Assistant Public Health Laboratory Director

Fairfax, Virginia
$79,184.77 - $131,974.34 Annually
Feb 27, 2021
Mar 13, 2021
Full Time
Job Announcement

The Fairfax County Health Department is the largest public health department in Virginia, serving 1.2 million residents from diverse ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds throughout Fairfax County, as well as the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church and the towns of Herndon, Vienna and Clifton. With more than 100 years of leadership in the field, we are committed to protecting, promoting and improving the health and quality of life for all in our community.

Assists with new program and business development, administrative, budgetary, personnel management, and strategic planning. Provides operational support for managing the FCHD Laboratory’s quality programs and regulatory compliance. Consults with local health directors, environmental health specialists, physicians, and others on the interpretation of clinical and environmental test results. Acts as technical lead for laboratory assays, provides technical direction and management support to all areas of the laboratory. Works under the direction of the Public Health Laboratory (PHL) Director.

Supports the PHL Director and has full authority to act for the director in his/her absence or as directed by the PHL Director. Provides leadership to assure that the laboratory provides relevant and accurate scientific data essential for disease surveillance, prevention, and control as well as environmental protection. The PHLAD may address legal/contractual issues, strategic planning, fiscal responsibility and billing, quality assurance and licensure, and participates in the development and implementation of laboratory-related public health policy with the PHL Director. Ensures the FCHD laboratory can respond to local public health threats caused by common or emerging biological and chemical agents, including those that may be disseminated through deliberate acts of terrorism. Duties require specific expert technical knowledge in an area of microbiology, molecular biology and clinical expertise, general knowledge of environmental chemistry and environmental bacteriology, and knowledge of laboratory administration.

Note: Health Department positions are designated as essential and are part of the county's emergency response which operates seven days a week. Based on emergency response deployment demands, this position may be reassigned to provide support as determined by the emergency response service needs. May be required to perform job duties outside of the typical office setting.

Illustrative Duties

(The illustrative duties listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list. A
complete list of position duties and unique physical requirements can be found in the position job description.)

Assists the FCHDL Director in working with other key staff throughout the Health Department to improve laboratory
testing services to support their program areas;
Participates in departmental and community activities as needed to support the mission, goals, and objectives of the FCHD;
Coordinates activities of the different sections of the FCHDL and acts as liaison to external agencies;
Ensures that laboratory programs are consistent with federal, state, and local laws and regulations;
Oversees the policies, processes, and procedures related to the development and evaluation of technical operations,
laboratory-wide emergency management and response, funding and financial oversight, stakeholder relationships,
project management, and program effectiveness;
Works with the FCHDL Director to recruit, retain, and develop professional staff;
Oversees the internal policy development process, implementation, review, and staff compliance;
Oversees the policies, processes, and procedures related to laboratory human resources;
Ensures that a system is in place that values honest and open communication about performance;
Oversees the continuous improvement of the performance management system;
Oversees the policies, processes, and procedures to ensure the fair and equitable resolution of conflicts, address
professional development, and the creation and implementation of succession plans;
Ensures that the progressive discipline system is used to mitigate disciplinary issues;
Ensures that staff function in roles commensurate with experience, skill set, and proficiency.

Ensures that the laboratory's organizational structure is committed to achieving and maintaining quality;
Oversees the development of policies, processes, and procedures for review and maintenance of the Quality Management System (QMS);
Coordinates organizational structure to ensure the QMS is well integrated into all levels of laboratory operations.
Fosters a culture of quality, safety, and ethics;
Ensures the customer needs, expectations, and requirements are consistently met;
Ensures that the laboratory's physical environment, maintenance, and safety programs meet applicable requirements;
Oversees the policies, processes, and procedures to develop, review, and maintain a safety plan that meets requirements;
Ensures the waste management plan follows regulatory requirements;
Ensures recruitment and retention of a qualified, well-trained, and competent workforce;
Develops recruitment, retention, and succession plans to maintain a qualified workforce;
Ensures that requirements for supplies and services are consistently met;
Ensures that laboratory procurement incorporates organizational rules and collaboration with purchasing authorities;
Oversees a quality improvement plan for purchasing and inventory;
Ensures that laboratory equipment selection, installation, use, maintenance, and troubleshooting meet performance standards;
Oversees the policies, processes, and procedures for equipment acquisition and decommissioning;
Ensures that operational processes meet organizational requirements;
Oversees the policies, processes, and procedures for evaluating and modifying current workflow processes and for developing new workflow processes;
Ensures that there is an effective system to control and manage documents and records;
Oversees the document and records management systems to ensure staff compliance with internal policies, external regulations, and accreditation requirements;
Ensures the confidentiality, security, and integrity of generated and disseminated information;
Oversees the policies, processes, and procedures for ensuring confidentiality, security, and integrity of information
and staff compliance with regulations and guidelines;
Ensures that processes are in place for detecting and managing nonconforming events;
Oversees the policies, processes, and procedures for investigating NCEs;
Ensures that processes are in place to perform internal audits and external assessments;
Ensures mechanisms for continuous quality improvement (CQI);
Oversees the policies, processes, and procedures related to CQI activities including corrective action, preventive action and the quality improvement program;
Oversees activities related to policy, process, and procedural change management, including evaluation of impact on organizational processes and services;
Oversees the policies, processes, and procedures that ensure laboratory data will support public health surveillance activity and program requirements;
Develops research programs through alignment of financial, human, and material resources to support the research program.

Oversees the laboratory's emergency response plan, including implementation of COOP;
Serves at a leadership role in the ICS;
Implements a management system that promotes flexibility and maximizes the ability to deliver surge capacity;
Oversees the laboratory recovery from emergency events;
Ensures that the laboratory's risk mitigation plan meets organizational goals, regulatory requirements, and established standards.

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

(The knowledge, skills and abilities listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all inclusive list.)
Considerable knowledge of management and administrative functions, laboratory operational systems, and accreditation standards;
Knowledge of public health microbiology, communicable disease, sexually transmitted infections, including quality control and laboratory safety;
Knowledge of laws, rules, and regulations governing the operation of a public health laboratory;
Knowledge of health and safety precautions and procedures required in a laboratory setting;
Knowledge of the standards and practice of BSL-2 and BSL-3 biosafety research, development, testing and evaluation;
Knowledge of laboratory management, including continuous process improvement activities;
Knowledge and ability to work effectively with computer applications including LIS, specimen management, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, and database software;
Demonstrated ability to direct clinical staff;
Ability to apply mathematical operations to tasks;
Ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to practical problems;
Ability to provide leadership and direction to laboratory staff pertaining to administrative, quality assurance, and public relations functions;
Ability to use critical thinking skills, including analytical and problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, and sound judgement;
Ability to read, analyze, interpret, and communicate the most complex topics, persuasive speeches, and articles to diverse populations;
Ability to respond effectively to sensitive enquiries or complaints;
Ability to author effective, persuasive speeches, presentations, and articles on controversial or complex topics;
Ability to use original or innovative techniques to present complex topics, persuasive speeches, and articles to diverse populations;
Ability to build and maintain good working relationships with a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary team, Health
Department program managers, County officials, community partners, other agencies, and the public;
Ability to work in a fast-paced team environment, remaining positive and poised under pressure to handle sensitive situations diplomatically and professionally;
Ability to plan and organize multiple assignments simultaneously, adjust to changing priorities, and complete assignments in a timely manner;
Ability to demonstrate professionalism, honesty, and integrity as well as the ability to maintain confidentiality;
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with administrators, physicians, clinicians, and staff;
Ability to analyze and resolve technical and administrative problems.

Employment Standards

Any combination of education, experience, and training equivalent to the following: (Click on the aforementioned link to learn how Fairfax County interprets equivalencies for "Any combination, experience, and training equivalent to") Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major course work in medical technology, microbiology, bacteriology, chemistry, biology or a closely related field; plus five years of recent experience in a clinical, public health, or environmental laboratory including two years of progressively responsible managerial experience in public health laboratory management.

Driver's License
CPR (Required within 60 days)
AED (Required within 60 days)
Prefer certification as a laboratory manager or director or Eligible for a Clinical Laboratory Director's certificate, pursuant to CLIA guidelines.

The appointee to this position will be required to complete a criminal background check, a child protective services registry, a driving records check, and a sanction screenings to the satisfaction of the employer.
Appointee must also complete a tuberculosis (TB) test prior to appointment.

Experience in a broad service laboratory with a minimum of 5 years of experience in laboratory supervision and management.

Successful candidate will possess:

  • Broad knowledge of bacteriology, microbiology, virology, immunology, molecular biology, and epidemiology
  • Knowledge and experience managing laboratory quality assurance, proficiency testing, competency assessment, and safety programs;
  • Experience with strategic planning, workforce development and leading teams;
  • Working knowledge and experience with personnel supervision and management;
  • Knowledge and experience with maintaining regulatory compliance;
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, and demonstrated ability to effectively implement projects.
  • Ability to read, analyze and interpret complex documents and respond effectively to sensitive inquiries or complaints;
  • Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors.
  • Ability to build and maintain good working relationships with a multi-cultural and multi-discipline staff, other agencies and the public;
  • Demonstrated capability in administration, writing, speaking and teaching; and basic knowledge of public and environmental health is desired.
Preference will be given to candidates with previous laboratory management experience including budget preparation, strategic planning, personnel management and business development. Ph. D in Microbiology with extensive research and training experience in diagnostic molecular microbiology is desirable.
Preferred candidates with any one of the following certifications a plus; Medical Technology, Clinical Laboratory Science, Medical Laboratory Science, or Board Certified Laboratory Director

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to sit, talk, see, and hear. Job is generally sedentary in nature, and requires walking, sitting, standing, climbing stairs, reaching, and bending; may be required to lift or carry up to 25 lbs., occasionally; uses hands to grasp, handle, or feel; must possess manual dexterity sufficient to work with small instruments and delicate laboratory equipment; Visual acuity is required to read data on computer monitor and laboratory equipment, and to distinguish fine gradation of color, bands, or structure and closely examine specimens microscopically; Ability to operate keyboard driven equipment; Incumbent frequently communicates and must be able to exchange accurate information with others verbally and in writing. Ability to drive a motor 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.

Panel interview.

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 status as a veteran 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. EEO/AA/TTY.

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