FCHD is recruiting a Substance Use/Mental Health Epidemiologist to support an expanding Population Health Section within the Division of Epidemiology and Population Health (DEPH). Established in 2018, the Population Health program has a primary focus on examining health and well-being at the population level, including underlying disparities across demographic and geographic groups; as well as a focus on understanding the mechanisms through which behavioral, structural, economic, social, and cultural factors interact in producing observed health related patterns over the life course. Key to the work of the Population Health program is the application of analytic information in the promotion and implementation of effective cross-sectoral strategies for optimizing health and well-being and reducing health inequities.
This position will hold primary responsibility for the planning and implementation of analytic and surveillance work related to elucidating trends in substance use and mental health (e.g., suicide, depression, anxiety) related outcomes and determinants across populations. The incumbent will develop subject matter expertise and contribute to the development, monitoring, evaluation, and quality improvement of evidence-based policies and programs to improve health outcomes and increase equity. Work will support the promotion of effective strategies for addressing prevention, care, treatment, and support needs within diverse communities.
Key capabilities for this position include:
- Knowledge and experience in the application of epidemiologic principles and methods in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data associated with monitoring and assessing population trends in substance use, mental health, behavioral risk factors, and social determinants of health, and the impact of prevention, intervention, and health promotion strategies;
- The ability to apply prominent conceptual models and theories regarding the multi-determinants of health, health disparities, and health equity in the development of analytic questions, study and evaluation designs, interpretation of analytic findings, and the identification of effective policy and programmatic models;
- Experience in the utilization of surveillance, administrative, survey, and/or census data in the characterization and evaluation of disease trends and risk factors;
- Knowledge of strategies and methods for conducting primary data collection including survey development, sampling, recruitment, data management, and complex survey data analysis;
- The ability to effectively translate and present analytic findings for informing data-driven programs and policies;
- Skill in building and supporting collaborative partnerships with diverse internal and external stakeholders in the identification of community needs, and the development and implementation of strategies for promoting optimal health and well-being and reducing health inequities.
- The ability to effectively coordinate and manage projects involving multiple staff with varying areas and levels of epidemiologic expertise.
- Proficiency in the utilization of statistical (e.g., R, SAS, STATA, SPSS) software applications.
The successful candidate will undertake the following key activities to advance population health in Fairfax County:
- Descriptive and inferential analyses identifying county-level population trends, patterns, and disparities in substance use, mental health, and underlying health determinants utilizing local, state, and national data sources.
- Identification and acquisition of relevant quantitative and qualitative data sources for information regarding local population characteristics, health determinants, and health outcomes, and the development of appropriate analytic datasets (e.g., data extraction, cleaning, coding, and matching).
- Implementation of quantitative and qualitative primary data collection efforts (e.g., data entry forms, surveys, focus groups, key informant interviews) designed to assess substance use and mental health related health determinants and outcomes across target populations.
- Contribute to the planning and implementation of monitoring and evaluation activities targeted toward assessing the impact of local policies, initiatives, and programs.
- Conduct systematic literature reviews on key issues related to the prevention, screening, treatment, and care of substance use and mental health related conditions.
- Produce infographics, reports, white papers, manuscripts, and presentations translating analytic findings for diverse audiences with varying levels of epidemiologic and public health expertise.
- Contribute to the development and maintenance of internal and external data visualization dashboards.
- Lead opioid-related overdose spike detection efforts and assist in the coordination of associated communication and response activities.
- Facilitate the application of analytic findings in the identification of local population health priorities and development of effective county programs and policies.
- Contribute to the development and monitoring of local strategic plans targeted toward addressing substance use and mental health related needs and reducing health inequities.
- Develop and maintain collaborative working relationships with internal and external partners in identifying and promoting effective cross-sectoral strategies for addressing public health needs.
- Serve as the primary divisional representative on the Fairfax County Opioid and Substance Use (OSU) Task Force.
- Supervise the work of junior level divisional staff.
- Support the development of internal division and departmental capacity through peep-to-peer technical assistance and training based on area of expertise.
The Division of Epidemiology and Population Health includes doctoral and master’s level Epidemiologists and Public Health Nurses. Programs include Acute and Chronic Communicable Diseases, Population Health, and Environmental Epidemiology. Primary roles of the Division include characterizing and monitoring disease burden and health disparities; investigating disease outbreaks and recommending preventive measures; implementing and evaluating impacts of prevention programs and policies; conducting public health research; and communicating with scientific and lay stakeholders.Note
: Health Department positions are designated as emergency responders in the event of a public health crisis. As a public health emergency responder, this position may be reassigned to provide support based on the emergency response service needs. The temporary reassignment may require employees to function in a role outside of the typical job duties. The emergency response may also require employees to work alternative work schedules to include weekend and evenings.Employment StandardsMINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
Advanced degree in epidemiology: doctorate degree (PhD) plus two years of experience in epidemiology-related work, or master's degree in Public Health (MPH) or Master of Science (MS) with graduate work in epidemiology and/or biostatistics plus five years of experience in epidemiology-related work.CERTIFICATES AND LICENSES REQUIRED:
Valid driver's license.
AED- Required within 60 days
CPR- Required within 60 daysPREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:
PhD in Epidemiology, Health Behavior, Population Health, or related field.
Previous experience working at a local, state, or federal health agency.
Previous work experience in chronic diseases, injury, substance use, and/or health disparities.
Experience working collaboratively with staff representing diverse areas of expertise.
Experience engaging with multicultural populations and community organizations.NECESSARY SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS:
The appointee to this position will be required to complete a criminal background check, a check of the Child Protective Services Registry, sanction screening, and a driving record check to the satisfaction of the employer. Tuberculosis Test.PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:
Job is generally sedentary in nature; however, job entails walking, standing, sitting, climbing stairs, reaching and bending. Employee may be required to lift or carry up to 25 lbs. occasionally. Uses hands to grasp, handle, or feel. Visual acuity is required to read data on a computer monitor. Incumbent must be able to operate keyboard driven equipment and computer. Position frequently communicates and must be able to exchange accurate information with others verbally and in writing. Ability to drive a vehicle. Generally, works in an office environment yet may occasionally be required to perform job duties outside of the typical office setting. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.SELECTION PROCEDURE:
The population of Fairfax County is very diverse where 39.8% of residents speak a language other than English at home (Spanish, Asian/Pacific Islander, Indo-European, and others
) and we encourage candidates bilingual in English and a foreign language to apply to this opportunity.Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or military status in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.
Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. DHREmployment@fairfaxcounty.gov