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#108083 Assistant Behavioral Health Clinical Director

Extended Deadline: Fri 4/23/2021

This position will remain open until a successful candidate has been identified.

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 02/26/21 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 03/09/21. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.

This position has recently been accreted by UPTE HX union, and will be a part of that union moving forward.


The California Smokers' Helpline (Helpline), also known as 1-800-N0-BUTTS, is a statewide counseling service operated through UCSD Moores Cancer Center. The Helpline was established in 1992 and currently provides telephone-based cessation counseling in English and Spanish for all California residents, and through the Asian Smokers’ Quitline, counseling in Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Korean, and Vietnamese for the whole country (N=30,000 enrollees/year).

The Helpline became the first in the nation to offer free, telephone-based services for tobacco users wanting to quit. The Helpline has served as a model for similar services that are now available in all 50 states. Since its inception, the Helpline has provided free, personalized and confidential services to Californians from diverse communities throughout the state. The Helpline also provides training and technical assistance to a wide variety of organizations throughout California to increase their capacity in tobacco cessation, including health professionals working in tobacco control, public health, health education, behavioral health, health care, and health system administration.

The Helpline is renowned for its quality intervention research that has consisted of large randomized trials testing various counseling protocols designed to help smokers quit. These trials have repeatedly proven the effectiveness of the standard telephone counseling protocol as well as more targeted protocols such as for pregnant smokers, teens, and Asian-language speakers. The Helpline has also been the setting for conducting research on novel interventions such as using financial incentives to increase counseling adherence among low-income smokers, helping smokers quit through intervention with non-smokers, or determining the role of nicotine replacement therapy in helping smokers quit smoking. The Helpline is expanding its intervention model to include vaping cessation protocols for adults and teens as well as internet and technology-based protocols like texting, chat, mobile applications and online videos.

The Assistant Clinical Director is a licensed (or license-eligible) psychologist who will help the Clinical Director manage the clinical operations of the California Smokers' Helpline. The Assistant Clinical Director will apply behavioral change theory with an in-depth understanding of the modification of addictive behaviors in the Helpline setting. The Helpline serves a range of tobacco users and non-tobacco users from varying ethnic, socioeconomic and psychiatric health backgrounds and includes populations such as teens, American Indians, LGBTQ tobacco users, tobacco users with mental health conditions, First 5 clients (pregnant tobacco users and smokers living with children 0-5), nonsmoking family members and friends of smokers (proxies) and those using e-cigarettes and vaping nicotine.

Under general direction from the Helpline’s clinical director, the Assistant Clinical Director will: 1) maintain a clinical caseload, and provide clinical consultation to Helpline counselors and supervisors; 2) provide triage, emergency care and consultation; 3) provide counseling and risk management/crisis intervention and mandated reporting for clients across the state; 4) assist with hiring, training and consultation for clinical staff; 5) help develop, manage, assess and maintain counseling and tech-based cessation interventions for tobacco smoking, nicotine vaping and other tobacco products; 6) offer technical assistance and training for medical and behavioral health care providers through the Helpline’s Center for Tobacco Cessation; 7) assist with creating clinically-related psychoeducational and promotional materials and preparing scholarly works for presentation or publication; 8) contribute to the conceptualization, design, implementation and monitoring of intervention studies and: 9) function as acting Clinical Director during temporary absences of the Clinical Director. Specialized knowledge of industry standards for teen, young adult, and adult tobacco cessation intervention and behavioral health care and technology-based interventions is preferred.


  • Doctoral degree in clinical or counseling psychology or related field.

  • Three (3+) or more years of relevant experience.

  • A valid California psychologist license or license-eligible.

  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of clinical counseling principles, methods, procedures, and standards.

  • Thorough knowledge of legal and ethical issues related to patients' rights.

  • Strong ability to evaluate the progress of therapeutic approach and modify as necessary. Ability to develop and present educational programs and/or workshops.

  • Highly effective verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills.

  • Thorough knowledge of business software and specialized applications/systems used in behavioral health settings.

  • Proven ability to use good clinical judgment and professional boundaries when assessing, counseling and consulting.

  • Strong skill in analyzing, planning and implementing clinical interventions based on knowledge of theory of human behavior.

  • Demonstrated skill in the management of serious incidents including suicide intervention and mandated reporting.

  • Strong ability to use evidence based therapeutic techniques to treat tobacco dependent clients and those with co-morbid depression, anxiety and other mental health and substance use disorders.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead groups and manage projects of varying levels of complexity.

  • Solid experience in assessing clients and determining appropriate therapeutic approach in consultation with other behavioral health professionals as appropriate.

  • Skill and ability to effectively and competently work from a broad definition of diversity; to think logically and to choose creative and compassionate clinical interventions without undue influence from personal bias or stereotype.


  • Ability to communicate in English and one other service language offered at the Helpline (Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese), both orally and in writing, in a clear, effective and culturally-competent manner to serve the counseling, case management and referral needs of clients from various backgrounds.
  • Specific knowledge of intervention strategies for the change of addictive behaviors for tobacco users, including teens, American Indians, First 5 populations, LGBTQ smokers, smokers with behavioral health conditions and non-smoking family members or friends of smokers (proxies).
  • Knowledge of and experience with behavior change for teens and young adults in a therapeutic setting.
  • Experience with tele-health and tech-based interventions.
  • Experience in telephone-based smoking cessation programs and tobacco research.
  • Interest in and knowledge of research design, IRB approval processes and program evaluation.


  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check and pre-employment physical.
  • Must have flexibility to work occasional evenings and weekends as needed.
  • Must have reliable transportation to go to community meetings and events.

UC San Diego Health is the only academic health system in the San Diego region, providing leading-edge care in patient care, biomedical research, education, and community service. Our facilities include two university hospitals, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Institute, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, and several outpatient clinics. UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest is a designated Level I Trauma Center and has the only Burn Center in the county. We invite you to join our dynamic team!


Applications/Resumes are accepted for current job openings only. For full consideration on any job, applications must be received prior to the initial closing date. If a job has an extended deadline, applications/resumes will be considered during the extension period; however, a job may be filled before the extended date is reached.


UC San Diego Health is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: http://www-hr.ucsd.edu/saa/nondiscr.html

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit smokefree.ucsd.edu for more information.

UC San Diego School of Medicine
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Greenwich Drive
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Days, 8 hrs/day, Monday - Friday


As a federally-funded institution, UC San Diego Health maintains a marijuana and drug free campus. New employees are subject to drug screening.