Position Description

Senior Public Health Advisor, US COVID-19 Response Initiative
Location United States
Department Prevent Epidemics
# of openings 1
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Vital Strategies is a US-based international public health organization working in more than 70 countries to address important and challenging health issues. We develop and oversee programs to strengthen public health systems and address leading causes of morbidity and mortality, providing expertise in project implementation and management, strategic communications, epidemiology and surveillance, and other core public health capacities.

Resolve to Save Lives is a global health initiative of Vital Strategies that since 2017 has been working closely with governments, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, academic and other partners in a number of low- and middle-income countries to improve cardiovascular health and strengthen national capacity to prevent, detect and respond to epidemic threats. For more information about our Prevent Epidemics initiative, visit: https://www.resolvetosavelives.org/ and https://preventepidemics.org/ . In March, Resolve to Save Lives formed a COVID-19 Incident Management System to control and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus in vulnerable low- and middle-income countries and the United States. The focus for this work is strengthening the technical, policy and operational capacity of national partners to effectively control COVID, and we are seeking a Senior Public Health Advisor to support these efforts in a number of jurisdictions in the US.

Vital Strategies aims to recruit the candidate who is best suited to work within our US COVID response team and welcomes applications from people of all backgrounds – men and women, people of all ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, religions and beliefs. We particularly encourage applications from Black and Latinx candidates, given COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on these communities.

As a member of the US COVID-19 Response (USCR) Team, the Senior Public Health Advisor will provide technical guidance and programmatic support to strengthen COVID-19 control efforts in local health department jurisdictions in the US. Under the supervision of the USCR Team Director, and in collaboration with other technical staff, the Senior Public Health Advisor will be responsible for supporting technical and operational quality in the planning and scaled execution of COVID-19 control efforts in assigned jurisdictions. This is a full-time employment position for a period of 6 - 12 months, with possibility of extension, determined by the length of the response. The work will be conducted remotely. Once travel restrictions are lifted, the role is likely to require up to approximately 20-25% travel within the US.

Main responsibilities:

  • Provide technical advice, guidance, and programmatic support for the implementation of scaled COVID control activities in assigned jurisdictions
  • Support the identification of facilitators and barriers to effective COVID response in the jurisdiction
  • Support the development and implementation of strategies to effectively address identified barriers
  • Assist with developing strategies for the most effective, efficient, and rapid allocation of money from various funding streams
  • Support health department staff in strengthening and continuously improving an effective COVID response program in the jurisdiction, including the following:
    • Effective use of data to guide the program and improve its performance
    • Effective testing strategies appropriate to the jurisdiction’s populations and needs
    • Data flow that ensures cases are quickly identified at the local health department level
    • Effective, efficient contract tracing and testing
    • Rapid, effective isolation of cases and quarantine of contacts
    • Provisions for easily accessible social and other services to support individuals in isolation or quarantine
    • Use of alert-level systems to communicate risk and responses appropriate to risk level
  • Build close working relationships with key jurisdiction(s) stakeholders
  • Participate in stakeholder meetings and deliver presentations, as needed
  • Manage sub-grants to assigned jurisdictions
  • Support documentation of lessons learned and sharing of them with other health department jurisdictions in the state and more broadly
  • Other duties as assigned

Required competencies and qualifications:

  • 10 or more years of relevant work experience in public health practice, with at least some in the US
  • Master’s degree or higher in public health or related field
  • Experience planning and implementation within large-scale public health programs
  • Experience with testing and contact tracing for COVID-19, TB, STIs, HIV, or other infectious diseases a big plus
  • Demonstrated experience working collaboratively, fostering and maintaining partnerships across institutions or sectors
  • Proven analytical skills
  • Clear, effective, and highly efficient writing skills
  • Exceptional organizational and project management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work under pressure and deliver against tight deadlines
  • Well-developed interpersonal communication skills and w ell-honed facilitation, negotiation and diplomacy skills
  • Understanding of health policy and regulatory issues concerning public health
  • Excellent computer skills with experience in Microsoft Office programs
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, high pressure environment with multiple stakeholders
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