Mental Health Occupational Therapy Fellowship Program | VA Tampa Health Care

How to register:

To apply, please email [email protected] the following documents by April 30

  1. Completed Application for Health Professions Trainees (see link below)
  2. To continue
  3. One-page essay explaining why a scholarship is important to you and why you chose the VA as your scholarship site
  4. Two reference letters (may be included in your electronic application and do not need to be sent separately)
  5. Copy of valid OT license and NBCOT certificate OR transcripts showing an expected graduation date prior to the start of the scholarship and your expected NBCOT test date.

Fellows are employed full-time by the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital for the one-year program. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, graduates of an ACOTE-accredited Occupational Therapy (OT) program, and current OT license/certification (any state) prior to the program start date.

Applicants must be members of AOTA and committed to pursuing board or specialty certification in the specialized area of ​​practice.

The Fellowship will be a paid position and the Fellow will be entitled to health benefits, earn annual and sick leave, and have paid federal holidays. There are no tuition fees associated with this scholarship.

Download the information brochure here
Download the app here Application for Health Professions Trainees

Review the Frequently Asked Questions which are linked below.

Interviews will take place during the month of Can. The scholarship program is expected to start at the end August and end one year later.

Why choose our scholarship program?
The JAHVA OT Mental Health Fellowship Program will expose the Fellow to a variety of patient populations with mental health issues both as a primary reason for treatment and as a secondary consideration during rehabilitation. The Fellow will experience a diverse clinical workload with varied backgrounds and cultures while spending time learning in JAHVH’s unique rehabilitation and mental health programs including: the Rehabilitation and Post Deployment Assessment (PREP), the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program (CPRP), the Chronic Headache Management Program (CHAMP), the Substance Use Disorders (SUDS), the Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Program (CIIRP), the Acute Recovery Center (ARC) and the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC). Rotations will provide the Fellow with a unique opportunity to learn from experienced mentors in exciting and challenging environments. The fellow will develop comprehensive experience, providing care in inpatient and outpatient settings and providing occupational therapy services in person and via telehealth. In each new clinical environment, the fellow initially focuses on acquiring fundamental knowledge. Then the program will progress, facilitating higher-level learning through experiential activities and clinical workload assignments. The Fellow will work directly with on-site faculty/mentors with designations of AOTA Board Certified Mental Health Occupational Therapist, Clinical Sexologist, and Certified Lifestyle Redesign Therapist with many years of experience. This will propel the fellow along the skills development continuum to advanced level practice.

We believe in developing occupational therapists into highly skilled practitioners through exposure to educational processes with a balance between didactic/academic and experiential/clinical environments.

To provide occupational therapists with the knowledge and skills to advance their clinical and professional mental health occupational therapy skills to become advanced practitioners by:

  1. Use evidence-based practices when evaluating and delivering interventions
  2. Effectively evaluate the results of the services provided
  3. Participate in academic activities/opportunities
  4. Engage in collaborative cross-professional and cross-sector partnerships
  5. Increase awareness of the unique occupational needs of veterans and active duty military.

Clinical training
Clinical training consists of managing a workload of patients with mental health conditions, one-on-one mentoring sessions with highly experienced clinical staff, and a didactic element of the curriculum with established scholarly activities. Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary patient rounds, journal clubs, in-service staff presentations, and the development and planning of group activities.

The JAHVH Mental Health OT Fellowship Program will focus on developing the Fellow’s knowledge, skills, and advanced practical skills in the following key areas:

    • Advanced Knowledge
    • Reasoning and performance skills
    • Ethical Practical Skills
    • Personal skills
    • Academic and/or professional activities

Program Objectives
Educate and train post-professional occupational therapy graduates to:

1. Meet the needs of veterans and active duty military personnel by becoming advanced occupational therapy practitioners in the field of OT assistive technology.

2. Demonstrate the use of evidence-based outcome measures and advanced clinical reasoning skills by assessing and critically appraising current literature to guide assessment and development of a care plan that facilitates professional participation.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of the AOTA 2020 ethical principles and specialty-specific ethical standards, and their implication in practice.

4. Demonstrate the ability to access and build collaborative partnerships with stakeholders to maximize professional client engagement.

5. Participate in scholarly activities such as a quality improvement project and the development/presentation of case studies, which promote lifelong learning.

6. Demonstrate the highest standards of professionalism.

Program coordinators/mentors
Program Coordinator: Katherine Litman, MOT, OTR/L
Program Coordinator and Senior Mentor: Mary Ann Swartz, OTR/L, BCMH
Main Mentor: Julieth Williams, OTR/L

** Health Professions Trainees (HPTs) are appointed as temporary employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs. As such, HPTs are subject to published laws, policies, and guidelines for VA staff members. Rarely do these guidelines change over the course of a training year, which may create new demands or responsibilities for HPTs. If job requirements change during a training year, HPTs will be notified of the change and impact as soon as possible and the options offered. The VA education director for your profession will provide you with the information you need to understand the requirement and the reasons for the requirement in a timely manner.

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