Position Description

Epidemiologist, 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 an Epidemiologist to support these efforts 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 Epidemiologist will provide technical and analytical guidance and 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 including the Epidemic Intelligence Unit (EIU) of our COVID pandemic response, the Epidemiologist will be responsible for supporting technical analysis and 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 approximately 20-25% travel within the US.

Main responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with other USCR Team members and EIU staff to develop epidemiologic tools and methods for use by COVID control programs at the local level. Examples include the following:
    • Metrics for assessing the status of the COVID epidemic at the local and state level
    • Dashboards for displaying and communicating the status of the epidemic at the local and state levels
    • Indicators for use in alert-level systems at the state and local levels
  • Assess the feasibility and usefulness of various epidemiologic metrics for COVID control at the local and state levels
  • Collaborate with other USCR Team members and EIU staff to develop guidance, protocols, and tools for COVID control at the local level. Examples include the following:
    • Strategic testing
    • Contact tracing
    • Isolation and quarantine
  • Provide consultation, technical assistance, and program support in a variety of areas to local and state-level COVID control programs. Examples include the following:
    • Use of epidemiologic data and analysis for guiding COVID response strategies and programs at the local level
    • Development and implementation of alert-level systems at the local and state levels
    • Investigation of COVID case clusters and outbreaks
    • Development and implementation of strategic COVID contact tracing programs at the local and state levels
    • Development and implementation of strategic COVID testing programs at the local and state levels
  • Collaborate with other epidemiologists, evaluators, and program consultants on the USCR Team to ensure consistency of methods and recommendations
  • Work collaboratively with EIU staff and health department partners to facilitate adoption, adaptation, and validation of new methods, tools, guidance, and best practices for COVID control as they become available. Examples include the following:
    • Implementation of alert-level systems at the local and state level
    • Implementation of other epidemiologic tools and methods at the local and state levels
  • Contribute to program evaluation and use of program monitoring and evaluation data to continuously improve programs
  • 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:

  • Post-graduate degree in epidemiology and/or public health
  • 7+ years’ experience working on public health projects with strong data analysis or evaluation components
  • Experience with disease prevention and control programming efforts and/or emergency preparedness and response
  • Experience working with public health departments in the US
  • Experience using epidemiologic data for program planning and implementation
  • Knowledge of core public health program principles such as contact tracing, surveillance, infection prevention, risk communication, operational response planning
  • Exceptional planning and project management skills
  • Capacity building skills and experience, with the ability to work with outside partners/stakeholders
  • Ability to work independently and be self-directed, detail-oriented and with a positive attitude
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Proficient user of Microsoft Office suite (MS Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and other productivity tools (e.g. Slack, Monday.com, cloud-based storage)
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