Title: Field Epidemiologist
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Brief Summary of Position:
The Field Epidemiologist specializes in disease follow-up and short-term health navigation activities for individuals diagnosed with, or exposed to, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. The ideal candidates will be able to apply the principles of epidemiology to a disease investigation that aims to interrupt future transmission events. The Field Epidemiologist may need to deliver laboratory results to patients infected with an STI and notify individuals who have come in contact with a person infected with an STI, including HIV.
This evolving sector of public health response includes working with diagnosed individuals to elicit information regarding sexual and drug-injection partners; notifying sexual and drug-injection partners as to STI exposure, and facilitating access to infectious disease testing; linkage to medical care and support services for individuals newly diagnosed with HIV and other STIs; and re-engagement in care and treatment services for persons identified as out-of-care or sub-optimally engaged in care and treatment.
Field Epidemiologists are expected to do data entry and run reports using an electronic surveillance and case management system. The primary function of the position is to interrupt infectious disease transmission using methods of contact tracing, facilitation of patient engagement and retention in medical care and treatment completion or adherence. The secondary function of the position is to work on special projects of interest to the Division, including but not limited to surveys and focused surveillance projects. The Epidemiologists in the Division will work with patients and clinical providers, including those at large hospital systems, detox facilities and community health centers.
Duties & Responsibilities:
- Conducts extensive fieldwork including interviews with individuals with STIs, their sex and drug injection partners, and other contacts.
- Works with clinical providers to obtain case information and ensure appropriate follow-up.
- Documents all work in case management systems.
- Serves as liaison between the Bureau of Infectious Disease’s Division of STD Prevention and community health centers, hospitals, other health and human service providers, impacted communities, and individuals with STIs to facilitate a coordinated community-wide response to STIs and support engagement of individual patients through the continuum of services.
- Provides routine epidemiologic advice, technical assistance, education, and other support to clinical providers to enable application of disease surveillance data to service planning and quality improvement efforts.
- Through community-based field epidemiology (via personal automobile), provides rapid partner notification and referral on all priority cases of STI’s.
- Arranges with health care providers for the management of people infected with STIs, including HIV.
- Supports coordination between clinical laboratories, health care providers, health centers, hospitals, jails, and community groups to resolve issues related to STI prevention, screening, and treatment.
- Provides information and skill-building support regarding STI services, including HIV, to health care professionals and community-based organizations.
- Compiles and uses epidemiologic data to identify trends and emerging issues in specific populations to inform public health response.
- Collaborates with providers to use clinical and disease surveillance data to facilitate patient (re)engagement in medical care and adherence to, and completion of, medical treatment.
- Knowledge of the principles of epidemiology.
- Experience administering surveys or interviewing clients.
- Experience interpreting clinical or laboratory data.
- Ability to exercise discretion in handling confidential information.
- Ability to speak tactfully about sensitive subjects, including sex and injecting behaviors.
- Multilingual skills preferred.
- Experience in health care environment and familiarity with diverse populations preferred.
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