CLACKAMAS COUNTY

CLASSIFICATION NO: 510
Established: 04/17
FLSA:  Exempt
EEO:  2

EPIDEMIOLOGIST, SENIOR

CLASS CHARACTERISTICS

Under direction, to lead the work of a team of nursing personnel and support staff within the Communicable Disease Program; to respond to and lead the investigation of communicable disease outbreaks; to evaluate program quality assurance for internal and external performance measures and requirements; to monitor and contribute surveillance data to identify emerging public health concerns; to assist epidemiologist team with data analysis for other Division staff; and to do other work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

The Public Health Division within the Health, Housing and Human Services Department promotes and protects the health of County residents. The mission of the Communicable Disease Program is to provide, in partnership with the healthcare community, disease monitoring, prevention, investigation, and control services to the residents of Clackamas County so they can be protected from the spread of infectious diseases of public health significance.

The Epidemiologist, Senior works closely with the Health Officer to provide research support, technical knowledge and science based theory to Division management and staff for the purpose of surveillance, assessment and research activities.

The Epidemiologist, Senior differs from the Epidemiologist which does not have lead work or staff coordination responsibilities. It also differs from the Communicable Disease Supervisor which has full supervisory authority for staff and program budgeting.

The Epidemiologist, Senior differs from the Communicable Disease Registered Nurse which has case management and treatment responsibilities.

TYPICAL TASKS

Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Assists in the coordination and operation of the Communicable Disease program; participates in program planning, problem solving and policy and procedure development; provide epidemiologic perspective to the development and analysis of public health policies; schedules staff coverage and services; may assign daily tasks, create agendas, and facilitates meetings; oversees maintenance of inventory of medications, supplies and materials; participates on internal and external communicable disease related committees.
  2. Coordinates orientation, training, and work assignments of incoming nursing and support staff to the Communicable Disease program; provides advice and assistance in resolving work problems; assesses needs of the team and works with program manager to obtain resources; recommends and provides continuing education and in-service training.
  3. Reviews and oversees quality control standards; ensures compliance with professional standards and legal requirements; leads Quality Improvement/Process Improvement work of the Communicable Disease program.
  4. Leads disease outbreak and cluster investigations; travels to outbreak sites as needed; identifies and coordinates assistance from other partners (i.e. Environmental Health, Health Centers, CDC, laboratories, etc.) as needed; participates in the identification of causative agents and environmental conditions contributing to the health issue and identifies corrective actions for morbidity and mortality in an appropriate and timely way; submits appropriate documentation for human subjects review.
  5. Collects, analyzes and reports communicable disease and epidemiological data; investigates reports of communicable disease and surveys occurrences of reportable disease in individuals and groups, following investigative guidelines, and procedures; ensures the use of laboratory resources to support investigation and epidemiologic activities; develops reports and communicates findings to other medical and professional partners including recommendations regarding control measures; monitors status of outbreaks; maintains databases and compliance with program standards and legal requirements.
  6. Conducts disease reporting, surveillance and quality assurance audits for infectious diseases; plans, collaborates with Communicable Disease team, manager, and Health Officer; researches public health problems pertinent to the population of Clackamas County residents within the different Health Equity Zones and intervention needs; recommends program changes; recommends design and management of surveillance systems for problems of public health importance; trains study personnel.
  7. Develops public health risk assessment models; makes recommendations for health policy changes based on findings from local epidemiologic studies and research.
  8. Acts as project lead when assigned; develops project definitions; estimates time to complete projects; organizes staff and resources; trains interviewers, data collectors and data entry operators in support activities for the conduction of investigations, research activities, evaluations and assessments; conducts seminars and training in epidemiologic methodology and investigative techniques for health division staff, local practitioners and professional meetings; promotes cooperative team efforts among staff and with other County departments.
  9. Prepares public health information releases in coordination with the health officer and management; provides public health data interpretation and presentations to community and professional audiences.
  10. Conducts community meetings and needs assessments; participates in statewide meetings; participates as a member of the Division’s team to support and promote efficient tracking and analysis of data; conducts internal and community meetings; participates in state and local community health organizations.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

Thorough Knowledge of: Federal, state and local infectious disease reporting requirements; research methodology and sampling frames; general principles of toxicology, microbiology, genetics, and biology; different methodologies for data collections (quantitative and qualitative); data collection instrument development; analytic techniques to evaluate potential and relative risk.

Working Knowledge of: Scientific inquiry; epidemiologic study design, including prevalence surveys, case control and cohort studies, and population sampling techniques; advanced statistical measurement (linear, multiple and logistic regression, factor analysis and discriminant function analysis, and confidence intervals); a variety of software products including word processing, graphics design, spreadsheets, data bases and statistical packages; principles and practices of project management; causes, treatment, prevention and/or early detection of communicable disease; disease transmission, risk factors, treatment, and the investigation techniques used to investigate a disease outbreak and data; principles of public health education; principles and techniques of supervision.

Skill to: Maintain confidentiality and adhere to the highest of ethical and moral standards in the conduction of a scientific inquiry process; establish and maintain effective working relationships with people of differing perspectives and disciplines in and out of the Division; plan, coordinate and oversee the work of professional, technical, and clerical support staff; work autonomously with little or no direct supervision in the development and implementation of a project; confer with community professionals about issues of public health significance; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; prepare and deliver reports and presentations to the public, community groups, management and peers, and other health professionals; promote effective teamwork; develop, justify and ensure completion of project within budget, time and legal guidelines; coordinate and review work of assigned project staff; operate computer software and other office equipment.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Master’s degree from an accredited school of Public Health, with completed coursework in biostatistics, epidemiology, research methodology, behavioral science, environmental sciences, and health services administration.

Experience in applied epidemiology, communicable disease-related program management, and research in a public health environment is required. Applicants must have conducted epidemiologic investigations or scientific and social research in a public health area of concern.

Must successfully pass a criminal history check which may include national or state fingerprint records check.

Must pass a pre-employment drug test.

Driving may be necessary for County business. For position(s) with occasional/incidental driving, incumbents must possess a valid driver's license. Accommodation requests for an acceptable alternative method of transportation will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation. For position(s) with regular driving, incumbent(s) must also possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.

WORKING CONDITIONS

This position is at low risk for exposure to blood products, human biohazards, laboratory chemicals, toxic materials, or environmental hazards. There is some risk of exposure to human infectious agents.

MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS

Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.