Title: Epidemiologist I
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Brief Summary of Position:
The Epidemiologist I will work in the Occupational Health Surveillance Program (OHSP), and conduct epidemiological investigations regarding occupational risk factors for work-related injuries and illnesses, with primary responsibilities focused on injuries among hospital workers. This is accomplished by collecting and analyzing epidemiological data from ongoing surveillance systems, administrative records, and questionnaires; and by interpreting the results of studies of the incidence and distribution of occupational disease and injury in the population. Responsibilities include those related to the operation of the Department’s Sharps Injury Surveillance System, including contact with hospital occupational health/infection control staff, collecting, coding, analyzing and interpreting data from hospitals on the incidence and distribution of work-related sharps injuries in Massachusetts, and maintaining quality standards.
The incumbent will also use existing administrative data sets such as workers’ compensation data to identify sharps injuries, and musculoskeletal disorders among hospital workers associated with patient handling. This individual is expected assist in the preparation and dissemination of fact sheets, reports, presentations, conference abstracts, and peer-reviewed publications. In addition to staffing and participating in relevant Massachusetts working groups on sharps injuries and safe patient handling, the incumbent will work with relevant federal agencies in the surveillance and prevention of work-related injuries among hospital workers. The incumbent will assist with implementation of activities related to the CDC/NIOSH grant on surveillance of work-related health outcomes in hospital workers, including preparation of progress reports and applications for new/continued funding. They will also assist with additional OHSP projects as needed including, for example, analysis data on opioid use and misuse in the working population. Additionally, the incumbent will participate in efforts in MDPH that address employment as a social determinant of health by addressing the role of structural racism on employment and health, and recognizing the impact work organizational factors have on health and well-being.
Duties & Responsibilities:
- Collects, analyzes and interprets data on work-related sharps injuries among hospital workers in Massachusetts, as required by 105 CMR 130.1001 et seq.
- Conducts analysis of data regarding musculoskeletal disorders among hospital workers and assists with interpreting the results and preparing reports.
- Conducts analysis of existing data sets on opioid use and misuse among the working population.
- Develops, documents and implements quality assurance controls and protocols with respect to the collection of relevant occupational injury and illness data.
- Performs computer runs using SAS and similar programming language for multivariate statistical and epidemiological analysis and file linkage of large data files, maintaining documentation for reproducibility.
- Performs statistical analysis of surveillance data for reports on findings based on research conducted for interdepartmental, external public oriented, and professional publications.
- Uses statistical data, reports, case histories, surveys and other information in order to give technical assistance to healthcare facilities and Departmental personnel in public health matters pertaining to occupational health.
- Assists with the planning and/or implementation of educational programs on occupational disease and injury surveillance and research findings, and epidemiological methods etc., to train or inform agency staff, hospital workers or the general public.
- Keeps informed of the current trends in the epidemiology of occupational injuries and illnesses, particularly those related to hospital workers, by reviewing the professional literature, health bulletins and other publications and by attending seminars, courses and conferences, when feasible/appropriate.
- Ensures data confidentiality and security in accordance with Department regulations.
- Performs other epidemiological tasks and works with additional data sets as required.
- Collaborates with other Bureaus and programs across the Department as needed.
- Participates in OHSP and BCHAP staff meetings, and other relevant workgroups such as the OHSP Epidemiology group and DPH opioid related meetings as indicated.
- Use of epidemiologic and statistical methods for occupational and/or environmental health research.
- Familiarity with the various standard coding schemes and methods for categorizing exposure used in occupational health research, including sharps injury research.
- Experience programming SAS and proficiency with MSAccess and MSExcel.
Working familiarity with data large data sets.
- Knowledge of the principles and practice of occupational health and safety, particularly within the healthcare industry.
- Experience working with acute and non-acute care hospitals in Massachusetts.
- General understanding of, and commitment to, health equity, including racial equity, and addressing social determinants of health.
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