Communicable Disease/Immunizations Section Chief

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Health Care Provider
Posted on April 23, 2022
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Summary

This position is responsible for providing leadership to the Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunization Section (CD-Imms) in close collaboration with the Department Health Officer, the Section Deputy Chief, and Section managers, including: providing direction to and oversight of planning, implementation, prioritization, and evaluation of Public Health’s communicable disease epidemiology and immunization activities, and aligning these activities with national and state guidance and best practices to ensure equitable access. Organizationally, this position is in the Prevention Division and reports to the Division Director.

The CD-Imms Section Chief is expected to demonstrate thorough knowledge of communicable diseases, infectious disease epidemiology, immunizations, and relevant public health program activities, policies, laws, and regulations including relevant sections of the Washington Administrative Code and Revised Code of Washington.
 
The Section Chief is responsible to monitor communicable disease epidemiological trends and relevant immunization data and identify corresponding program priorities and emerging program needs to direct Section strategy, planning, and response activities, including bio-emergency and pandemic response planning and response.
 
The Section Chief will be committed to, and a leader in dismantling systemic racism, ensuring the Section identifies, reports on, and develops strategies to reduce, health disparities associated with communicable diseases. The Section Chief will maintain accountability to communities most impacted by racism and other oppressions by partnering with community to co-develop program priorities and inform policy decisions. The Section Chief will also collaborate with staff with equity and social justice expertise and support section efforts to transform the work culture and workforce that reflects King County demographics.

The Section Chief should have a record of scholarly work and will lead and facilitate academic partnerships, reports, and publications, in the Section related to communicable diseases of public health significance, including collaborations with outside partners (i.e., CDC, University of Washington, and public health professional associations).

The Section Chief represents the CD-Imms Section at national, state and local forums and provides relevant and medically and scientifically accurate information to the King County Board of Health, Department staff, the local medical community, local, state, tribal and federal public health partners, the media, and the public. In coordination with Department Communications personnel and the Health Officer, the position will be available to serve as a spokesperson, help prepare responses to media inquiries and conduct media interviews on behalf of the Department. The Section Chief will work closely, actively collaborate, and communicate regularly, with the King County health professionals and organizations, national, state, and local public health partners, and other community groups, to build and sustain relationships that advance the health of the community and public health priorities.

COMMITMENT TO EQUITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE:

As the only jurisdiction in the world named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most influential civil rights leaders in our nation's history, King County is a vibrant international community with residents that represent countries from around the world. It is a region with increasing diversity that cherishes the traditions of many cultures.
 
We have a deep commitment to equity and social justice and advancing practices, strategies, and policies that promote fairness, justice, and opportunity for all – in our workplaces and our communities. With this commitment, King County has adopted a pro-equity agenda to advance regional change and ensure that residents from vulnerable communities are incorporated into our emergency planning and public outreach efforts.
 
To learn more, please visit http://www.kingcounty.gov/equity 

Depending on qualifications, this position will be filled as either a Disease Control Officer (DCO) or a Communicable Disease Program Administrator (CDPA).

Salary Information (depending on qualification):
Disease Control Officer, salaried, $193,953.76 to $245,848.10 annually
Communicable Disease Program Admin, salaried, $172,265.39 to $218,356.94 annually

Job Duties

  • Leads development of Section program priorities in collaboration with Section managers and Health Officer.
  • Provides clinical and epidemiological technical assistance and direction in the investigation of reported or suspected cases or clusters of notifiable conditions and diseases of public health significance. Reviews and provides input to related Section protocols and procedures.
  • Working with Section team leaders, determines appropriate action including initiating disease prevention and infection control measures and public/partner communication related to investigations and outbreaks. 
  • Provides expert public health guidance, support, and direction based on scientific data, established guidelines, clinical and epidemiological expertise, to agency staff and partners to inform delivery and prioritization of public health services and programs, including notifiable condition surveillance, prevention, investigation, response, including immunizations to all communities by ensuring language access and through community partnerships. 
  • Provides guidance and issues public health advisories on infectious disease management to community physicians and medical providers, infection control practitioners, agency staff, community-based partners, and other providers for the purpose of enhancing detection, prevention, or control of communicable diseases in the community and other settings including, healthcare facilities (e.g. hospitals, clinics, long term care facilities), congregate settings (homeless service sites, correctional facilities), schools, childcares, etc.
  • Provide direction, strategy, and technical guidance to inform immunization program activities using data-driven, evidence-based approaches.
  • Directs Section managers in continuous quality improvement activities, assessing and evaluating Section activities in light of best-practices and standards, and making necessary adjustments.
  • Works with the Department’s Health Officer to promote public health and limit spread of infectious diseases through control measures such as isolation, quarantine, immunizations, and other mitigation measures, in accordance with state RCWs and WACs.
  • Serves as a spokesperson in the community for sound medical practices related to infectious disease prevention, detection, and control, emergency preparedness, and local public health policy, and promotes optimal public health/preventive efforts through various communication mechanisms including blogs, presentations, and media interviews.
  • Advocates locally and nationally for adequate resources for public health related to Section activities priority projects, and to address the disparities among communities impacted by racism and other forms of oppression.
  • In close collaboration with the Department’s policy team and Section staff, works on legislative and other policy review and development, including regulatory and financial initiatives.
  • Provides leadership in seeking, applying for, and implementing research grants, serving as a primary investigator as appropriate.
  • Builds and maintains collaborations and relationships with academic partners at the University of Washington and other institutions, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Supervises and mentors staff, students, trainees, fellows such as CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officers. 
  • Provides backup coverage for the Health Officer as requested.
  • Models centering well-being, healthy work boundaries, and strategies to avoid burnout.  
  • Depending on qualifications, if this position is filled as a Disease Control Officer, duties may also include: 
    • Prescribe post-exposure prophylaxis to people without a provider.
    • Provide clinical services in the field in a public health emergency.
    • Back-up Health Officer as needed.
    • Provide clinical consultation to community health care providers. 
    • Provide guidance to staff regarding medical conditions, diagnoses and treatments and develop, interpret and apply related guidelines & communications.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

Education Requirements

  • To be considered for the DCO, eligible applicants must have a Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy and a current WA State medical license or
  • To be considered for the CDPA, eligible applicants must have one of the following: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, or Bachelor’s in Nursing degree and Master’s degree in Public Health or equivalent degree. 
Experience: At least five years’ experience with demonstrable increasing responsibility in local/state/federal governmental public health, applied epidemiology, infectious disease prevention/treatment/control, or comparable experience.
 
Or, in place of the above requirement, the incumbent may possess any combination of relevant education and experience which would demonstrate the individual's knowledge, skill, and ability to perform the essential duties and responsibilities listed above.
 
We will be evaluating applicant knowledge, skills and ability, based on the identified qualifications listed below:
 
  • Experience with surveillance, prevention, investigation, outbreak response, and treatment of communicable diseases, preferably in a governmental public health agency.
  • Demonstrable record of scholarly work, including publications in peer-review literature.
  • Demonstrated experience using public health principles and epidemiology concepts to investigate and respond to communicable disease threats. 
  • Experience adapting established scientific guidance to local public health situations, using clinical/epidemiological training and sound judgment. 
  • Demonstrated experience with strategic thinking, program and policy planning, development, and evaluation, with a focus on quality improvement as they relate to administering communicable disease and immunization public health program activities.
  • Demonstrated ability to incorporate principles of equity and social justice into program activities to identify health disparities in rates of infectious diseases and make recommendations to address these health inequities. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with resource prioritization and allocation.
  • Experience related to supervisory skills, including mentoring, developing, and constructively and fairly evaluating diverse staff.
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong relationships with colleagues at all levels and to manage conflict effectively.
  • Demonstrated skill in directing the work of a multidisciplinary staff and building effective teams while ensuring/promoting staff well-being at work.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and think creatively with others to build and enhance programs.
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills for a variety of audiences including health care partners, the public, and the media, with a strong understanding of risk communication principles and experience in tailoring messages to meet diverse community needs.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop community engagement plan, accountability to advisory groups, and partnerships of a variety of community-based groups from grassroots to established non-profits. 
Licenses, Certifications or Training: 
  • Completion of specialized training in infectious diseases (or comparable experience)
  • Valid Washington State Driver’s license or ability to obtain one within 30 days of hire and a driving record which meets the requirements of insurance carrier
  • Background check pursuant to RCW 43.43.830 Employees are required to protect the privacy and security of protected health information as defined in state and federal law.
  • Completion of applied epidemiology training such as the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (highly desirable).

Supplemental Information

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers. 
 
Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play. 
 
Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.
 
King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer
No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.
 
(New) Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement 
 As of October 18, 2021, most* King County employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  If hired, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination by October 18th.   People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.  Employees may make requests for a reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs.  Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation. This directive applies to employees in the Executive branch*, the Assessor’s Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff’s Office, and the Executive Office.  
 
To Apply
If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact your recruiter listed on this job announcement.
 
Who May Apply
This position is open to all qualified candidates. We are currently recruiting for a full time Appointed or Career Service position depending on qualifications.. This position is open continuous until filled. First review date will be on 4/7/22.
 
Application Process: 
The following items are required to be considered for this vacancy:

  • An electronic application through www.kingcounty.gov/jobs or www.governmentjobs.com (use the "Apply" link) including work history and position duties.
  • Candidates must submit a resume or CV 
  • Responses to supplemental questions.
 
Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you do not include the relevant information in the application. Cover letters and/or resumes are not accepted in lieu of a completed application. Applications and/or Supplemental Questionnaires that state "see my resume" or "see my personnel file" are considered incomplete and will not be accepted.
 
The selection process may include but is not limited to: evaluation of application materials and supplemental questions, interviewing, and testing. For more information on our selection process, please refer to www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/jobs/hiring.
 
Necessary Special Requirements:
  • The selected candidate will be required to submit to a thorough background investigation.
  • Employees are required to protect the privacy and security of protected health information as defined in State and Federal Law.
  • Employees are required to adhere to OSHA/WISHA guidelines including but not limited to completing required training on time.
  • Staff may be required to play an active role in the event of a public health emergency, which may include changes in responsibilities, work location, and working hours.
  • Regular and reliable attendance, effective communication skills, and development of effective working relationships are requirements of all Public Health positions.
 
Work Schedule
The individual selected for this position will have a work schedule typically between the hours 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. This position FLSA Exempt and is not eligible for overtime.
 
Work Location: 
Work is performed in a variety of settings, primarily remotely during high transmission periods of COVID-19 pandemic, but also in a downtown Seattle office setting and at times in various community-based settings. Work may include traveling to community organizations such as schools, hospitals, clinics and social service agencies; other travel may include local, statewide, or nationally for meetings and other forums. Requires carrying a County-issued cell phone and being on call after hours for emergencies.

Telecommuting
The work associated with this position will be performed predominantly through teleworking with reporting to office location and to meetings as needed. Employees will have access to shared workspaces at various King County facilities. Employees must reside in Washington state and within a reasonable distance to their King County worksite to respond to workplace reporting requirements.
 
Employees will be provided with a County issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection (access may be supplemented in some situations) where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours. Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are required, including the wearing of masks in some situations. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint.
   
King County has a robust collection of tools and resources to support working remotely. The individual selected for this opportunity will be joining an innovative and progressive team that is redefining how we work as we transition to the department's hybrid environment.  
 
Union Affiliation:
This position is not represented by a labor union.
 
Contact: If you have questions regarding the recruitment process, please contact Debbie Baker, HR Analyst at debbaker@kingcounty.gov, or 206-263-4053.

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
 
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
 
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

01
Describe how you meet the position's minimum qualification of five or more years experience increasing responsibility in local/state/federal governmental public health, applied epidemiology, infectious disease prevention and control, or combination of education and experience that demonstrate your ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of this role?
02
Do you have experience working with or leading immunization programs including activities such as vaccine program quality assurance, immunization program or policy development or evaluation, immunization promotion and education, or immunization coverage assessments?
  • Yes
  • No
03
If you answered yes to question 2, please describe the activity and your specific role in the work.
04
Do you have experience analyzing, interpreting, and communicating communicable disease epidemiology data to diverse audiences?
  • Yes
  • No
05
5. If you answered yes to question 4, please describe your experience including your specific role, the number of years of experience, and the intended audience(s). Describe your experience utilizing data to inform public health decisions, and in particular, any experience you have using data to identify and address health disparities. Why is this important?
06
In 2020, King County declared racism as a public health crisis. What do you think local government's role is in addressing racism and how would you incorporate racial equity into this role?
07
Describe your experience with strategy development related to public health programs and activities. Describe your approach and how you set priorities within broad and sometimes competing scopes of work.
08
Describe your approach to and experience with communicating to diverse audiences, including community-based organizations and groups and members of the media. What principles do you apply when speaking to these different audiences, and why?
09
Are you applying to this position as an eligible current or previous King County Employee Priority Placement Program Participant? Is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time when compared to the position held at the point of the notification of layoff? Do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County and I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. Additionally, the position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
10
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff

Required Question