Job Posting for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Senior Drug Overdose Epidemiologist

Title: Senior Drug Overdose Epidemiologist

Organization: Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Summary of Position

The Department of Public Health (DPH) seeks to hire an experienced epidemiologist to serve as a member of the Injury Surveillance Program (ISP) in the Office of Statistics and Evaluation (OSE) within the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention (BCHAP). The incumbent in this position will provide statistical and analytical support to the Office of Statistics and Evaluation (OSE), supporting implementation of cross-cutting approaches to promote health and prevent and control chronic diseases and their risk factors; as well as providing some support to the Office of Health Equity (OHE) through statistical analysis of CLAS internal assessments.​The incumbent will focus on data related to drug overdose and will be responsible for data collection and analysis, database management, evaluation, report preparation, dissemination and provision of technical assistance to program staff and contracted agencies with the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS).

The mission of the Injury Surveillance Program is to monitor the prevalence and incidence of fatal and nonfatal injuries in Massachusetts. The unit provides statistics and reports for the design and planning of prevention and intervention programs, for operational and performance management of the programs, and for policy recommendations, and performs work related to such activities as required. The unit conducts evaluations related to continuous quality improvement and performance outcomes. The Epidemiologist will perform critical analyses to generate statewide, regional, and other demographic-specific numbers and rates of the causes and circumstances of drug overdoses and other injuries. The incumbent may analyze the data for severity, medical costs, co-morbid conditions, disparities, priority populations and other contributing factors associated with these events and apply statistical testing where appropriate. This position will assist the directors in carrying out ISP and BSAS responsibilities related to the programs and federal grant-based projects including convening and attending meetings, reviewing proposed evaluation plans, generating required statistics, and performing related data extractions.


  • Oversees the data collection and abstraction for the State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) and supervises staff working on the SUDORS project.
  • Develops data quality standards and data validation measures to ensure consistent data collection.
  • Assists with outreach to agencies such as Vital Records, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and law enforcement.
  • Uses existing databases and reports to provide Department personnel and external partners with information on the prevalence, trends, and risk and protective factors of drug overdoses in Massachusetts.
  • Works closely with the Bureau of Substance and Addiction Services (BSAS) regularly by providing data that will help inform programmatic activities.
  • Prepares statistical reports and presentations based on data findings for interdepartmental, external public oriented, and professional publications.
  • Conducts analyses using SAS or similar programming language for statistical and epidemiologic analysis and assists in developing standard SAS programs, datasets, and documentation for reproducibility.
  • Utilizes standardized methods for the calculation of counts, rates, and statistical testing, and participates in discussions with other Department epidemiologists when methods require updating.
  • Assists with performing data abstraction when necessary.
  • Responds to data requests from the Communications Office, other MDPH bureaus, advocacy groups, other government agencies, and the public.
  • Ensures timely reporting of grant deliverables.
  • Participates in injury and overdose prevention workgroups, advisory groups, standing meetings related to Division and Department programming, and ISP, OSE, and BCHAP staff meetings.
  • Provides technical assistance to communities on drug overdose data issues and use of Department data.
  • Attend staff meetings for the Office of Statistics and Evaluation, Injury Surveillance Program, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services and Bureau of Community Health & Prevention.
  • Perform related duties essential to injury surveillance, substance use prevention, OSE priorities, and MDPH priorities, as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of epidemiology.
  • Knowledge of the methods of statistical and scientific report writing.
  • Ability to establish rapport and deal tactfully with others.
  • Knowledge of epidemiologic research methods and techniques.
  • Ability to utilize computers and applications such as statistical, word processing, and spreadsheet software.
  • Ability to manage databases, construct data files, conduct and support data entry, and perform data edits/cleaning as needed.

Preferred Qualifications

  • At least 2 years of experience in statistical programming.
  • Competency applying strong statistical methods for evaluation and surveillance.
  • Past experience in development and maintenance of data collection tools.
  • Knowledge of the form, content, collection, application, and limitations of existing agency databases and means of enhancing them and guaranteeing their integrity. These could include the: State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS), Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Massachusetts Acute Hospital Case Mix Database, Massachusetts Violent Death Reporting System (MAVDRS), Youth Health Survey (YHS), Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), & Vital Records.
  • An advanced understanding of intersectionality and social determinants of health.
  • A demonstrated commitment to health equity.
  • A Master’s or Doctorate degree in public health, epidemiology, or social policy, or a Master’s of Public Health with a focus on social and behavioral health.

Salary: 73,111.22 – 107,622.58 Yearly

To Apply

To see the complete job posting and to apply, click here.

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