Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System
Psychology Internship Program
This web page is for individuals interested in applying to the Psychology Internship Program at Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS). Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions throughout the application process. We look forward to hearing from you!
CAVHS values diversity and believes that a range of backgrounds brings a variety of ideas, perspectives, and experiences that will create a productive work environment in which talents are fully utilized and VA objectives are met. Organizational policies and procedures are designed to promote equal opportunity and provide protection for all staff. CAVHS aspires to combat prejudice, stereotyping, and harassment and is committed to the continued development of the personal and professional skills of its employees, who are treated in a fair and unbiased way and given every encouragement to realize their potential. We aim to ensure that the services that we provide to clients and candidates do not discriminate against race, heritage, gender, religious or non-religious beliefs, nationality, family background, age, disability, or sexuality. We encourage applications to our internship program from diverse applicants.
Located in beautiful central Arkansas, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS) is a large and comprehensive VA medical complex within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that serves a diverse population representative of the cultural diversity inherent to the geographical region. The medical center is located in a metropolitan area of over 725,000 people and draws from a primary service area of 275,000 veterans. CAVHS providers also serve many veterans from other VAs and surrounding states, many of whom are referred for specialty programs, as well as active duty and National Guard personnel and family members. CAVHS serves adult veterans and their families, and the age range varies tremendously. Veterans served may include active duty patients in their early twenties to geriatric patients aged 100+ years. Historically, the patient population has been predominately male, but with our recent Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) conflicts, an increasing percentage of women are establishing care and utilizing health care services at CAVHS. Fortunately, our Women’s Clinic, which has been in place since the mid-1990s, is more than equipped to address the recent rise in the population of female veterans served. Additionally, ethnic diversity is broad, with the African American community being the largest minority group served. The medical center also serves veterans requiring a wide variety of needs, ranging from medical, surgical, behavioral, psychiatric, and psychosocial concerns.
Accredited by both the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), CAVHS is a Category 1A flagship healthcare provider and is one of the largest and busiest VA medical centers in the country. Its two consolidated campuses, located in Little Rock and North Little Rock, anchor a broad spectrum of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services, ranging from disease prevention, through primary care, to complex surgical procedures, to extended rehabilitative care. Comprehensive healthcare is provided through primary, tertiary, and long-term care in areas of medicine, surgery, mental health, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, dentistry, ophthalmology, geriatrics and extended care, women’s health, and others.
Across its two main campuses, CAVHS has 280 operating hospital beds as well as a 119-bed Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Unit that provides long-term rehabilitative care and a 152-bed Community Living Center (formerly Nursing Home Care Unit). CAVHS also provides care to Veterans across Central Arkansas through its eight Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) in the cities of Conway, El Dorado, Hot Springs, Mena, Mountain Home, Pine Bluff, Russellville, and Searcy. When care in one of the two main hospitals or eight outpatient clinics is either not possible or medically recommended, the Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) program provides primary health care to eligible veterans in their homes. A Day Treatment Center and Vet Center are also located in the Little Rock Metro Area. Finally, CAVHS offers an active telemedicine program, which provides remote services using advanced telemedicine technology directly from the North Little Rock campus to the area CBOCs.
Throughout its rich history, CAVHS has been widely recognized, first and foremost, for a tradition of quality and caring for Arkansas veterans as well as for excellence in education, research, and emergency preparedness. To that end, CAVHS serves as a teaching facility for more than 1,500 students and residents enrolled in more than 65 educational programs; its principal affiliate is the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). The history of CAVHS includes training for the field of psychology since the 1950s. The Psychology Internship Program has been fully accredited by APA since 1979, and the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program has been fully accredited by APA since May 2013.
COVID-19 Response and Impact on Training
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Psychology Internship Training Program at CAVHS has taken special steps to protect the health and welfare of our interns, staff, and the veterans we serve.
At the facility level, CAVHS has implemented universal screening for all patients, employees, and visitors. Upon arrival to our campus and prior to entering the hospital, everyone is screened for symptoms and possible exposure, and individual temperatures are recorded. Universal masking while on campus is also required of all patients, employees, and visitors, with no exceptions. Where possible, the facility has limited face-to-face patient contact and has supported increased use of telehealth modalities (e.g., VA Video Connect [VVC], telephone visits, etc.) when providing care to our veterans. For inpatient and residential services, in-person visitation has been limited, and increased use of virtual family visits has been encouraged. To protect our most vulnerable veterans, some inpatient and residential services are operating on work-in-place orders, where patients and employees are isolated to their respective units and are required to undergo routine COVID-19 testing to limit viral exposure and spread. Our Employee Health Service closely monitors all possible exposures and conducts contact tracing when necessary. A mandated quarantine period followed by COVID-19 testing with a negative result is required for any employee who has tested positive for the virus prior to returning to work.
The Psychology Internship Training Program has also implemented a number of program modifications and safety precautions, with the goals of protecting the health and wellbeing of our interns while also delivering on our promise to provide quality training. This began with committing to increased flexibility when considering our interns’ training plans as well as increased communication between the Director of Training (DoT) and each intern via weekly, scheduled check-in meetings. When considering their training plans throughout the year, interns have been encouraged to consider their own health factors and comfort levels, and they have been given full support of the training program as it relates to individualized decisions regarding rotation selections. Where possible, interns have been utilizing telehealth modalities (e.g., VA Video Connect [VVC], telephone visits, etc.) when providing clinical services to our veterans. When an intern has opted to select rotations in which face-to-face patient contact is required, additional safety measures and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided. Additionally, interns have the option of participating in telesupervision, and all required didactics/seminars are conducted virtually to allow for social distancing. Finally, while facility leadership has not yet granted approval for interns to telework from home, the Psychology Internship Training Program is committed to continually advocate for this option on behalf of our current and future interns.
Given the everchanging dynamic of this pandemic as well as various unforeseen circumstances, changes in rotation availability and supervising staff are always a possibility. However, we will make every effort to inform prospective interns of any potential changes to our program or current safety protocols as this situation continues to evolve.
For comprehensive information related to our program, please view our Psychology Internship Brochure.
CAVHS provides both internship and postdoctoral training. Our internship program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and is a member of the Association of Psychology Predoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). The program adheres to APPIC policy regarding offers and acceptances for training. Qualified doctoral and postdoctoral candidates enrolled in or having completed APA-accredited graduate programs in clinical or counseling psychology are eligible to apply. For more information on current eligibility requirements for participating in Psychology Training in the VA, please visit the following website: www.psychologytraining.va.gov/eligibility.asp
Director of Training:
Board Certified in Geropsychology
Director of Training, Psychology Internship Program
Home Based Primary Care Service
Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System
10802 Executive Center Drive (Ste. 100, Benton Bldg.)
Little Rock, AR 72211
Phone: (501) 257-4959
Accredited By: The American Psychological Association (APA)
The CAVHS Psychology Internship Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation (CoA) of the American Psychological Association (APA). Following our last site visit, our program was re-accredited for a full 10 years, with our next site visit scheduled to be held in 2027.
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002-4242
Phone: (202) 336-5979