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Department of Defense and Department of Health and Human Services
Partners in Mental Health Initiative
As some of you have probably heard, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) has been signed between the Department of Defense (DoD), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Public Health and Science for the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (Corps). The MOA establishes a working relationship in which Corps officers will serve in various DoD locations throughout the United States. Corps officers will serve primarily as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and mental health nurses.

The Division of Commissioned Corps Recruitment within the Office of Commissioned Corps Operations (OCCO) is actively recruiting officers, especially new calls-to-active duty, to fill these positions. To date, a number of prior service mental health professionals have submitted their application packets to become Corps officers in order to be considered for this mission. The intent of the MOA is to detail approximately 200 Corps officers to the Army, Navy, and Air Force to supplement the military’s capacity to provide better mental health care for its service members and their families.

If you are currently on active duty within the Corps and have an interest in serving in one of these positions, OCCO will review your request to determine how best to optimize the distribution of its mental health officers. Send your curriculum vitae to LCDR Chris Dunbar at Christopher.Dunbar@hhs.gov. Interested active duty officers should note that the initiative seeks to target new officers rather than transfer existing officers from one hard-to-fill position to another.

For new applicants to the Corps, application information is available at www.usphs.gov. The application (form PHS-50), academic transcripts, and reference letters should be mailed to the address indicated on the Web site.

If you know of mental health professionals who would be interested in joining the Corps, please direct them to our Web site at www.usphs.gov and our toll-free number 1–800–279–1605.
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