Position Description

Program Officer, Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT) Access in Jails and Prisons, Seconded to Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Location United States
Department Other Programs PH
# 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, environmental health, vital statistics systems building and Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis treatment research. Our programs are concentrated in low- and middle-income countries and cities in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific. Please visit our website at www.vitalstrategies.org to find out more about our work.

Vital Strategies offers highly competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits. Vital welcomes and supports a diverse, inclusive work environment. As such, our commitment is to promote equal employment opportunities (EEO) for all applicants seeking employment.

The Position

Vital Strategies is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Program Officer, Correctional Health Substance Use Disorder Treatment Access, seconded to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC), located in Mechanicsburg, PA. The DOC is taking steps to implement access to opioid agonist treatment for persons in custody at state correctional institutions (SCI) for whom such treatment is medically appropriate. The program will begin as a pilot at a select number of facilities, and gradually expand to other facilities across the Commonwealth. Vital Strategies will provide seconded staff to the DOC to assist in the development, implementation, and oversight of the project.


Specific Duties 

The Secondee shall conduct work as if the Secondee were a full-time employee of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and shall have the following duties:   

  • provide assistance to the Department in the development, implementation and oversight of of opioid agonist treatment programs at the SCIs, including the development of model protocols and policies of the Department and providing technical assistance with individual SCI protocols and policies;
  • travel to the SCIs to help educate medical and correctional staff and inmates about implementation of the Project, including agonist treatment generally;
  • assist in developing and delivering orientation materials and training for newly hired social worker personnel with the SCIs, to advance implementation of opioid agonist treatment programs;
  • perform project management tasks related to the Project, including but not limited to quarterly reporting on implementation progress, fiscal monitoring and contract management;
  • assist in developing lists of community-based opioid agonist treatment providers within each SCI region and help building relationships and streamlined referral processes between the SCIs and providers leveraging connections to DHS Centers of Excellence and PAC-MAT network whenever possible;
  • develop a standardized DOC referral form to be used by all SCIs to assist with the building of relationships and streamlined referral processes outlined above;
  • establish systems for tracking and reporting statistics regarding participation in opioid agonist treatment, treatment terminations, and other critical statistics regarding implementation per SCI as well as statewide;
  • provide general feedback and advice to DOC leadership and personnel regarding evidence-based interventions to reduce harms associated with substance abuse;
  • help identify additional training/educational needs and opportunities for DOC leadership and staff on the subject of opioid agonist treatment in correctional institutions; and 
  • additional duties as may be mutually agreed upon by Vital Strategies and the Department. 

Qualities and Qualifications 

  • At least 3 years experience with programs for medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) required; 
  • Bachelor's degree (in any field) and Master's Degree in a related field (i.e., social work, psychology, counseling, public health or similar field) required. 
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