Under the direction of the Tuberculosis (TB) Epidemiology and Surveillance Program manager, serves as the lead for the Epidemiology Team in the TB and Hansen's Disease Branch. Oversees the work of TB program epidemiologists in implementing procedures to ensure the completeness, accuracy and timeliness of TB case and contact investigation information. Leads the team's assessment of cluster and contact investigations conducted by Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) public health regions (PHRs) and local health departments' (LHDs) TB programs. Provides guidance to the team, PHRs and LHDs on managing TB outbreaks and complex investigations and completes incidents and other epidemiologic reports as needed. Participates and provides epidemiologic direction in high profile contact investigations. Leads and/or prepares TB alerts and close-out investigation reports. Serves as the subject matter expert on investigating TB outbreaks, performing contact investigations, and provide guidance on evaluating complex TB clusters using Whole Genome Sequencing and other epidemiologic data.
Leads the development of program protocols to conduct contact investigations in high profile settings such as academic institutions, congregate settings and other media-sensitive environments. Works across program areas in the Branch including the Laboratory Section to obtain an accurate assessment of surveillance and reporting activities involving team investigations. Assigns work to the team and assesses the team's ability to perform the work. Trains the team members in performing all epidemiologic activities supported by the Branch. Prepares epidemiologic reports on TB outbreaks, complex and high-profile contact investigations. Works to establish epidemiologic linkages based on cluster investigations. Performs cluster analysis using whole genome sequencing. Liaises with other teams, branches, health departments and providers to promote the application of evidence-based practices in all TB investigations.
Essential Job Functions:
Attends work on a regular and predictable schedule in accordance with agency leave policy and performs other duties as assigned.
Team Lead Responsibilities
EJF 1 - 25%: Provides guidance, instruction, direction and leadership to the Epidemiology Team for the purpose of meeting program expectations established by the TB and Hansen's Disease Branch Manager / TB Controller. Monitors the quantitative and qualitative achievements of the team and reports results to the group manager. Motivate the team to use their knowledge and skills to achieve shared goals. Develops and provides reports to management for administrative purposes. Develops internal processes to guide epidemiology team activities.
Oversees the application of genotyping and whole genome sequencing to guide cluster investigations (molecular epidemiology)
EJF 2 - 20%: Oversees and participates in routine monitoring of TB genotyping information management systems (TB GIMS) to identify medium and high concerning clusters and notification processes. Provides guidance on cluster investigations and advises local and regional TB staff on genotyping information. Oversees research on epidemiologic linkages based on cluster investigations, false positive acid fast bacilli (AFB) culture reports, reviews result of the investigations, and presents case studies for training purposes. Leads CDC genotyping conference calls; ensures accurate and updated information is provided on all calls; ensures team and other participants follow-up on assignments for reporting to the CDC. Leads discussions on whole genome sequencing and uses this technology to confirm / refute transmission. Coordinates and oversees contact investigations (CIs) and outbreaks.
EJF 3 -20%: Reviews and tracks DSHS PHRs and LHD TB programs' incident reports. Provides guidance to PHRs and LHDs on management of TB outbreaks, mass investigations, and complex CIs. Develops and reviews policies and procedures on genotyping, CIs, TB outbreaks involving academic institutions, congregate settings and places of employment and other media sensitive environments. Monitors PHRs and LHDs CI efforts using the TB, HIV, STD Information System (THISIS). Provides guidance and prepares resources to assist local and regional programs in managing complex CIs and genotyping information. Participates and provides on-site epidemiologic direction in high profile CIs. Reviews contact aggregate reports against expected outcomes. Develops and evaluates plan to improve CI outcomes. Maintains data profile on confirmed TB outbreaks, investigations involving media sensitive environments and other places of employment to include congregate settings and academic institutions. Prepares epidemiologic reports and other reports. Oversees quality assurance and quality improvement of evaluation data of refugee and immigrant Class B TB entered in CDC's Electronic Disease Notification System.
Participates in developing a competent TB workforce
EJF 4 - 15%: Liaison with DSHS Laboratory Services Branch, TB/HIV/STD Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch and the CDC on developing and updating training modules. Participates in new employee orientation seminars, webinars, audit-related trainings and other TB Branch trainings. Contributes to various workgroups including the Correctional Planning Committee, False Positive Workgroup, etc. Participates in the development and/or revisions of Texas-based TB references, such as the Texas TB Work Plan, TB Manual, and other reference documents. Develops template for preparing local epidemiologic reports.
Participates in THISIS epidemiology/surveillance system development and deployment
EFJ 5 - 10%: Participates in testing the application including training internal and external stakeholders in navigating THISIS. Participates in developing and revising the THISIS training manual.
Oversees staff on multi-state/International TB exposure notifications
EJF 6 - 5%. Coordinates all airline, land or sea exposure notification received through CDC Epi-X; notifies HSRs and LHDs of airline, land or sea exposures received through Epi-X for follow-up and reporting. Assures all notifications are addressed within appropriate time frames including preparing and submitting responses to the requestor. Updates and maintains procedures involving DGMQ notification.
Other duties as assigned - EJF 5%: Participates in continuing operation plans, marginal assignments and other duties as needed.
Knowledge Skills Abilities:
List the knowledge, skills, and abilities critical to performance in this position:
Knowledge of the principles of epidemiology and Texas public health laws particularly those that govern the control and reporting of notifiable conditions.
Knowledge of transmission of infectious diseases.
Extensive knowledge of TB epidemiology practices
Knowledge of current social, economic and public health issues
Knowledge of medical terminology.
Extensive knowledge of data management and statistical methods.
Skill using word processing, databases, spreadsheet and graphic software packages including Access, Excel, SPSS, SAS, PowerPoint.
Skill in interpreting diagnostic laboratory results and information from medical charts.
Skill in written communication including editing.
Skill in mathematical computation and statistical analysis.
Ability to comply with DSHS standards of conduct, guiding principles, and department policies and procedures.
Ability to conduct trainings and make public presentations. Ability to organize and prioritize workload and meet deadlines.
Ability to plan, develop and oversee TB outbreaks and contact investigation activities.
Ability to guide complex TB investigations
Ability to prepare written reports and develop and implement policies and procedures.
Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, management, representatives of local medical and public health communities, the media and the general public.
Ability to present complex information to a variety of lay audiences.
Ability to assemble, summarize and interpret pertinent technical literature.
Ability to identify problems and implement appropriate solutions.
Ability to work independently, exercising sound judgment.
Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team environment using tact and diplomacy
Ability to initiate projects and work on multiple projects at the same time.
Ability to work discreetly and maintain confidentiality.
Registration or Licensure Requirements:
Maintain a current and valid driver's license
Initial Selection Criteria:
Master's degree in Public Health or equivalent from an accredited university or college
Experience in data management and data analysis in a public health or academic research setting
Skilled in data analysis using SAS or other statistical software
Knowledge and experience in conducting infectious disease investigations
There are no direct military occupation(s) that relate to the responsibilities, and registration or licensure requirements for this position. All active duty, reservists, guardsmen, and veterans are encouraged to apply if they meet the qualifications for this position.
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