The James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center is currently hiring for a Social Worker (Suicide Prevention Case Manager) to serve our Veterans at the Altoona, PA VA Medical Center. Expected to follow VACO and facility guidelines with regards to management of patients at high risk for suicide and utilize the 2-tier suicide risk assessment process to identify those at high risk for suicide. Expected to be familiar with facility medical center policies and standards of practice as they relate to the management of suicidal behavior and follow facility procedures and guidelines outlined in established policy. Will collaborate with inpatient treatment providers/practitioners to support appropriate discharge planning following recommendations for treatment of patients at high risk for suicide. Will assure that all Veterans assigned to the facility high risk monitoring list are being followed for a time period not less than 90 days following hospitalization, or 90 days from the date of assignment to the high risk list. Monitoring activities include. When a Veteran is not engaged in ongoing mental health treatment, the SPCM will make face to face and/or telephone contact, based on Veteran preference, with the Veteran to assess their safety and motivation for treatment. The SPCM will facilitate engagement in treatment in collaboration with the Veteran. If the Veteran is engaged in ongoing treatment, the SPCM will collaborate with the Veteran's treatment team and ensure that the Veteran is being seen and assessed as clinically needed and as identified by medical center policy. Tracking any no-show appointments by high risk Veterans and, if not engaged in treatment, following up with the patient and as soon as possible to assess safety and to engage in treatment If the Veteran is engaged in treatment and no-shows an appointment, the SPCM will monitor the rescheduling of the appointment and collaborate with the provider to develop a plan regarding any barriers that impair the Veterans ongoing engagement in treatment. Initiate emergency interventions appropriate to crisis situations, including but not limited to, contacting Veteran's identified emergency contact, and /or calling 911, if the safety of a high risk Veteran is unable to be established, or if it is determined that the Veteran is at imminent risk for self-harm. With patient's consent, contacting family members and/or other identified supports to provide education and involve in patient's treatment and safety planning. The incumbent provides referral to VA medical and mental health treatment and to other VA services including VA benefits, as well as community-based social services and other non-VA entitlement programs. If appropriate, he/she provides referrals or consults, or in some cases direct admission of a Veteran to other VA programs, including but not limited to, the Respite Program, Community Health Care Coordination Program, Hospice, Home Based Primary Care, Telehealth and Community Nursing Home Program. The incumbent serves as the major consultant for information on negotiating the complex processes caregivers, Veterans and families encounter when interacting with government and community agencies. Provides crisis intervention services, seeking to address causation as well as presenting complaints. The incumbent follows Suicide Prevention protocols established by national and local policy. The incumbent is also responsible for managing suicidal behavior in the Urgent Care Clinic. Makes rapid assessments and develops crisis management plans to return Veterans to a state of homeostasis including maintaining Veteran in the home, admission to acute, psychiatric, or short term/long term placements. In the event of a medical or psychiatric emergency, the incumbent follows the facility's protocols to manage suicidal behavior. The incumbent is a Subject Matter Expert on Suicide Prevention and management of suicidal behaviors of Veterans within the VAMC's catchment area. Collaborates with other members of the Suicide Prevention Team and Mental Health Specialty Social Work Supervisor to implement a strategic plan for outreaching to the community to promote the Public Health approach to suicide prevention. Assisting 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 patients with whom they come in contact during crisis situations. Delivery of other training programs at the facility as requested or as a need is identified. Assisting with staff and patient education during Suicide Awareness Week. Educational activities may include displays, exhibits regarding suicide prevention and/or providing information about the VA National Mental Health Crisis/Suicide Hotline discussion, and other support services available. Serving as a resource for both the VA facility and community related to Veteran suicide and suicide prevention issues. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.