This is an advanced professional position in the Epidemiology program which is county-wide in scope. The Biological Scientist III functions under the direction and supervision of the Epidemiology Program Manager. This position requires that the incumbent work with other departmental staff and collaborative partners. The incumbent is expected to communicate (by phone, email and in person) in a courteous, professional manner at all times, and to uphold the rules of strict confidentiality and obey confidentiality orders from other government agencies in charge in certain situations, such as the FBI. The incumbent provides professional and technical epidemiologic consultation and assistance to public and private health care providers. Conducts special projects with statistical applications. Supports the Health Department and works with others in an effort to accomplish the goals of the department. The incumbent makes a reasonable effort to adhere to established safety procedures and practices in the work area. Employee has access to Epidemiology and the Clinical Information Data Sets. HMS access to demographics, financial, immunization, clinical data and lab for the purpose of locating and up-dating information necessary for investigation, case management and reporting of communicable disease cases. Also has access to Florida Shots for the purpose of locating information necessary to investigate and manage and report cases of vaccine preventable diseases. This position may view, update, release information, including information from HMS, to other health care providers involved in the care of the patient. Serves as an Epi Strike Team member.
Conducts case-based surveillance activities and epidemiologic investigations. Collect, collate, analyze and present surveillance data utilizing the latest software version of Epi Info, SAS, SPSS and/or other data analysis and statistical software. This position will act as liaison to the Epidemiology Program Manager and Disaster Preparedness as required and will be cross trained to support integration efforts to enhance disease control programs and EPI capabilities. Will assist with coverage of the Epidemiology unit during times of heightened response efforts, outbreaks, and increase need in preparedness and disaster team response capabilities (i.e. EPI Strike Team). Will actively participate with emergency operations plan review to ensure that the Center for Disease Control and Palm Beach County Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Capabilities are integrated into all aspects of DOH-Palm Beach County public health preparedness planning and response. Will apply an understanding of disease surveillance systems, epidemiologic investigation techniques, and the ability to analyze data and apply disease control methods to individuals and the community. Will apply proficient utilization of MERLIN, HMS, FLSHOTS and other disease-based data management and reporting systems to facilitate the reporting and analysis of reportable diseases in the community.
Functions as the Influenza Coordinator serving as the liaison with the Bureau of Epidemiology, providers and the Health Department. Recruits and maintains working relationships with providers participating in the Florida Sentinel Influenza Surveillance Network. Monitors other influenza surveillance systems within the County. Submits the weekly influenza report Performs enhanced disease surveillance activities in epidemiology/advanced syndromic surveillance, monitor multiple surveillance systems including but not limited to ESSENCE and EpiGateway, provide reports according to surveillance data to assure continuity of electronic and active surveillance in the community. Works closely with medical providers, hospitals and other surveillance stakeholders to improve the timeliness and completeness of reporting in Palm Beach County. Utilize surveillance information to conduct reportable disease investigations, identify potential sources of disease, provide individual case-based prevention education and take effective disease control actions. Will utilize surveillance information and data obtained from epidemiologic investigations to identify an increase in disease trends in the community. Routinely review historic and current disease trends to identify increases, or unusual disease patterns or trends. Displays and presents investigation results using presentation software. The position will provide data analysis during epidemiologic investigations and will be assigned as needed to special epidemiologic studies to investigate health issues and present data to the community.
Attends and represents the Epidemiology and Disease control program at agency and public meetings as needed, inclusive of FUSION, HERC. Participates in program planning with the Team, keeps supervisor and other stakeholders routinely informed of disease trends, or issues of concern. Actively uses EpiCom and EpiX to stay informed of state and national issues. Provides feedback and education to physicians and the community on communicable diseases by providing statistics. Actively contributes to creation of educational materials, newsletters, and seminars or other public presentations through the use of media and technology. Rapidly disseminates vital information to physicians and the community in the case of a suspected public health event or other emergency. Coordinates the implementation, management and evaluation of a volume based computerized state-wide surveillance system, ESSENCE. Monitors the system on a regular basis and responds to alerts as needed. Participates in regional drills and trainings for Strike Team members. Assists with emergency operations plan review to ensure that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Capabilities are integrated into all aspects of Palm Beach County public health preparedness planning and response by participating in planning meetings and providing feedback.
HMS System Access for Clinical Visit Summary, and Lab Visit Report. Performs other related duties as assigned.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES, INCLUDING UTILIZATION OF EQUIPMENT, REQUIRED FOR THE POSITION:
Skill to interview persons in an efficient, effective, yet compassionate manner.
Ability to pay strict attention to detail and to perform thorough investigations in a timely fashion.
Knowledge of medical terminology and epidemiology.
Ability to use personal computer applications.
Ability to read and correctly interpret medical records and abstract data accurately and completely.
Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with clients, co-workers, other professionals and groups.
Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH) is required or Bachelor of Science Degree with 2 years of experience in Epidemiology and Bio-Statistics.