Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Social Worker (Health Behavior Coordinator) in Des Moines, Iowa

  • Duties



The VA Central Iowa Health Care System provides a full continuum of care between the Des Moines Campus and our Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) and is one of the Medical Centers that make up the VA Midwest Health Care Network (VISN 23). Employee selected may be expected to perform duties at other duty sites within VA Central Iowa Health Care System based on the needs of the organization.

As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the Nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries. VA professionals feel good about their careers and their ability to balance work and home life. VA offers generous paid time off and a variety of predictable and flexible scheduling opportunities. For more information on the Department of Veteran Affairs, go to

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.

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Clinical Responsibilities:

  1. Serves as the lead clinical consultant to the medical center staff on health coaching.
  • Maintains awareness of, and provides consultation on, the evidence basis for health behavior interventions to promote health and prevent disease and effective health coaching methods by medical center staff.

  • Works with Primary Care and Nursing leadership to provide specific training and consultation with Primary Care Nurses and others to facilitate effective health coaching (e.g., coaching to support health behavior change and patient self-management) and build and maintain competencies in health coaching.

  • Contributes to training of primary care PACT staff and others in evidence-based strategies to effectively communicate with, motivate, coach and support patients to address health behavior risks and adopt health behavior that prevent illness and promote well-being. These strategies include: clarifying personal goals for HPDP change, developing individualized patient self-management plans, and helping patients to maintain healthy behaviors over time.

  1. In close collaboration with the HPDP Program Manager and others, plans, develops, adapts, implements, and assesses efficacy of health behavior interventions for the promotion of health and to address health risk behaviors as part of disease prevention and chronic disease management and they will recommend programmatic changes (e.g., weight loss and management, tobacco use cessation, patient involvement in care and self-management, physical activity adoption, eating wisely, stress management, limiting unhealthy alcohol use).

  2. In collaboration with the Tobacco Cessation Lead Clinician, supports and contributes to existing tobacco use cessation clinical initiatives in primary care and smoking cessation specialty programs or clinics, and evaluates the need for possible expansion of services.

  3. In collaboration with the MOVE Coordinator, contributes to existing weight management programs, such as MOVE.

  4. Provides supervision of social work trainees conducting direct clinical care.

  5. Consults with medical center staff on a wide variety of patient care issues.

  6. Engages in clinical administrative duties including:

  • Scheduling of Veterans and related issues.

  • Returning Veterans' phone calls and secure messaging.

  • Writing reports.

  • Attending clinic organizational meetings.

Work Schedule: Variable

Functional Statement: Social Worker - Health Behavior Coordinator

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status


Who May Apply
This job is open to…

1st Area of Consideration - Current, Permanent VA Central Iowa Health Care System Employees; 2nd Area of Consideration - Current, Permanent VA Employees; 3rd Area of Consideration - Current, Permanent Federal Employees Only.

Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

  • #### Job family (Series)

0185 Social Work

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  • Requirements


Conditions of Employment
  • Must pass pre-employment examination
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required
  • Background and-or Security Investigation required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.

Physical Requirements:Moderate walking and standing, Near vision correctable at 13" to 16" to Jaeger 1 to 4, Far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other, Hearing (aid permitted), Clear speech, Emotional stability.


Basic Requirements:

Citizenship:U.S. Citizen. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g this part.)

Education: Must have a Master's degree in Social Work from a school of Social Work fully accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). Graduates of schools of Social Work that area in candidacy status do not meet this requirement until they school of Social is full accredited. A Doctoral degree in Social Work may not be substituted for the Master's degree in Social Work.

Licensure: A Social Work Coordinator must be licensed or certified by a state at the advanced practice level which included an Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) advanced generalist or clinical examination, unless they are grandfathered by the state in which they are licensed to practice at the advanced practice level (except for licenses issued in California, which administers its own clinical examination for advanced practice). Social Work Coordinators may have certification or other post-masters training from a nationally recognized professional organization or university that includes a defined curriculum/course of study and internship or equivalent supervised professional experience in a specialty.

Social Work Program Coordinators and Managers: For Social Worker Program Coordinators, grades are determined by the scope of responsibility and the type, size, and complexity of the assignment.

Experience: Social Work Coordinators have experience that demonstrates possession of advanced practice skills and judgment. At least two years should be in an area of specialized social practice. In addition, the candidates must demonstrate the professional KSAs below:

  1. Knowledge of, and ability to apply, advanced professional psychological theories and techniques to the full range of patient populations.

  2. Ability to provide professional advice and consultation in areas related to health behavior change and patient-centered communication, including MI and health coaching.

  3. Knowledge of clinical research literature related to behavioral medicine, health psychology, prevention, and health behavior change.

  4. Knowledge of, and ability to effectively develop and implement, health behavior assessments and interventions for the promotion of health and to address health risk behaviors (e.g., weight loss and management, tobacco use cessation, patient involvement in care and self-management, physical activity adoption, eating wisely, stress management, limiting unhealthy alcohol use) as part of disease prevention and chronic disease management.

  5. Ability to train, coach, mentor, and support primary care PACT health care team members who provide evidence-based health behavior change interventions in a wide range of modalities (e.g., individual visits, telephone encounters, secure messaging, video teleconferencing, group visits, shared medical appointments) at facilities and CBOCs.

  6. Skill in consulting with and supporting the other prevention and health education team members in delivering prevention and health behavior change services and programs.

  7. Knowledge of, and ability to utilize, existing evidence-based behavioral medicine resource materials and preventive medicine tools and to develop new materials when needed.

  8. Knowledge of primary care clinic functioning and ability to adapt preventive interventions and services to align with a primary care culture that is characterized by advanced access, continuity, team-based care, care coordination, and use of fast-paced, brief interventions to address health behavior change.

  9. Ability to provide health behavior assessment and intervention with patients with multiple co-morbidities and/or chronic diseases, special needs, and complex clinical problems, and to perform specialized prevention-related assessments and interventions, (e.g., tobacco cessation, self-management support).

  10. Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing with a diverse group of professional staff and management officials.

NOTE: If Social Workers covered under the grandfathering provision of the 1991 Federal law regarding licensure or certification of VHA Social Workers leave the GS-185 Social Work series, they lose the grandfathering protection. If they choose to return at a later date to the GS-185 series, they must be licensed or certified to qualify for employment as a Social Worker.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G39 at


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: 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.

Additional information

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

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

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.


Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.

NOTE: * The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate's education and experience and recommend the grade and salary at which the candidate will be placed. For internal selectees eligible for promotion, the board will determine grade and HR will determine the step in accordance with policy.*

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance


  • Required Documents


Required Documents

All applicants are required to submit the following supporting document type(s):

Applicants may also submit the following supporting document type(s),which may not be required for all applicants:

  • Cover Letter

  • DD-214

  • Other

  • Other Veterans Document

  • Resume

  • SF-15

  • SF-50

  • Transcript

VA Form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations (required). (Available at the VA Forms Website:;=&Action;=Search)* *Please use this checklist

to make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, etc. You will not be contacted for additional information.**

Veterans' Preference:** When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), or 10pt (CP/CPS, XPP, XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP), on the Occupational Questionnaire in the section(s) provided. A legible copy of your DD214(s) indicating character of service, disability certification, SF-15 (if claiming 10 pt. preference) or if you are currently serving on active duty and expected to be released or discharged within 120 days; documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), or dates of impending separation. Documentation is required for eligibility verification.

*Faxing Applications or Supporting Documents: *You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application. If you are unable to apply online or unable to upload your supporting documents to your online application, follow the directions located at the following site: Fax Options. The Vacancy ID of the job opportunity announcement is 1999247.

NOTE: If you applied online and your application is complete, do not fax the paper application (1203-FX) as this will overwrite your prior online responses and may result in you being found ineligible.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • Benefits



A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

  • Benefits for federal employees
  • Healthcare insurance
  • Pay and leave

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.

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • How to Apply


How to Apply

All applicants are encouraged to apply online.

To apply for this position, you must complete the View Occupational Questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, October 27, 2017 to receive consideration.

  1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.

  2. Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.

NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.

To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.

To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

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Agency contact information
Sharon Clemmons





VHA Central Iowa HCS 3600 30th Street Des Moines, IA

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Next steps

After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. During our review, if your résumé and application package do not support your questionnaire answers, we will adjust your rating accordingly. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email (if provided); otherwise, applicants will receive a notification letter via the U.S. Postal Service. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USAJOBS account and clicking on “Application Status.” For a more detailed update of your status, click on “more information.” Information regarding applicant notification points

can be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office at OPM
  • Office of Equal Opportunity

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 08/11/2017 to 10/27/2017

Salary: $72,168 to $93,821 per year

Pay scale & grade: GS 12

Work schedule: Full-Time - Full Time

Appointment type: Agency Employees Only