Clinical psychologist Dr. Alison Sweeny chose a mental healthcare career at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the mission and to deliver integrated care, which puts Veterans at the center of a coordinated care team.

“Especially as a psychologist, this is one of the best places to work if you’re interested in integrated care,” Sweeny said in a video (see PACT Team, V1-3). “You can’t work at a better place than the VA.”

Sweeny practices clinical psychology at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Women’s Health Center in Houston. Colleagues invite Sweeny and other specialists to appointments with female Veterans to provide familiarity and comfort in case the patient needs additional services in the future.

Choose VA to provide optimal health

VA pioneered the use of patient-aligned care teams (PACTs) to help deliver care that’s convenient, cost effective and best helps women Veterans attain optimal levels of health and well-being.

“I’m in and out of the offices of our PACT team members all day long and able to really kind of collaborate, not only to provide care for the Veteran but also to support each other in the work that we do,” Sweeny said.

Sweeny and the psychology team at the Women’s Health Center are trained to address specific health issues that may affect women Veterans, like military sexual trauma, deployment-related issues, depression and high blood pressure, according to VA’s Women Veterans Health Care program.

Choose VA for committed colleagues

Trained in women Veterans’ mental health issues, Sweeny regular interacts with other PACT team members, which include primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse case managers, medical assistants and administrative staff. The support clinicians provide to each other is a welcome and added benefit of being a team member.

“We work very closely with Dr. Sweeny,” said Dr. Rola El-Serag, medical director at the Women’s Health Center. “She offers us all kinds of advice and strategies in terms of how to cope with stress at work and how to handle different situations with Veterans. And so for that reason we’re very fortunate to have her contribution to the team.”

El-Serag’s work as PACT team leader and dedication to female Veteran care inspired Sweeny in her VA career choice.

“She is so unbelievably passionate about women Veterans’ healthcare,” Sweeny said. “Coming here she was one of the main draws because I knew how dedicated she was to building this program for our women Veterans.”

Choose VA today

Sweeny chose VA to practice integrated mental health care with a team of colleagues dedicated to women Veteran’s health.

See if a VA career as a mental health professional is the right choice for you too.

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Published on Jan. 29, 2019

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