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Behavioral Health Navigator I - Harrisburg


The PsychCare+ team at Western Psychiatric Hospital is hiring a Behavioral Health Navigator I to support UPMC Harrisburg.

The Behavioral Health Navigator I will be responsible for the assessment and navigation of patients and families in need of psychiatric services in the emergency department and on the inpatient medical acute care units. This includes completing thorough psychiatric assessments as well as discharge and safety planning amongst the emergency department and consult liaison attending physicians and teams.  The incumbent will coordinate an individualized plan of care based on the psychiatric assessment and ensure clinical documentation regarding disposition, safety planning, and referrals to outpatient services or transfer to a higher level of care. 

The incumbent must have the ability to identify acuity level of the patient and facilitate the flow of information to promote effective communication regarding the patient care, operations, and disposition. The incumbent must be able to work well independently but also interact well with multiple teams and points of supervision. Candidates with strong clinical psychiatric backgrounds are preferred. 

The schedule for this position is flexible and will include rotating daylight and evening shifts. 

While a member of the PsychCare+ team at Western Psychiatric Hospital, the incumbent is based at UPMC Harrisburg. With 409 beds, UPMC Harrisburg is a full-service acute care hospital that provides the most advanced care to residents throughout southcentral Pennsylvania. In 2021, the hospital achieved its fourth consecutive Magnet designation from the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program.


  • Meet standards for clinical documentation and accurately completes the psychiatric assessment, Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA), commitment status, and suicide assessment/reassessment and safety plan.
  • Demonstrate ability to utilize DSM-5 to develop provisional diagnosis.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of mental health laws and ensures completion of legal commitment status within the appropriate timeframes.
  • Knowledge of insurance programs, processes and able to obtain authorizations as needed.
  • Participate in interdisciplinary activities such as staff meetings and other committees as assigned.
  • Maintain educational and competency requirements including but not limited to Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and Positive Approaches certification upon hire/annually, Counseling for Access to Lethal Means (CALM) training within first 3 months of hire, CPR, American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).
  • Learn and utilize up-to-date technology in delivery of patient care for assessment and disposition/referral planning.
  • Efficiently take a sizable volume of calls and disposition callers to meet their needs rapidly.
  • Follow outpatient scheduling or referral documentation guidelines.
  • Responds rapidly to appointment or inpatient admission requests through email, phone, or voicemail.
  • Review and summarizes patient medical necessity for admissions to a behavioral health unit and triaging patient for appropriate placement.
  • Ability to provide a verbal case presentation to the attending physicians and other involved.
  • Demonstrate triage and assessment skills for medical necessity or appropriate outpatient clinic.
  • Provides accurate, ongoing, and timely information to coworkers, physicians, outside agencies, with a professional and courteous manner.
  • Demonstrates expertise in accessing social systems by providing resource-specific information to patients and families, initiating contact with appropriate resources and facilitating the patient/family's ability to accept referrals.



  • Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, Counseling or Social Work with one year of mental health direct care experience OR master's degree in Psychology, Counseling or Social Work.
  • Other fields of study may be considered with coursework of at least 12 credits in human services and/or relevant mental health experience.
  • Ability to respond calmly and effectively, using good clinical judgment to both psychiatric and medical emergencies.
  • Ability to identify problems, implement resolution, reassesses situation/problem.
  • Excellent interpersonal relations with the ability to interact in a direct, professional, tactful, gracious manner with all professional/non-professional contacts; includes all areas of verbal/non-verbal communication within the contest of direct/non-direct contact; history of excellent interpersonal relations.
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team.
  • Ability to work under stress, with an unpredictable patient flow, in a sometimes-crowded work environment.
  • A personal disposition that is warm, friendly, caring, kind and hospitable towards patients, colleagues.
  • Exhibit openness and willingness to learn.
  • Flexible schedule; rotating shifts.
  • Exhibit advocacy and ability to promote recovery-oriented care with a patient-centered attitude.
  • Ability and willingness to work in a managed care environment.
  • Excellent ability and history of direct, gracious, courteous, kind face-to-face, telephone and nonverbal skills.
  • While in a clinical setting where the course of job duties will be in rooms where medications are stored, no contact with medications is permitted. 

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Comprehensive Crisis Management (CCMC)
  • Act 31 Child Abuse Reporting with renewal
  • Act 33 with renewal
  • Act 34 with renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance with renewal

  • UPMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

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