Disease Intervention Specialist in Philadelphia, PA at Public Health Management Corporation

Date Posted: 9/14/2020

Job Snapshot

Job Description

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) Division of Disease Control appreciates diversity among its staff and does not discriminate based on race, age, religion, ability, marital status, sexual orientation, sex, or gender identity. Individuals representing diverse backgrounds and experience, including gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals, are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

General Job Description:

DIS are core personnel in many local and state health departments who conduct investigation of communicable diseases and a number of tasks related to preventing the spread of transmission of sexually transmitted disease (STD) and HIV. These tasks include but are not limited to: client-centered interviews; collection of enhanced surveillance and community assessment data; partner services, including contact tracing; field investigation and other field-based activities, including specimen collection, performing phlebotomy, directly observed therapy; community outreach; collaboration with medical providers and navigation of health care systems to ensure patient evaluation, treatment, linkage to care and other supportive services; and mobilization for outbreak investigation and emergency response. Additional responsibilities include participating in the Philadelphia High School STD Screening program, which provides STD education to public high school students as well as voluntary and confidential urine based testing for the STDs gonorrhea and Chlamydia.

The duties of a DIS are primarily performed in the field, often in high-risk urban areas. DIS are required to perform field investigative activities in areas where STDs are prevalent, which are often areas with extreme poverty and high crime rates. In addition, a DIS must have a personal vehicle, and be willing to transport patients, coworkers, supervisors, and clinical specimens.

This position is full-time, Monday through Friday. The individual must be willing to work variable hours, including early mornings, nights, and weekends. Fixed work schedules are not available.

Organizational Structure/Supervision

This position will report to designated supervisory and management staff, which may include federal, state, city, and/or contract staff within the STD Control Program. Overall direction for the STD Control Program is provided by the STD Control Program Manager, in efforts to reduce STD morbidity and prevent the sequelae of untreated infections in Philadelphia. The STD Control Program receives direction from the Division of Disease Control, PDPH.

Specific Duties:

  • Counsel patients with STDs, HIV and/or Hepatitis C by conducting field investigative activities to locate and refer for examination people who are suspected of having an STD.
  • Manage assigned patients with STDs in accordance with established STD Program protocols including interviewing individuals, ongoing analysis of source/spread/cluster relationships, rapid response to Supervisory directives, identification of high risk locations for subsequent screening activities, and timely case closure. Assures exhaustive case management and documentation.
  • Conduct timely field investigative activities to locate individuals with suspected or confirmed STD infection and assure appropriate examination/treatment. Document all activities in accordance with STD Program protocols.
  • Obtain clinical specimens from patients, including blood (phlebotomy), urine, pharyngeal specimens, in field and clinic settings, in accord with established protocols.
  • Provide screening and education at high-risk venues such as bars, bathhouses, crack houses and other locations.
  • Provide STD presentations at health fairs, schools, community-based organizations, and local, state and national conferences regarding STDs.
  • Participate in a variety of STD Program activities including screening/education/referral services at Family Court, Philadelphia Prisons, Youth Study Center and STD Clinics, for example.
  • Staff Mobile Units and assist in recruitment of high-risk individuals (e.g., prostitutes and drug users), conducting specimen collection and processing of paperwork and specimens.
  • Support the Philadelphia High School STD Screening program by providing presentations, urine specimen processing, student follow-up and interviews, and other activities.
  • Transport specimens (blood, urine, etc.) to the Public Health Laboratory, as needed.
  • Transport patients to and from public health centers and other medical facilities.
  • Provide targeted outreach at sites throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding counties to individuals at high risk of STDs and other communicable diseases.
  • Successfully complete the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) STD Employee trainings, and achieve at least 80% on each of the module tests and the comprehensive exam.
  • Be available, attend, and successfully complete the one-week, out of town CDC-sponsored training.
  • Successfully complete HIV Counseling training provided by the Philadelphia AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO).
  • Successfully complete Phlebotomy training and training in other (urine, sputum, pharyngeal, fecal, etc.) specimen collection/handling/transport techniques for clinic and field settings, including routine implementation of universal precautions to avoid accidental infection and specimen contamination.
  • Successfully complete training and demonstrate competence in the use of the STD Control Program’s STD Computer Information Database (SCID), a web-based computerized system used to document/monitor/manage nearly all aspects of STD Program operations.
  • Participate in Emergency Preparedness response training and demonstrate a willingness to perform assigned role/s.
  • Respond to public health emergencies.

  • Available to other STD Control staff and occasionally STD Clinic staff for translation services should the DIS be bilingual.

  • Perform related duties as required.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in public health along with demonstrated interest in public health
  • One year of work experience in a public health field preferred
  • Valid driver’s license, automobile insurance and insurance rider (to allow for the transportation of patients) are required. This documentation must be submitted to the employer and updated annually.
  • Ability to perform all specified duties and tasks
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated respect for the confidentiality and privacy of health data
  • Ability to interact sensitively, effectively, and professionally with persons from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, and educational back grounds
  • Equally comfortable working individually and within a team environment
  • Willingness and flexibility in accepting direction
  • Bilingual skills are preferred
  • Previous phlebotomy experience is desired
  • Be able to work a non-traditional work schedule

Salary and Benefits:

  • Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. This position comes with a comprehensive benefits package consisting of medical and dental coverage, paid sick, vacation, personal time, and a retirement plan.