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Senior Drug Overdose Epidemiologist

Senior Drug Overdose Epidemiologist  - (21000968)


The Department of Public Health (DPH) seeks to hire an experienced epidemiologist to serve as a member of the Injury Surveillance Program (ISP) in the Office of Statistics and Evaluation (OSE) within the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention (BCHAP). The incumbent in this position will provide statistical and analytical support to the Office of Statistics and Evaluation (OSE), supporting implementation of cross-cutting approaches to promote health and prevent and control chronic diseases and their risk factors; as well as providing some support to the Office of Health Equity (OHE) through statistical analysis of CLAS internal assessments.​The incumbent will focus on data related to drug overdose and will be responsible for data collection and analysis, database management, evaluation, report preparation, dissemination and provision of technical assistance to program staff and contracted agencies with the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS). 
The mission of the Injury Surveillance Program is to monitor the prevalence and incidence of fatal and nonfatal injuries in Massachusetts. The unit provides statistics and reports for the design and planning of prevention and intervention programs, for operational and performance management of the programs, and for policy recommendations, and performs work related to such activities as required. The unit conducts evaluations related to continuous quality improvement and performance outcomes. The Epidemiologist will perform critical analyses to generate statewide, regional, and other demographic-specific numbers and rates of the causes and circumstances of drug overdoses and other injuries. The incumbent may analyze the data for severity, medical costs, co-morbid conditions, disparities, priority populations and other contributing factors associated with these events and apply statistical testing where appropriate. This position will assist the directors in carrying out ISP and BSAS responsibilities related to the programs and federal grant-based projects including convening and attending meetings, reviewing proposed evaluation plans, generating required statistics, and performing related data extractions.
Duties and Responsibilities (these are a general summary and not all inclusive):
  • Oversees the data collection and abstraction for the State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) and supervises staff working on the SUDORS project.
  • Develops data quality standards and data validation measures to ensure consistent data collection.
  • Assists with outreach to agencies such as Vital Records, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and law enforcement.
  • Uses existing databases and reports to provide Department personnel and external partners with information on the prevalence, trends, and risk and protective factors of drug overdoses in Massachusetts.
  • Works closely with the Bureau of Substance and Addiction Services (BSAS) regularly by providing data that will help inform programmatic activities.
  • Prepares statistical reports and presentations based on data findings for interdepartmental, external public oriented, and professional publications.
  • Conducts analyses using SAS or similar programming language for statistical and epidemiologic analysis and assists in developing standard SAS programs, datasets, and documentation for reproducibility.
  • Utilizes standardized methods for the calculation of counts, rates, and statistical testing, and participates in discussions with other Department epidemiologists when methods require updating.
  • Assists with performing data abstraction when necessary.
  • Responds to data requests from the Communications Office, other MDPH bureaus, advocacy groups, other government agencies, and the public.
  • Ensures timely reporting of grant deliverables.
  • Participates in injury and overdose prevention workgroups, advisory groups, standing meetings related to Division and Department programming, and ISP, OSE, and BCHAP staff meetings.
  • Provides technical assistance to communities on drug overdose data issues and use of Department data.
  • Attend staff meetings for the Office of Statistics and Evaluation, Injury Surveillance Program, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services and Bureau of Community Health & Prevention. 
  • Perform related duties essential to injury surveillance, substance use prevention, OSE priorities, and MDPH priorities, as assigned.
Required Qualifications:
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of epidemiology.
  • Knowledge of the methods of statistical and scientific report writing.
  • Ability to establish rapport and deal tactfully with others.
  • Knowledge of epidemiologic research methods and techniques.
  • Ability to utilize computers and applications such as statistical, word processing, and spreadsheet software.
  • Ability to manage databases, construct data files, conduct and support data entry, and perform data edits/cleaning as needed.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • At least 2 years of experience in statistical programming.
  • Competency applying strong statistical methods for evaluation and surveillance.
  • Past experience in development and maintenance of data collection tools.
  • Knowledge of the form, content, collection, application, and limitations of existing agency databases and means of enhancing them and guaranteeing their integrity. These could include the: State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS), Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Massachusetts Acute Hospital Case Mix Database, Massachusetts Violent Death Reporting System (MAVDRS), Youth Health Survey (YHS), Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), & Vital Records.
  • An advanced understanding of intersectionality and social determinants of health.
  • A demonstrated commitment to health equity.
  • A Master's or Doctorate degree in public health, epidemiology, or social policy, or a Master's of Public Health with a focus on social and behavioral health.
About the Department of Public Health:
The mission of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is to prevent illness, injury, and premature death, to assure access to high quality public health and health care services, and to promote wellness and health equity for all people in the Commonwealth.
We envision a Commonwealth in which all people enjoy optimal health. Massachusetts ranks among the healthiest of states according to comparative analyses, but we face numerous challenges, including chronic and infectious disease, substance abuse, violence, preventable hospitalizations, and health disparities.
DPH coordinates programs and policies to address specific diseases and conditions and offer services to address the needs of vulnerable populations. We also develop, implement, promote, and enforce regulations and policies to assure that the conditions under which people live are most conducive to health and enable people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. We license health professionals, healthcare facilities and a variety of businesses that impact public health. We operate the state laboratory and four public health hospitals. We monitor health status and manage vital records including births, marriages and deaths. We educate people about public health issues and work closely with local boards of health and community partners to identify and solve public health problems.
More information can be found at: MA Department of Public Health​
Total Compensation:
As an employee of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts you are offered a great career opportunity influencing a wide-spectrum of services to the diverse populations we serve - but it's more than a paycheck. The State's total compensation package features an outstanding set of employee benefits which you should consider towards your overall compensation, including:
  • 75% state paid medical insurance premium 
  • Reasonable Dental and Vision Plans 
  • Flexible Spending Account and Dependent Care Assistance programs 
  • Low cost basic and optional life insurance 
  • Retirement Savings: State Employees' Pension and a Deferred Compensation 457(b) plan 
  • 12 paid holidays per year and competitive Sick, Vacation and Personal Time 
  • Tuition Benefit for employee and spouse at state colleges and universities 
  • Short-Term Disability and Extended Illness program participation options 
  • Incentive-based Wellness Programs 
  • Professional Development and Continuing Education opportunities 
  • Qualified Employer for Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program 
Pre-Hire Process:
A criminal background check will be completed on the recommended candidate as required by the regulations set forth by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services prior to the candidate being hired. For more information, please visit
Education, licensure, and certifications will be verified in accordance with the Human Resources Division’s Hiring Guidelines.
Education and license/certification information provided by the selected candidate(s) is subject to the Massachusetts Public Records Law and may be published on the Commonwealth’s website.
For questions regarding this requisition, please contact the Executive Office of Health and Human Services Human Resources at 1-800- 510-4122 Ext. #2.


First consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.
Applicants must have at least (A) five (5) years of full-time or equivalent part-time professional or technical experience in epidemiology, biology, biostatistics, toxicology, environmental science, environmental health, ecology, public health, chemistry, virology, immunology, bacteriology, microbiology, or statistics and (B) of which at least two (2) years must have been in a professional capacity or (C) any equivalent combination of the required experience and the substitutions listed below. 
I. A Bachelor’s degree with a major in epidemiology, biology, biostatistics, toxicology, environmental science, environmental health, ecology, public health, chemistry, virology, immunology, bacteriology, microbiology, statistics, or other health-related field may be substituted for a maximum of two (2) years of the required (A) experience.*
II. A Master’s degree or higher with a major in epidemiology, biology, biostatistics, toxicology, environmental science, environmental health, ecology, public health, chemistry, virology, immunology, bacteriology, microbiology, statistics, or other health-related field may be substituted for a maximum of three (3) years of the required (A) experience and one (1) year of the required (B) experience.*
*Education toward such a degree will be prorated on the basis of the proportion of the requirements actually completed.
NOTE: Educational substitution will only be permitted for a maximum of one (1) year of the (B) experience.
Executive Order #595: As a condition of employment, successful applicants will be required to have received COVID-19 vaccination or an approved exemption as of their start date. Details relating to demonstrating compliance with this requirement will be provided to applicants selected for employment. Applicants who receive an offer of employment who can provide documentation that the vaccine is medically contraindicated or who object to vaccination due to a sincerely held religious belief may make a request for exemption. 
An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Official Title: Epidemiologist II
Primary Location: United States-Massachusetts-Boston-250 Washington Street
Job: Science
Agency: Department of Public Health
Schedule: Full-time
Shift: Day
Job Posting: Nov 12, 2021, 4:03:34 PM
Number of Openings: 1
Salary: 69,929.34 - 102,938.94 Yearly
If you have Diversity, Affirmative Action or Equal Employment Opportunity questions or need a Reasonable Accommodation, please contact Diversity Officer / ADA Coordinator: Kevin Lovaincy - 6149095085
Bargaining Unit: 09-MOSES - Engineers/Scientists
Confidential: No