The VIST Coordinator plans, develops, implements, directs and evaluates the Visual Impairment Service (VIS) Team program at the Hudson Valley VAMC within his/her catchment area. 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: (1) The individual must have earned a bachelor's degree in blind or vision rehabilitation, or related program in rehabilitation, special education or health care, from an accredited college or university; or, have a bachelor's degree in a healthcare field related to the position and obtained a certificate in the core curriculum in orientation and mobility, vision rehabilitation therapy or low vision therapy from an accredited college or university. This education must have included supervised practice. (2) Foreign Graduates must have proof of a minimum of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (or foreign equivalent, as verified through an independent credential evaluation company), with a specialization in Blind Rehabilitation. May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria). Certification. Required at GS-11 and above (1) Applicants must possess at least one active, current, full and unrestricted certification to be eligible for appointment. Certification must be granted by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP), or another equivalent, related professional credential in special education, rehabilitation or health care. If all certifications are impaired, the individual is ineligible for appointment in VA. NOTE: The ACVREP administers three certification programs: Low Vision Therapy, Orientation and Mobility, and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy. Once certification candidates are approved, they receive an official letter of acceptance, a certificate, and a logo pin. They may then use the designation for the certification they hold (as listed in subparagraph (2) below (3) BRSs who are VIST Coordinators may be drawn from traditional blind/vision rehabilitation backgrounds, and also from counseling backgrounds such as social work, vocational rehabilitation counseling, etc. VIST Coordinators must be credentialed/certified through: (a) Any certification via the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education (ACVREP), or (b) Individuals appointed on the basis of being licensed as a Social Worker must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level. A doctoral degree in social work may not be substituted for the master's degree in social work. If appointed as a VIST Coordinator, Social Workers are appointed to the GS-601 series, but must still maintain a full, valid and unrestricted independent license or certification to remain qualified for employment, or (c) Certification via the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, CRC), or (d) Individuals appointed on the basis of being licensed in another health care occupation must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice in their field. If appointed as a VIST Coordinator, such individual will be appointed to the GS-601 series, but must still maintain their full, valid and unrestricted independent license or certification in their occupation to remain qualified for employment. Examples of occupations may include but not limited to Occupational Therapists and Psychologists. English Language Proficiency. BRSs must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, Section A, Paragraph 3j. Physical Requirements. Work is sedentary but also demands standing, walking, bending, twisting, and carrying light items. Grade Determinations: GS-11 (a) Certification. Required at this level and above. VIST Coordinators. Candidates must meet the certification requirements in paragraph 2c(3) above. BRS who are VIST Coordinators may be drawn from traditional blind/vision rehabilitation backgrounds, and also from counseling backgrounds such as social work, vocational rehabilitation counseling, etc. VIST Coordinators may be credentialed/certified through: a. Certification via the ACVREP, or b. Licensure via the Social Worker Licensure Board, or c. Certification via the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRC), or d. Equivalent, related, relevant professional credential in counseling or rehabilitation. (b) Education and Experience. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of 1 year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the next lower grade; or 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Doctoral Degree; or Doctoral Degree in Blind Rehabilitation or a directly related field. In addition to meeting the KSAs described at the GS-9 level, the candidate must fully demonstrate the following professional KSAs: (c) Demonstrated KSAs 1. Knowledge and understanding of highly specialized complex evaluations and diagnostic tests and procedures of blind/vision rehabilitation. 2. Ability to properly assess a wide variety of patients having diverse and multiple disabilities to make recommendations for blind/vision rehabilitation therapeutic interventions. 3. Ability to write a blind/vision rehabilitation plan that includes evaluation information from multiple disciplines with observable, measurable goals and that identifies specific outcomes. 4. Knowledge of teaching methods and learning principles. 5. Ability to employ interventions, unusual motivational techniques and coordinate treatment with other professionals to achieve outcomes of the rehabilitation plan. 6. Ability to recommend appropriate blind/vision rehabilitation prosthetic devices for patients within scope of practice, making adaptations and modifications as required. 7. Ability to plan, direct, and distribute work assignments to volunteers, assistants and, interns and/or BRSs at lower grade levels and perform assigned mentoring duties for staff, students, and interns. GS-12 (Full performance level for VIST Coordinators) (a) Certification. BRS must meet the certification requirements in paragraph 2c(1) and (2) above. VIST Coordinators must meet the certification requirements in paragraph 2c(3) above. (b) Experience. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of a minimum of 1 year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. In addition to meeting the KSAs described at the GS-11 level, the candidate must fully demonstrate the KSAs required for the specific assignment. (c) Demonstrated KSAs 1. Ability to independently develop, plan, and administer complex treatment programs. 2. Ability to act as a subject matter expert in the blind/vision rehabilitation field and as consultant, supervisor and/or mentor in evaluating and treating patients in specialty or program areas. 3. Ability to coordinate, motivate, and effectively manage staff and/or committee members to include organizing work, setting priorities, and delegating tasks and responsibilities. 4. Ability to disseminate appropriate information through various media as a consultant or mentor. 5. Skill in interpersonal relationships in dealing with patients, employees, other team leaders, managers and other stakeholders. 6. Ability to identify team group dynamics, objectively observe, and modify behaviors. 7. Ability to apply decision-making principles to adjust programs on a day-to-day basis, to develop short term and long range goals, and to plan for future utilization of resources. Preferred Experience: LCSW; Experienced providing case management/care coordination (medical/mental health). References: VA Handbook 5005/34 Part II Appendix G41. Blind Rehabilitation Specialist Qualification Standard The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-12. ["The Visual Impairment Service Team Coordinator case manages patient care and support services to an adult population of patients which is characterized by a very significant number of older male patients as well as young OEF/OIF/OND Veterans who may have wound and trauma related vision loss. The employee must tailor patient care and support services to meet the needs of the individual patient within these broad categorizations. This includes the responsibility for assessment of each patient's needs and assuring the delivery of services that are responsive to the concerns of individual patients to the extent possible. VIST Coordinators are responsible for: Outreach and Education including:\n- Developing a cache of educational materials, in a variety of media that can be utilized to help achieve VIST outreach goals and objectives;\n- Providing in-service educational classes for VA and non-VA agencies and personnel;\n- Seeking to improve others' awareness with regard to blindness issues.\n- Utilizing developed methodologies to identify Veterans who are eligible for VIST program services, to include identifying visually impaired or legally blind Veterans from VA medical center diagnosis codes entered in their electronic medical record; and\n- Educating VA medical center staff on the functional implications of vision loss and on blind rehabilitation matters such as VERA requirements for documentation of legally blind Veterans.\n- Identifying gaps in services and/or programs and revising care in consultation with supervisor VIS Team/management/Blind Rehabilitation National Consultant.\n- Participating and developing quality assurance and quality improvement activities with oversight from the program office.\n- Developing written policies/procedures/documentation for VIST program to meet VHA and external accreditation groups.\n- Completing written narrative reports and presenting same as requested for VA medical facility and program office.\n- Responsible to answer congressional inquiries as well as Patient Advocate Tracking System Replacement tool (PATS-R).\nVIST Coordinators are case managers for all eligible Veterans who have visual impairments requiring blind rehabilitation services. Other duties include:\n- The coordination and overview of all of the Veteran's visual impairment rehabilitation needs.\n- Determining the intensity of services based upon clinical judgment and the Veteran's goals.\n- Flagging VIST-eligible Veterans' patient records so that medical center staff who access patients' records electronically are alerted to the Veteran's visual status.\nVIST Coordinators assess, treat, plan and follow up treatment for visually impaired Veterans. This includes:\n- Performing assessments to establish Veterans' needs as they relate to the continuum of vision and rehabilitation treatment services.\n- Referring Veterans to the appropriate service component in the continuum of care for visually impaired Veterans.\n- Developing focused treatment plans containing goals to meet the Veterans' needs.\n- Providing follow-up for rehabilitation services.\nVIST coordinators may develop, implement and oversee special programs for visually impaired Veterans such as the local provision of computer equipment and training. The VIST Coordinator maintains effective communication with all of the BRS field elements to maximize Veterans' blind and vision rehabilitation outcomes. The VIST Coordinator provides eligible Veterans on the VIST roster with an initial benefits review, and subsequent annual benefits reviews thereafter. The VIST coordinator must be knowledgeable with respect to all VA and non-VA benefits that may serve to enhance the lives of qualified Veterans. Additionally, the VIST Coordinator may assist Veterans in initiating action to apply for benefits. VIST Coordinators are also aware of Veterans Service Organizations that assist Veterans with regard to the acquisition of benefits, and the VIST Coordinator may refer a Veteran to one or more of these agencies. The VIST Coordinator assists the Veteran and their family members with the issues surrounding the emotional adjustment aspects of blindness. The VIS Team and VIST Coordinator may draw on their own professional expertise to personally assist the Veteran and the Veteran's family members in this process, or the VIST Coordinator may make a referral to an appropriate clinician to assist. Perform other duties as assigned. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday; 8:00am - 4:30pm\nTelework: Not Available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nFunctional Statement #: 24952-F\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized\nFinancial 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.