Program Specialist II
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services - El Paso, TX

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Under the supervision of the Preparedness Manager, performs duties related to epidemiology, disease surveillance and preparedness activities related to the CDC PHP Cooperative Agreement. Develops working relationships and networks of communication with public/private health care partners involved in disease surveillance and reporting. Position may take a lead role in coordinating regional staff during disease outbreaks and investigations. Provides technical support on epidemiology and disease surveillance related to emergency preparedness planning and bioterrorism initiatives. Provides support to regional programs during disease outbreaks to include case investigations and other field activities. Assist regional staff in conducting disease investigation and surveillance for 32 counties. Conducts, facilitate and provides training on epidemiology, disease reporting and surveillance for internal and external stakeholders. Position assists in conducting and developing resource materials for stakeholders. Assist in writing articles for regional epidemiology newsletter. Works with nursing staff on preparedness and epidemiology activities. Develops databases and spreadsheets to track case investigations. Responds to public health emergencies.Works with moderate latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment.

Essential Job Functions:
(35%) Performs duties related to epidemiology, disease surveillance and public Health preparedness. Assists in completion of the CDC Public Health Preparedness Cooperative program initiatives. Establishes and maintains working relationships and networks of communication with health care workforce that include collecting epidemiologic data, facilitating and improving disease reporting, assessing and recruiting community medical specialists as resources during emergency situations and response. Actively performs case investigations regarding foodborne diseases and possible disease outbreaks. Consults with medical professionals, hospitals and facilities to track reportable diseases. Tracks reportable disease conditions using state database. Position will take lead role in coordinating epidemiological investigations using a team approach. Responds to disease outbreaks, unusual expressions of diseases and emergency situations. Duties will include conducting special investigations, to include report writing and other activities related to epidemiology, case investigations, data analysis and consultative activities pertinent to epidemiology. Assists coordinating epidemiological field activities to include the collection and shipment of specimens to laboratories as needed. Analyze epidemiological data; prepare descriptive reports, forward completed investigations and follow-up activities with appropriate program leads. Conducts assessments regarding CDC grant activities related to timeliness and accurate reporting of reportable conditions, electronic medical reporting and syndromic surveillance systems. Assists stakeholders and staff implementing disease control and prevention measures as needed. Coordinates with the medical community in providing information and training for medical specialists who will act as consultants during emergencies. Provides consultative service to the general public regarding infectious diseases and routine prevention measures.

(30%) In coordination with ERT/PHP staff, coordinates epidemiology and disease surveillance activities in regional planning and response plans. Assesses community medical capabilities that include physician qualifications in the treatment of specialized medical areas such as those dealing with; infectious disease, radiological and chemical exposures, ascertaining medical and pharmaceutical capabilities, community vulnerability and risk assessments that identify critical medical and industry infrastructure gaps. Establishes and maintains working relationships and networks of communication with public/private sector partners associated with emergency response and public health preparedness. Provides technical consultation and advice to local health departments, hospitals and stakeholders on epidemiology and disease surveillance, disease outbreaks, bioterrorism and public health emergencies. Develops and evaluate training for medical consultants and stakeholders to maintain awareness of public health preparedness initiatives. Collaboratively work with other epidemiological staff in analyzing data and conducting special epidemiological projects. Assists program in meeting required deliverables and timelines as established in the annual CDC Cooperative Agreement. Position provides input and assistance to complete the grant applications, work plans, quarterly reports, and related reporting activities for the CDC Cooperative. Distributes and develops disease reports and related material to medical providers. Actively participates in meetings with medical stakeholders on a quarterly basis. Provides coverage for epidemiology program to ensure 24/7/365 coverage.

(20%) Conducts training related to epidemiology, disease surveillance, emergency response and other regional public health initiatives. In coordination with ERT/PHP staff, assists in the development of educational and training materials, flyers, brochures, etc. regarding disease reporting and surveillance, preparedness and public health disease issues. Routinely participates as an author for regional newsletters and publications. Develops oral/written presentations regarding epidemiology, disease reporting, surveillance and public health preparedness. Assist with preparedness activities that involve developing and training the health care workforce, local community leaders and the general public.
(10%). As a member of the Epidemiological Response Team (ERT), may respond to a public health emergencies large disease outbreaks, or bioterrorism events anywhere in state. Actively participates in the implementation of public health preparedness response activities within HSR 9/10. Other duties as assigned include but are not limited to actively participating and/or serving in a supporting role to meet the agency’s obligations for disaster response and/or recovery or Continuity of Operations (COOP) activation. Such participation may require an alternate shift pattern assignment and/or location. Assists staff in inventory and transportation of public health supplies.
(5%) Other duties as assigned as deem appropriate by Agency and Preparedness Program.

Knowledge Skills Abilities:
Knowledge of the principles of epidemiology.
Knowledge of interviewing and assetments
Knowledge of medical terminology and medical procedures
Knowledge of signs and symptoms of infectious diseases.
Knowledge of infection control practices and measures.
Knowledge of medical treatments of reportable diseases
Knowledge of Texas Public Health laws, especially those that govern the control and reporting of notifiable conditions.
Knowledge of public health preparedness.
Knowledge of bloodborne pathogens
Knowledge of statistical methods
Knowledge of patient assetments

Skill in using word processing, database, spreadsheet, and graphics software packages.
Skill in using various statistical software
Skill in mathematical and statistical computations.
Skill in editorial and design concepts for publication.
Skill in interpreting laboratory findings, physical signs/symptoms and information on medical charts.
Skill in problem solving and decision-making, management and supervision, interviewing and negotiating

Ability to collect epidemiological data and make recommendations
Ability to work discreetly and maintain confidentiality
Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
Ability to organize and prioritize workload and meet deadlines.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.
Ability to work productively with regional, local health department personnel, private practice physicians, hospital staff, media, and the general public.
Ability to communicate accurately and concisely verbally and in writing.
Ability to be flexible and function as a team member.
Ability to travel and respond to public health emergencies
Ability to meet travel requirements and being oncall

Registration or Licensure Requirements:

Initial Selection Criteria:
A degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Nursing ,Allied Health, Epidemiology, Statistics, Public Health or other medical related fields. Experience working in an environment with patients.Expierence in writing technical reports. Experience in using medical terminology.Expierence in explaining and presenting data. Experience and education may be substituted for one another

Travel requirements within the State of Texas.(30% day and 25% night)
Working hours other than Monday-Friday 8am-5pm.Valid Drivers license.
1. Initial pre screening by phone may be conducted.
2. In basket exercise may be conducted
3. Oral interview with interview panel
Optional in-basket exercise may be administered.

Additional Information:
Requisition ID#219309
Applicable education and experience, interview, optional in basket exercise (if used).
Travel requirements, travel, within the State of Texas. (30% day and 25% night)
Working hours other than Monday-Friday 8am-5pm.Being on call, Valid Drivers license
1. Initial pre screening by phone may be conducted. (Questions submitted)
2. In basket exercise may be conducted
3. Oral interview with interview panel
A degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Nursing ,Allied Health, Epidemiology, Statistics, Public Health or other medical related fields
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), HHS agencies will provide
reasonable accommodation during the hiring and selection process for qualified individual
s with a disability. If you need assistance completing the on-line application, contact
the AccessHR service center at 1-888-894-4747. If you are contacted for an interview and
need accommodation to participate in the interview process, please notify the person
scheduling the interview.