0.25 FTEE).  The incumbent will report to the Chief of Staff.  The incumbent is responsible for the supervision and management of all mental health services at VAPSHCS; this includes all inpatient and outpatient mental health services at the Seattle Division, as well as residential and outpatient services provided at the American Lake Division.  The incumbent will provide executive-level leadership in the establishment and maintenance of high standards of care in all areas.  The incumbent must have significant leadership, mentoring, and management experience as well as strong health care operations and planning experience and be able to demonstrate evidence of excellence in teaching and clinical practice.

MHS has training programs that involve medical students, psychiatry residents, psychiatry fellows, psychology interns, psychology fellows and other allied health professionals. The incumbent will be expected to maintain a close working relationship with the University of Washington, Department of Psychiatry and to promote training excellence. MHS has active research programs, including the VISN 20 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center. Past research experience is desirable as the incumbent will need to foster the current MHS clinical research programs.

Additional duties include: strategic planning for the provision of mental health care at VAPSHCS in both the inpatient and outpatient arenas; managing care through planning, prioritizing and coordinating budget needs; assuring compliance with regulatory/accreditation standards as well as VA performance measures and quality standards; monitoring and promoting compliance with VA regulations pertaining to professional standards and ethical conduct; promoting cooperation and compliance of the clinical staff with federal and state law and regulations, medical staff bylaws and rules, facility policies, and Joint Commission standards as applicable; monitoring and assuring prompt access and high quality inpatient and outpatient mental health care across the system; recruiting, hiring, and retaining high quality staff.

Relocation expenses have been authorized.

Recruitment/Relocation incentive may be authorized.


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All applicants must meet all of the basic requirements below by the closing date of this announcement to be eligible for this vacancy.


U.S. Citizenship – Must be a citizen of the United States.

Physical StandardsApplicants must meet physical standards for the position. A physical examination prior to placement is required.

English Language Proficiency – Must be proficient in spoken and written English.

In addition to the above basic requirements for all positions, below are the education, experience, and licensure/registration requirements for the specific positions.


Education – Must have a degree of doctor of medicine or an equivalent degree resulting from a course of education in medicine or osteopathic medicine. The degree must have been obtained from one of the schools approved by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the year in which the course of study was completed. Approved schools are: (1) Schools of medicine holding regular institutional membership in the Association of American Medical Colleges for the year in which the degree was granted, or (2) Schools of osteopathic medicine approved by the American Osteopathic Association for the year in which the degree was granted, or (3) Schools (including foreign schools) accepted by the licensing body of a State, Territory, or Commonwealth (i.e., Puerto Rico), or in the District of Columbia as qualifying for full or unrestricted licensure.

Licensure and Registration – Must possess a current, full and unrestricted license to practice medicine or surgery in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia. The physician must maintain current registration in the State of licensure if this is a requirement for continuing active, current licensure.

First-Year Residency (Internship) – Must have completed a first-year residency, or its equivalent, approved by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the year in which it was completed. For a VA resident, the appropriate Deans Committee and Resident Review Board may recommend appointment on the basis of the candidate’s acceptability for residency training. Approved residencies are: (1) Those approved by the Council on Medical Education and Hospitals, American Medical Association, in the list published for the year the residency was completed, or  (2) Other residencies or their equivalents which the Professional Standards Board determines to have provided an applicant with appropriate professional training. The Board may determine that the residency requirement has been met if the candidate has completed one year of postgraduate education.

Certification - Must be board certified or board eligible in the area of Psychiatry.


Education/Experience - Must possess one of the following: (1) Master's degree in nursing or related field with BSN AND have approximately 4-5 years of experience, or (2) Doctoral degree in nursing or related field AND have approximately 3-4 years of experience.

Education from a school of professional nursing must be approved by the appropriate State agency and accredited by either the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

If MSN obtained in a Bridge Program, no BSN required.

Registration - Must have a current, full, active and unrestricted registration as a graduate professional nurse in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth (i.e., Puerto Rico) of the U.S. or in the District of Columbia.


Education – Must have a doctoral degree in psychology from a graduate program in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The specialty area of the degree must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed.

Internship – Must have successfully completed a professional psychology internship training program that has been accredited by APA. Exceptions: (1) 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 Central Office of Academic Affiliations at the time that the individual was an intern and (2) VHA facilities who offered full one-year pre-doctoral internships prior to PL 96-151 (pre-1979) are considered to be acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement.

Licensure – Must hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to practice psychology at the doctoral level in a state, Territory, Commonwealth of the United States (e.g. Puerto Rico) or the District of Columbia.

Experience – Must have at least one year of professional psychologist experience equivalent to the GS-14 grade level, and must fully meet the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) for that level. 

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities – In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs and demonstrate the potential to acquire the assignment specific KSAs designated by an asterisk (*).

 (1) Ability to effectively supervise and manage a large group of professional staff.

*(2) Ability to correctly assess qualifications and potential of current and prospective employees.

*(3) Ability to develop appropriate productivity standards for professional staff, often across multiple program lines.

 (4) Skill in interpersonal relationships including conflict resolution and ability to work collaboratively with supervisors from other units.

*(5) Knowledge of the goals and objectives of the medical center and VISN and ability to communicate these to subordinates.   


Education – Must have a master's degree in social work (MSW) 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.

Licensure – Must be licensed or certified by a state at the advanced practice level.

Experience – Must have at least one year of creditable experience comparable to the GS-13 grade level.  The experience must demonstrate possession of advanced practice skills in administration, demonstrating progressively more professional competency skills and judgment.

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities – In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following professional KSAs.

(1) Knowledge and skill in management/administration, which includes supervision, consultation, negotiation, and monitoring.

(2) Knowledge of legal, ethical, and professional standards applicable to social work practice.

(3) Ability to develop, maintain, and oversee social work programs in all settings. This includes identifying needs for social work assessment, evaluation, and treatment; determining priority needs for social work services; and recommending adjustments to staffing levels accordingly.

(4) Demonstrated global knowledge of social work practice in health care and mental health settings including resources, and the policies and procedures pertaining to home and community based care, acute care, ambulatory care, long term care, performance measures, and clinical guidelines.

(5) Ability to provide consultation to care line managers and other staff on social work qualification standards, social work practice, social work competency, social work productivity, and social work continuing education.

(6) Ability to provide supervision for social work licensure and practice supervision for facility social workers.



NOTE: Your resume and/or supporting documentation will be verified to ensure that you meet the minimum qualifications required as described above. You will also be evaluated to the extent you possess the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics associated with the position. Therefore, please ensure your application package addresses the assessment questionnaire. If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, you may be rated ineligible for this position.


PHYSICIAN (PSYCHIATRIST): Physician Qualification Standard, VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G2

NURSE: Nurse Qualification Standard, VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G6

PSYCHOLOGIST: Psychologist Qualification Standard, VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G18

SOCIAL WORKER: Social Worker Qualification Standard, VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G39

NOTE: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the United States Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards your qualifications for this position. You can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency. 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.

Veteran's Preference: When applying for Federal jobs, eligible veterans should claim preference on the Occupational Questionnaire in the section provided and provide a legible copy of DD-214(s) showing all dates of service as well as character of service (honorable, general, etc.). Additionally, veterans with service-connected disability of 10% or more must also submit a copy of their official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying their service-connected disability and/or their receipt of compensation for service-connected disability. If the military member is within 120 days of separation and does not yet have a DD214, the member may instead submit any written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is signed.

Veterans with service-connected disability of less than 10%, nonservice-connected disability, and Purple Heart recipients, as-well-as those claiming derived preference for a spouse, widow or widower, or natural mother, should refer to and submit a completed SF 15, "Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference," and required documentation with your application materials.

For more information on Veterans' Preference, go to


Complete application packages will be reviewed to determine if the basic qualifications for this position have been met. A listing of candidates who meet the basic qualification requirements will be forwarded to the hiring facility where the credentialing and privileging screening process is completed.


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VA offers a comprehensive benefits package.  This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered:


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

VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave.

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

You may be required to serve a probationary period.


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To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package (See "Required Documents" section below).  The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Tuesday, December 31, 2013.

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.

Note: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application return to your member account in USAJOBS to see the status of your application, including any messages that may have been sent to you.

If you cannot apply online:

  1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire,
  2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire, and
  3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to (478)757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission. Keep a copy of your fax receipt in case verification is needed.

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload:

  1. Complete this cover page  using the following Vacancy ID 816475.
  2. Fax your documents to (478)757-3144.


To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  1. Occupational Questionnaire 
  2. CV or Resume 
  3. Physicians must provide VA Form 10-2850 (Available at; Nurses must provide VA Form 10-2850a (Available at; Psychologists and Social Workers must provide VA Form 10-2850c (Available at
  4. Proof of current certification, licensure or registration 
  5. Unofficial transcript(s) - official college transcript(s) will be required before being hired
  6. OF-306 - Declaration for Federal Employment - Available at
  7. Veterans should submit appropriate documentation as described previously in this vacancy announcement.
  8. If currently employed by the federal government, include a copy of your latest SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.


Shazuth A. Woods
Phone: (206)658-4268
Agency Information:
VHA Puget Sound HCS
1660 S Columbian Way S-005A -HRMS
Seattle, WA


You will receive e-mail notification as to whether or not you were included on the list of referred candidates. If you do not provide an e-mail address, your notification will be sent via U.S. Postal Service within 2-4 weeks. Important note: Applicants have the burden of producing all needed information prior to the closing of the announcement Tuesday, December 31, 2013.

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