Position Description

Program Officer - Warm Hand Off (WHO) Program
Location United States
# of openings 1
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Vital Strategies, headquartered in New York City, is an international public health organization. Our programs strengthen public health systems and address the world’s leading causes of illness, injury and death. We currently work in 73 countries, supporting data-driven decision making in government, advancing evidence-based public health policies and mounting strategic communication campaigns. Vital Strategies’ priorities are driven by the greatest potential to improve and save lives. They include non-communicable disease prevention, cardiovascular health promotion, tobacco control, road safety, obesity prevention, epidemic prevention, overdose prevention, environmental health, vital statistics systems building and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment research. Our programs are primarily concentrated in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific; the Overdose Prevention Program is our first initiative in the U.S. Please visit our website at www.vitalstrategies.org to find out more about our work.

Vital Strategies is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Warm Hand Off Program Officer, seconded to the Office of Addiction Services (OAS) in the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services (DBHIDS), located in Philadelphia, PA. Hospitals and emergency departments are a critical point of care for people impacted by substance use disorder (SUD) and overdose and provide an opportunity to connect patients most vulnerable to further drug-related morbidity and mortality to necessary medication treatment and supportive services in the community through a variety of best practices and promising approaches including linkages to certified recovery specialists and community-based providers of medications for opioid use disorder (OUD) through warm handoffs. Philadelphia hospitals are at the epicenter of the overdose crisis and as frontline responders have a pivotal role in integrating best practices as standards of care in their operations and reversing the high rates of overdose deaths and drug related morbidities.


Vital Strategies will provide seconded staff to engage leadership and other stakeholders within Philadelphia’s hospital systems, City and State-level agencies, the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) and other provider agencies and partners to coordinate and promote adoption of best practices and promising approaches for addressing OUD and SUD, and preventing overdose, including connections and improved access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and community-based services from the hospital emergency department. The Warm Hand Off (WHO) Program Officer will be assisting the Program Senior Manager and is part of a larger team responsible for assisting in mitigating against the opioid  epidemic. The WHO Program Officer coordinates with DBH Project Management Team to ensure program and fiscal data are secure, accurate, maintained in centralized data system, and assists the WHO Program Senior Manager in supporting hospitals in uptake of best practices related to OUD and SUD care and monitoring the goals of emergency medical and behavioral health care providers, providing technical support, and ensuring that programmatic and fiscal timelines are met.  The Program Officer will work in coordination with the Data Enterprise Unit to review data collected to measure the number of non-fatal overdose survivors admitted to Philadelphia hospital emergency rooms and CRC’s in terms of referrals, access, assessment, treatment engagement and outcomes of the targeted populations (i.e., overdose survivors).


Specific Duties

The Secondee shall conduct work as if the Secondee were a full-time employee of the Office of Addiction Services (OAS) in the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities Services (DBHIDS) and shall have the following duties:

  • Coordinates with DBH Operations-Fiscal (OpsFis) and Data Enterprise Units to ensures program and fiscal data are secure, accurate, and maintained in a centralized data system.

  • Assists the WHO Program Senior Manager and DBHIDS Project Management staff in overseeing the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategic plan that addresses project goals and objectives.

  • Support seconded WHO Program Senior Manager and DBHIDS leaders in preparation of research and presentations, project coordination and management

  • Assists in the planning, coordination and facilitation of regular team monthly meetings throughout the course of the project and reports outcomes internally to the SCA.

  • Attends internal and external meetings as required by the WHO Program Senior Manager and DBHIDS.

  • Coordinates with DBH OpsFis Unit to assist in the development and submission of programmatic and budgetary reports as required.

  • In coordination with DBH Data Enterprise Unit, supports up-to-date, comprehensive knowledge of hospitals’ care and data reporting practices and requirements related to OUD and SUD, and identify opportunities and recommendations for the provision of technical assistance to hospitals on compliant and best practice reporting approaches.

  • Support and assist with data reporting by hospitals and CRC’s, which should align with the state’s Hospital Quality Improvement Program (HQIP) reporting requirements

Qualities and Qualifications

  • 5 years professional experience preferably in public health.  If Masters, 3 years’ experience.

  • Graduate or undergraduate degree in public health, public policy, social work, psychology or other relevant field

  • Project management expertise, with the ability to exercise independent judgment and maintain appropriate deadlines

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

  • Strong interpersonal skills, with demonstrated ability to maintain collaborative relationships with internal and external partners

  • Demonstrated ability to analyze data and basic understanding of evaluation and its role

  • Ability to work well with diverse groups of individuals and organizations

  • Excellent organizational skills

  • Self-starter with ability to work independently

  • Excellent computer skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)

  • Familiarity with substance use and addiction medicine and/or hospital systems, preferred 


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