Public Health Emergency Management Planner

Alexandria, VA
$73,619.00 - $87,435.40 Annually
Dec 01, 2021
Dec 22, 2021
Full Time
Public Health Emergency Management Planner

An Overview
Alexandria Health Department (AHD) is seeking an experienced, self-motivated, critical thinker to join our Public Health Emergency Management (PHEM) team. The PHEM Planner/Coordinator position provides subject matter expertise, strategic planning, and multi-faceted coordination to ensure public health emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation capabilities for the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) and the City of Alexandria. During public health emergencies such as natural disasters, bio-terrorism events, or emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19, this role is integral in the management of the emergency. The position routinely interfaces with multiple divisions internal to AHD, offices within the Virginia Department of Health, agencies within the City of Alexandria, local healthcare facilities and community organizations, regional partners in Northern Virginia and the National Capitol Region, and additional state and federal partners.

The PHEM Coordinator reports to the Deputy Health Director and supervises the PHEM team, consisting of an Assistant PHEM Coordinator and two MRC (Medical Reserve Corps) Coordinators, one of which is a temporary position to meet COVID-19 needs. This dynamic team collaborates on initiatives for enhancing disaster preparedness and response. The team members are passionate about their mission and extremely dedicated to their work. During AHD’s COVID-19 response, they have been invaluable for their subject matter expertise, relationships with internal and external partners, and sincere desire to assist Alexandrians through emergencies.

The Opportunity - Examples of Work
  • Coordinate AHD preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation for disasters and major emergencies with public health impacts;
  • Manage all aspects of PHEM team operations: Set strategic goals and vision of the PHEM program; operationalize program objectives; determine agendas; lead team meetings; evaluate team member and program performance requirements; manage the division’s budget and grants;
  • Manage all Emergency Support Function 8 (ESF-8) activities for AHD and the City, including planning and collaboration with long-term care facilities, dialysis centers, hospitals and other healthcare providers;
  • Review, update, and further develop AHD emergency management plans, policies, and procedures (e.g. Emergency Operations Plan, Continuity of Operations Plan, etc.) and provide subject matter expertise on the implementation of those plans;
  • Ensure plans are aligned and integrated with other City, State, and regional plans; that they support the City’s mission, vision and priorities; and that they meet local, state and federal requirements (e.g. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Medical Countermeasure Operational Readiness Review; Project Public Health Ready);
  • Represent AHD on City and regional meetings and committees as well as at outreach events (including after hours and weekends) that promote AHD and PHEM services, including Medical Reserve Corps volunteer opportunities and trainings;
  • Oversee, or personally plan and execute, public health emergency training, drills, and exercises internally and with community partners;
  • Assure AHD staff coverage for the City Emergency Operations Center when it is activated, and for the 24/7 PHEM Duty Officer Phone continuously, either through personally providing coverage or ensuring other staff are adequately trained and scheduled to cover;
  • Oversee AHD National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliance for staff and volunteers;
  • Perform other work and duties as assigned.
About The Department
Alexandria Health Department (AHD) is one of 35 health districts in Virginia. As part of the Virginia Department of Health, AHD serves the residents, businesses, and visitors of Alexandria and works closely with the City of Alexandria and community partners to achieve its mission and vision. Alexandria, comprised of 15.75 square miles and a population of approximately 150,000, is the most densely populated city in Virginia and is rich in diversity and community engagement. AHD’s mission is “Protecting and Promoting Health and Well-Being in Our Communities” and our vision is “Healthy People, Healthier Communities.” We view “health” in the broadest sense and this drives our path towards continuous health improvement with a focus on equity of the social determinants of health.

At this time, Alexandria Health Department is leading the Alexandria Community in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and nursing/clinical services are an essential part of all related activities including not only case investigation and contact tracing but also providing accurate and targeted public health information to help all areas of the community as we respond and move forward into re-opening of business and clinical service delivery. The Nursing Division, with leadership from the Medical Director, is committed, engaged, and flexible in its response to the needs of the day as well as intentional planning for the future.

Minimum & Additional Requirements

To qualify for this position, all candidates must possess a four-year college degree in Public Health, Public Administration, Homeland Security, Emergency Management, Emergency and Disaster Management, or a closely related field; and three years' experience in public health emergency management, homeland security, or a closely related field; or any equivalent combination of experience and training that provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities. Completion of the FEMA Professional Development Series, Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) training course, National Incident Management System (NIMS) IS-700 and IS-800 courses and Incident Command System (ICS) 100, 200, 300 & 400; thorough knowledge of Emergency Support Function 8 (ESF-8) responsibilities for public health and medical services and the local public health role in emergency response. Must have access to reliable transportation which enables employee to respond to emergencies at any time.

Preferred Qualifications

To be considered as an ideal candidate, one should also possess two years of supervisory experience and have demonstrated effective leadership and management skills in a professional setting. A Master Degree or an additional 2 years of equivalent experience in emergency management or public health. Completion of NIMS and ICS all-hazard position-specific trainings. Experience and proficiency with rapid notification systems. Experience with the Medical Reserve Corps program and experience managing volunteers. Experience in public health emergency preparedness and response on a local level in a public/governmental setting. Knowledge or experience with grant writing and budget management.

Extensive subject matter expertise and experience in the field of public health emergency management including strategic visioning; program management; implementation and monitoring of initiatives; planning, coordinating, conducting and assessing trainings, drills and exercises; planning, coordinating, conducting and evaluating meetings; working on politically- and security-sensitive topics.

The ability to communicate with people from diverse educational, professional, racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. Excellent oral and written communication skills, exceptional interpersonal skills, and the ability to give compelling public presentations. Proven ability to develop and deliver effective risk communications. Able to conduct impactful outreach and public information campaigns. Experience working successfully with a wide range of local, regional, state, and federal partners who may at times have competing agendas or conflicting priorities.

Proven ability to work well independently and as a member of a team. Has a style of leadership that engenders trust and cooperation among staff, residents, and partner agencies and organizations. Detail- oriented, meet deadlines on time, prioritizes and handles multiple tasks appropriately. Works efficiently, effectively and professionally in unpredictable, high pressure, rapidly changing, fast-paced work environments and assists others in handling stress.


Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a cover letter and resume when submitting their application.

This position requires the successful completion of pre-employment background checks including but not limited to driving record check, previous education and employment verification, and criminal background check.

Normal work hours for this position are Monday - Friday 7:45am to 4:30pm (with a 45-minute lunch break). Required to be willing and able to frequently work evenings and weekends to provide orientation, trainings, community outreach events, or other program support. Must have the ability to be on-call 24/7 and respond in case of emergencies. Work is conducted in various environments, including outdoors.

Rotates responsibility for the 24/7 PHEM Duty Officer Phone with the Assistant PHEM Coordinator and MRC Coordinator. Assumes the 24/7 Duty Officer responsibilities at least two weeks out of every month and is fully responsible for on-call coverage during PHEM Team absences and vacancies.

Required to maintain a valid driver’s license and adhere to Virginia Department of Health’s driver safety policy.

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