COMPENSATION: Commensurate with qualifications and experience, the salary will commence at $65,000 USD per annum. Comprehensive Benefits package is included.
ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND: Established in 1986 by the chief health officials of the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPIs) of American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), and the Republic of Palau, the Pacific Island Health Officers Association (PIHOA) is a 501(c)3 headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, with a field office in Hågatña, Guam. PIHOA’s mission is to provide, through collective action and decision-making, a credible regional voice for health advocacy in and for the Pacific.
Today, PIHOA’s membership is comprised of the ministers/directors/secretaries of health (executive governing board) of the six USAPIs, their deputies and Chief Executive Officers of local public hospitals (associates), and Pacific regional professional associations (affiliates). PIHOA’s Secretariat, comprised of ten executive, administrative and technical staff and a number of short and long-term consultants, have been tasked to provide technical assistance to the USAPI health ministries and departments in the following health systems strengthening areas: 1) health workforce development/human resources for health; 2) epidemiology and surveillance; 3) performance improvement; 4) laboratory services; 5) regional health policy and advocacy; 6) health security; and 7) leadership development.
In May 2010, the PIHOA leadership made a landmark decision to declare a regional state of NCD emergency under Resolution 48-01. It triggered high-level responses and commitments across executive and legislative branches of government, and traditional leadership across the USAPIs. Following the declaration, an ‘incident command’ response framework (USAPIs NCD Strategic Roadmap) was developed to inform the regional response over three key phases: Phase 1 - Sounding the Alert: raising awareness and advocacy amongst key decision-makers in the USAPIs and across the wider Pacific; Phase 2 - Crafting the Response: developing NCD-related tools and resources and establishing effective partnerships; and Phase 3 - Implementing the Response: adoption of an agreed package of NCD policies and legislation, convening a USAPIs NCD law and policy summit, and the collection and analysis of NCD data and information to track NCD progress and risk factors.
From 2010 to the present, PIHOA’s Secretariat, in close collaboration with USAPI health agencies and in partnership with local health agencies and regional partners, has made significant efforts to mobilize resources to plan and implement a response to the NCD Emergency Declaration. This included key interventions such as: the development of and garnering the endorsement of regional and other key stakeholders for the USAPI NCD Policy Commitment Package; ensuring a coordinated response across the region by establishing the Health Leadership Council (PIHOA affiliates); developing and implementing the USAPI NCD Strategic Roadmap to guide the response; developing and maintaining the USAPI NCD Core Monitoring and Surveillance Framework and Data Set endorsed in consensus amongst all the USAPIs health agencies; and supporting local efforts to strengthen state/national-level NCD surveillance systems, capacities and processes to support evidence-based policy making and program improvement.
SUMMARY OF DUTIES: The PIHOA Regional Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Surveillance Officer (RNSO) is a team member of PIHOA’s Regional Epidemiology Unit (REU) and will be based at the PIHOA Honolulu Office. The position and its continuation are dependent upon PIHOA’s program/operational needs, satisfactory work performance, availability of funds, and compliance with applicable Federal/State laws.
Under the oversight of PIHOA’s Regional Health Information Systems and Performance Improvement Coordinator (RHPIC) and direction of the Regional Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiologist (RNCDE), the RNSO will provide technical support to USAPI health agencies to strengthen regional and local NCD surveillance systems and capacities, including but not limited to: 1) NCD data analytics and reporting; 2) development and refinement of local epidemiology and surveillance systems plans; 3) improvement of local and regional NCD reporting and profiling; 3) provision of direct on-site and remote NCD epidemiological and surveillance technical support; and 4) provision of on-site and remote technical assistance (TA) for local NCD population and other survey/data collection activities. The RNSO, as a team member of PIHOA’s REU, will also assist the RPHIC and RCDE via: 1) Adjunct faculty support to deliver PIHOA’s Strengthening Health Interventions in the Pacific (SHIP)/Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) courses in interested USAPI health departments; 2) serve as a SHIP Epidemiology Mentor to coach and mentor SHIP students and graduates on an on-going basis; and 3) serve as an epidemiology/surveillance subject matter expert (SME) and mentor to PIHOA’s Pacific Public Health Fellowship Program (PPHFP) Fellows undergoing SHIP training.
More specifically, the RNSO will provide scientific expertise and conduct analysis of NCD epidemiological data and interpretation of findings to inform regional and local NCD interventions and policies and local program design, improvement and evaluation. Under the guidance of the RHPIC and RNCDE, the RNSO will also support effective and meaningful collaborations with local health department and NCD program leadership and coordinators to collect, analyze and utilize data for strengthening program design, delivery and impact. When requested, the RNSO will also support the compilation of regional and local NCD statistical reports/profiles, including publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at national/regional/international conferences. The RNSO will also support the RHPIC and RNCDE to coordinate with other local and regional/international partners’ NCD response efforts in the USAPIs. This position is required to travel extensively throughout the USAPIs, and at times, across the wider Asia-Pacific region and US mainland.
SCOPE OF POSITION
Reports to: Regional Health Information Systems and Performance Improvement Coordinator (RHPIC) and the Regional Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiologist (RNCDE)
Fiscal Responsibilities: None
Signature Authorities: None
Level of Interaction: This is a highly responsible, creative, and demanding position requiring a unique mix of skills and experience in epidemiology, public health, communications, education, health information, public health systems, and cultural competency. Extensive interaction with national and international health leadership, including the USAPI Directors and Secretaries of Health and regional technical partners.
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Validates the integrity of NCD data from the USAPIs, including analysis of epidemiological data and interpretation of findings to inform regional and local interventions and policy strategies.
Conducts field projects, research and other special studies to collect and analyze NCD surveillance data to track NCD risk factor indicators (e.g., prevalence, time trends on various populations), including identifying factors associated with morbidity and This may include setting up programs and/or using various software to perform complex analysis of data and to generate data summaries, tables, charts, and other graphic displays.
Provides direct on-site and remote technical support to USAPI health agency epidemiology and surveillance staff in the collection, analysis and interpretation of NCD epidemiological and surveillance data and findings, including (and as needed) the preparation of written reports, policy briefs and publications.
Assists with the implementation of PIHOA’s USAPI regional surveillance initiatives, including the USAPI Regional NCD Surveillance Framework and Data Dictionary, which includes direct support to USAPI health agencies to refine and implement their respective national and state NCD Surveillance Plans and ensure they continue to link to and inform regional surveillance processes. This includes support to USAPI health agencies to review and/or compile their respective bi-annual Monitoring Alliance for NCD Action (MANA) policy reports and associated dashboards, and to support the RNCDE to develop, refine and update PIHOA’s Regional NCD Surveillance Data Dashboard.
Assists the RNCDE to work in close collaboration with local health departments to plan and conduct local NCD and NCD-related population-based surveys (e.g., NCD hybrid surveys, walkability assessments, high school behavioral risk surveillance surveys, etc.)
Serves as Adjunct Faculty for SHIP and Epidemiology Mentor to SHIP students and graduates, including coaching and mentorship support for students’ publications and other special project efforts as part of their SHIP program completion requirements.
Supports opportunities to strengthen systems and capacities for NCD-related health informatics, including exploring and applying appropriate technologies and platforms that may be useful for the Pacific regionally and nationally.
Supports the RHPIC and RNCDE to liaise with PIHOA Associate and Affiliate member organizations, such as the USAPI public hospitals, Pacific Islands Primary Care Association (PIPCA), Cancer Council of the Pacific Islands (CCPI), and other regional technical partners such the University of Hawaii, Pacific Community, and the World Health Organization Pacific, to build coherence between PIHOA’s NCD monitoring and surveillance activities and their respective and similar NCD surveillance efforts in the USAPIs.
When requested, supports the RNCDE to compile and deliver timely, quality and comprehensive NCD surveillance and associated data and policy progress reports as required to meet grant conditions, program evaluation requirements, and progress reporting to PIHOA’s Governing Board and Secretariat Executive team.
Performs other duties as assigned, appropriate to the scope and skill sets of the position.
Education: Master’s degree in Epidemiology, or related field such as health statistics, biostatistics, or health informatics from an accredited academic
Job Experience: A minimum of two (2) years of practical epidemiological work experience; or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience provided that the minimum degree requirements are Experience in designing, conducting, evaluating and interpreting epidemiological studies or investigations is required. Knowledge of NCDs and best practices in NCD surveillance and control, including interpretation and evaluation of statistical data to improve NCD program design and impact is highly preferred.
Job Knowledge: Familiarity with US non-profit/501(c)3 administration and US federal guidelines for non-profits is a plus; intermediate to advanced knowledge of the principles and best practices of public health including health service delivery and health professional development in low-resource settings; experience in working with and supporting multi-disciplinary teams working across multiple locations; able to effectively communicate with respect and diplomacy with a range of people from differing backgrounds, value systems, cultures, religious affiliations, and varying degrees of English-speaking and writing competencies; proficiency in statistical computer software packages and applications for data analytics is required, including applicable knowledge of epidemiological practices, analytical methodologies and procedures; and, familiarity with relevant medical terminology, and understanding of human development and disease theory.
Other Requirements: Must have advanced English written and oral communication skills; must be proficient in Microsoft Office software applications (e.g., MS Office Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook and Access).
Travel: Must be willing and able to travel in the US mainland, Asia-Pacific region and internationally, when required, with possible long durations away from home duty station, including working in low- resource
Citizenship and Other Requirements: Must be a US citizen, or have valid US Green Card, US Permanent Residency Card, Resident Alien, or other relevant US visa that allows for residency and employment in the US and its territories. Please be advised that PIHOA does not pay for passport and visa expenses. These will need to be valid and in good standing prior to PIHOA PIHOA reserves the right to conduct security and background checks on successful applicants. Must possess a valid driver’s license.
Doctorate degree in Epidemiology, or equivalent, from an accredited academic institution
Knowledge of and experience working in the Pacific region
High degree of professional judgment to analyze, develop, and present work; monitor and evaluate implementation of programs; analytical skills, problem-solving ability, and creative thinking
Ability to work in and across diverse teams and demonstrate flexibility of schedule across multiple time zones to achieve optimal and quality results; balanced, open professional work style that includes both (1) teamwork and active, supportive participation, (2) leadership and individual initiative, and (3) sound and professional judgement and conduct
Advanced oral and written communication skills; ability to deeply understand technical details and associated nuances, and effectively communicate strategic insights to leadership
Demonstrated experience working with a wide range of development partners, including multilateral and bilateral donors, development agencies, as well as private foundation and civil society
Demonstrated ability to work effectively and with respect in culturally diverse, traditional and rural settings in the Pacific region and/or in developing low- resource countries
Adaptive and flexible to work in a wide range of challenging and low-resource settings and healthcare capacities, systems and infrastructure
PIHOA’s mission is to improve the health and well being of the USAPI by providing, through consensus, a unified credible voice on health issues of regional significance. PIHOA’s overarching goal is to strengthen local and regional health system capabilities, capacities and community resilience against local and external health threats in line with the Pacific regional health priorities (Health Islands Vision) and U.S. national priorities.