The VA Interprofessional Advanced Fellowship in Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) and Recovery-Oriented Services was recently approved to add three new sites (each recruiting up to four new fellows) to the existing 6 training sites. The PSR Advanced Fellowship Program is delighted to provide this opportunity to more trainees, a move that will ultimately enhance services for Veterans at the new VA training sites. We are grateful for enthusiastic support from the VA Office of Academic Affiliations and the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.
The PSR Advanced Fellowship is a one-year advanced clinical training program that focuses on the theory and practice of PSR and recovery for Veterans experiencing serious mental illness. Post-graduates from a wide range of disciplines may apply (e.g. social work, psychology, occupational therapy, chaplaincy, psychiatry, licensed clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, vocational rehabilitation, nursing).
Training involves supervised placement in multiple clinical rotations, didactic education, and work on an “education dissemination project” which is meant to enhance the knowledge of health professionals and the quality of care provided to Veterans. Training is interprofessional, emphasizing extensive collaboration between disciplines so that the unique skill set of each professional may be best utilized to maximize Veteran health outcomes. The objective of this program is to develop leaders positioned to promote systems change and ensure commitment to recovery-oriented services in mental health care settings. Over 50% of graduates take jobs in VA immediately post-fellowship.
The expansion of our Advanced Fellowship will create opportunities for professionals interested in psychosocial rehabilitation to gain hands on work experience in VHA settings in the Mountain West and Upper Midwest:
The VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System provides a wide range of mental health services for Veterans throughout the eastern half of the state. Fellowship training will take place primarily at the Aurora campus outside Denver and will include primary placement at several Recovery focused Programs [Psychosocial Rehabilitation & Recovery Center (PRRC), Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM), Vocational Services]. Allison Douglas, LCSW, and Aaron Murray-Swank, Ph.D., will serve as Co-Directors. Both have ample experience providing advanced training and leadership and are ideally suited to take on the fellowship co-director role. Education Dissemination Projects have been utilized as a core element of training at Aurora at another training program, and the Co-Directors and Faculty will already be acquainted with implementing this training component.
The Clement J. Zablocki VAMC at Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a large VA facility that serves a culturally and economically diverse group of Veterans in an urban setting. The new PSR Fellowship training site will include Vocational Rehabilitation Services as a core component of its training, as meaningful employment is central to the mental health recovery for many Veterans. Fellows other primary training settings will include PRRC and MHICM programs, and psychiatric inpatient rotations, following the framework established at other Fellowship sites. Alison Minkin, Ph.D., and Michael McBride, M.D., will serve as Fellowship Co-Directors. Both hold key psychosocial rehabilitation leadership roles. Dr. Minkin is the Program Manager for the PRRC and MHICM, with past leadership at the Primary Care-Mental Health Integration (PCMHI) Team. Dr. McBride serves as the Local Recovery Coordinator (LRC).
The Cheyenne VA Healthcare System covers southeast Wyoming, northeast Colorado and parts of Nebraska and has a growing Veteran population. Much of the area is rural and rural health care is central to Cheyenne’s mission. Rural Access Network for Growth Enhancement (RANGE)/enhanced RANGE teams and the Psychosocial Outpatient Wellness & Engagement Recovery (POWER) Program are meeting a critical need to engage Veterans in relatively isolated settings. The POWER Program is consistent with VHA’s move to establish Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) for the population of largely young adult Veterans experiencing early psychosis. These locations and programs will provide unique training opportunities for PSR Fellows. Dr. Charles Drebing, the Chief of the Mental Health Service line at Cheyenne, will be taking the lead by directing the new Fellowship site. He is joined by Associate Director, Dr. Kyle Bewsey, who is also Associate Training Director for the Psychology Training Program at Cheyenne.
All three of the new sites will be recruiting an inaugural class of Advanced Fellows for their 2022-2023 fellowship training class. Please see website for information regarding application timelines and procedures.