Public Health Program Specialist US COVID-19 Response Initiative Wake County, United States 1054 views

Department Prevent Epidemics

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Job Brief

Public Health Program Specialist US COVID-19 Response Initiative Wake County

Vital Strategies is a US-based international public health organization working in more than 70 countries to strengthen public health systems and address leading causes of morbidity and mortality.

Resolve to Save Lives is a global health initiative of Vital Strategies that since 2017 has been working closely with governments, international organizations, community organizations, academic and other partners in more than 40 countries to strengthen national capacity to prevent, detect and respond to epidemic threats. For more information about our Prevent Epidemics initiative, visit: and

Our work in the US is focused on strengthening the technical, policy and operational capacity of state, city and county health departments to effectively control COVID-19, with an emphasis on vulnerable communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19. We are working North Carolina to demonstrate innovation and document and disseminate best practices.

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.

Overall Role:

The Public Health Program Specialist will be selected, funded, paid, and supported technically by the Vital Strategies / Resolve to Save Lives US COVID-19 Response Team, and will be embedded in Wake County Public Health and Clinics (Raleigh, North Carolina area) to support the health department’s COVID-19 response efforts.

This individual will operate as an embedded team member of the county health department, reporting to a senior member of the health department while receiving technical guidance from and collaborating with Vital Strategies/Resolve to Save Lives US COVID-19 Response cross-functional team.

This is a full-time employment contract for a period 12 months with the employee working remotely until on-site work is possible. A very strong preference will be given to applicants residing in or near to Wake County, North Carolina.

Main responsibilities:

In close collaboration with local health department staff and the Resolve to Save Lives US COVID Response Initiative’s Senior Public Health Advisor, the Public Health Program Specialist will:

Provide dedicated public health surge support to the health department to effectively implement prevention and control strategies for COVID-19 in the jurisdiction

Support the identification of facilitators and barriers to effective COVID response in the jurisdiction

Support the development and implementation of strategies to effectively address barriers (e.g., creating protocols, defining workflows, identifying data collection and analysis needs, adjusting staffing, re-allocating funding)

Assist with developing strategies for the most effective, efficient, and rapid allocation of money from various funding streams

Work with health department staff to plan, implement, and continuously improve an effective COVID response program in the jurisdiction, including the following:

o Effective use of data to guide the program and improve its performance

o Effective testing strategies appropriate to the jurisdiction’s populations and needs

o Data flow that ensures cases are quickly identified at the local health department level

o Effective, efficient contract tracing and testing

o Rapid, effective isolation of cases and quarantine of contacts

o Provisions for easily accessible social and other services to support individuals in isolation or quarantine

o Use of alert-level systems to communicate risk and responses appropriate to risk level

Support the coordination of activities with other government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and internal and external stakeholders

Ensure that mechanisms are in place for sustaining effective COVID response after the project ends

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:


community organization


data collection

global health

health policy

interpersonal communication

project management

Master’s degree or higher in public health or related field, with 7 or more years of relevant work experience in public health practice

Experience planning and working in large-scale public health programs (contact tracing or related program 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 for harmonious teamwork

Understanding of health policy and regulatory issues concerning public health

Excellent computer skills (experience with-¯electronic case management systems-¯desirable)

Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, high pressure environment with multiple stakeholders


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