Job Posting for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Overdose Data Abstractor

Title: Overdose Data Abstractor

Organization: Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Summary of Position

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), Office of Statistics and Evaluation within the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention seeks a qualified candidate interested in public health and drug overdose data surveillance. Candidates must maintain sensitivity to handling confidential health information and attention to detail. The Research Analyst will support work related to drug overdose data surveillance within the Injury Surveillance Program (ISP). This position will be responsible for the collection, abstraction, and coding of data into the State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) for unintentional and undetermined intent drug overdose-related deaths. These tasks will require the review of death certificates, autopsy reports, toxicology reports, hospital records, police reports, and supplemental data sources of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) and may be required to work at offsite locations multiple days a week.  With oversight from program epidemiologists, the Research Analyst will respond to data requests, generate reports on findings, and give oral presentations. This position will also assist with administrative duties, including serving as the liaison with internal and external data providers, users, and stakeholders.  


  • Collect, review, abstract, and code information from medical examiner reports, death certificates, and supplemental data sources on fatal unintentional and undetermined intent drug overdose-related deaths.
  • Assist with the validation of existing data on fatal opioid-related overdoses.
  • Review pending OCME cases to determine if they are likely opioid-related overdoses.
  • Act as project liaison with external and internal data providers, users, and stakeholders.
  • Assist in the creation and formatting of data dissemination products.
  • Conduct data quality control activities.
  • Maintain database to track progress of data abstraction.
  • Provide research and administrative support to program supervisor and epidemiologist.
  • Attend trainings on SUDORS data coding.
  • Participate in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) communications related to data coding.
  • Train new staff in data collection and abstraction, as needed.
  • Attend staff and other injury-related meetings, as required.
  • Perform related duties essential to injury surveillance, BCHAP priorities, and DPH priorities, as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • Ability to compile statistical data, including the ability to prepare and use charts, graphs, and tables.
  • Ability to maintain accurate records.
  • Ability to use information technology resources, formulas, and analytical tools to generate reports, letters, memoranda and related documents.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in oral communication.
  • Ability to establish and maintain harmonious working relationships with others.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Background knowledge of injury/overdose research literature and public health approaches to prevention.
  • Understanding of issues related to maintenance and utilization of surveillance data systems.
  • Solid written communication skills, including drafting concise, detailed reports, charts, graphs and tables and provide training to staff on an as needed basis.
  • Demonstrated capacity to exercise superior judgment with the ability to oversee highly sensitive and confidential information; prioritize and adjust work assignments to meet changing situations, emergencies, demands and changing program requirements.
  • Ability to establish rapport and work effectively with co-workers and all stakeholders including the capacity to understand, explain, and apply applicable laws, rules and regulations, policies and procedures, specifications, standards and guidelines.
  • Record of utilizing analytical and critical thinking skills in order to abstract information and arrive at fact-based conclusions.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications including Outlook, Word, Access, Powerpoint and Excel.
  • May be responsible for traveling to various locations for work related travel.

To Apply

To see the full job description and to apply, click here.

%d bloggers like this: