VISN 1 MIRECC Staff: Patricia J. Sweeney, Psy.D., CPRP
Patricia J. Sweeney, Psy.D., CPRP
Dr. Patricia Sweeney received her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in 2004 and completed a post-doctoral clinical fellowship in psychosocial rehabilitation at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts in 2005. She has been the Director of Education for the VISN 1 New England MIRECC since 2007. Dr. Sweeney is part of the training faculty for both the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Interprofessional Fellowship and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning Interprofessional Fellowship at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital. Dr. Sweeney’s clinical, program development, and program evaluation interests include psychosocial rehabilitation services, system changes, and education activities related to training of peer support staff and the implementation of peer support services in the VA healthcare system. She is the Director of the New England MIRECC Peer Education Center which offers monthly seminars or workshops for paid and volunteer peer specialists working throughout the VA New England Healthcare System. The center has also provided several trainings for health care professionals from other disciplines to enhance their understanding of peer support services and learn ways that they can collaborate with peer specialists in their work. Dr. Sweeney co-authored the instructor and trainee versions of the Department of Veterans Affairs Peer Specialist Training Manual as well as the Peer Specialist Toolkit: Implementing Peer Support Services in VHA. Since 2008, she has worked on several VHA Mental Health Services’ national workgroup projects related to policy development, hiring, and training of peer support staff. Most recently, Dr. Sweeney completed a comprehensive literature review regarding competency expectations for peer specialists working outside of the VA healthcare system in the United States and abroad. The subsequent report included several recommendations regarding VHA peer support staff’s knowledge and skills which led to a detailed expansion in VHA policy requirements regarding expected competencies for peer support staff. In addition, Dr. Sweeney provides administrative support for Vet-to-Vet, a national volunteer peer support organization operated for and by Veterans which the VISN 1 New England MIRECC assisted in the original development and implementation.