MONTGOMERY COUNTY GOVERNMENT Code No. 2717
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND Grade 24
SENIOR PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISOR
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is first level supervisory and investigatory, outreach and educational work involved with identifying, controlling and preventing the occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases (STD\AIDS). Contacts include State and local Health Department officials, physicians, laboratory and hospital personnel, civic/community group representatives, infected individuals and their contacts, and other health care agency employees. The purposes of the contacts include: exchanging technical information regarding epidemiology; obtaining demographic statistics; providing results of diagnosis and treatment information; and, providing instructional information and education programs regarding STD/AIDS. Public service and assistance is provided by employees in this class on an on-going basis, and requires judgment when questioning clients to obtain factual, sensitive information, and determine the nature of follow-up services required.
An employee in this class independently plans and carries out the day-to-day program activities related to the prevention, detection, control, and eradication of STD/AIDS. Responsibilities include supervising, planning, coordinating, and monitoring the work of subordinate employees, resolving conflicts and interpreting policies in terms of work objectives. Completed work is reviewed for successful attainment of program objectives. A significant aspect of the work involves planning and administering the program for interrupting STD/AIDS transmission through the application of disease intervention techniques, and referring persons in the disease transmission cycle to medical attention. Guidelines consist of Federal, State and local laws governing epidemiology and confidential relationships with physicians, laboratory personnel, patients and the public, and Health Department policies and procedures. However, existing guides are not always applicable for unusual conditions encountered in the work, and require the employee to use sound judgment and ingenuity in selecting or adapting appropriate guides to fit specific situations. The complexity of the work is characterized by sensitive interaction with clients from all socio-economic backgrounds to motivate lifestyle behavior modification changes from their unconventional life styles (e.g., sex and drug abuse), which often are met with resentment and skepticism. The complexity of this work is further realized by working with recalcitrant and apathetic patients; and motivating staff to pursue and accomplish work in a positive and effective manner. Incumbents must be able to speak knowledgeably with physicians, laboratory personnel and other health professionals about the clinical aspects of STD/AIDS and the interpretation of laboratory diagnostic tests. Incumbents must be able to make decisions relating to patient status after consultation with physicians regarding laboratory diagnostic results and the best way to approach treatment services. The purpose of this class of work is to plan and direct program activities and assess program effectiveness by coordinating services which facilitate the interruption and prevention of STD/AIDS, thereby directly affecting the well-being of the general public. The work is primarily sedentary and is normally performed in an office environment. The employee may be required to visit clients in their homes for the purpose of obtaining or communicating information regarding communicable diseases. Employees may occasionally be exposed to hostile or abusive behavior from clients and other persons. Supervisory responsibilities performed by an employee in this class include directly supervising the work of subordinate staff and regularly recommending or initiating personnel actions.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Plans, implements and directs activities for the County's STD/AIDS Program.
Supervises the activities of subordinate staff, to include planning, reviewing and evaluating caseload progress.
Conducts field investigations to determine the effectiveness and progress of staff in locating and interviewing persons suspected of having or known to have sexually transmitted diseases (STD/AIDS); and to ensure uniform application of epidemiological techniques.
Conducts epidemiological investigations involving the most complex cases, especially those requiring special motivating techniques; interviews neighbors and relatives of suspected contacts and searches files of public agencies to locate persons.
Provides pre and post test counseling to clients seeking STD/HIV (AIDS) testing.
Establishes and maintains continuing liaison with health professionals and laboratory personnel to explain objectives and functions of public health disease control; solicits their cooperation to furnish names and addresses of patients found by them to have STD/AIDS; and resolves operational problems.
Makes public presentations to groups in order to promote education, information and awareness of STD/AIDS program goals, objectives, policies and procedures.
Represents the Department on committees and at conferences.
Compiles, maintains and evaluates epidemiologic data and statistics and prepares reports for submission to the State.
Establishes and conducts training programs for department staff and others in the investigative techniques/methods of STD/HIV work and instructs them in the provisions of laws and regulations.
Participates in employee selection process, schedules work, evaluates performance and counsels employees accordingly, and approves leave.
Participates in budget preparation and development of annual program plans by making recommendations based upon analysis and evaluation of future program requirements, providing statistical evaluations, and projecting future trends in STD/AIDS.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: Five (5) years of experience in either public health investigation or health education related to STD/AIDS.
Education: Completion of a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university in one of the Social or Biological Sciences, Health or related field.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Thorough knowledge of the causes, effects, transmission, treatment and control of sexually transmitted diseases (STD/AIDS).
Thorough knowledge of the techniques of interviewing and field follow-up of communicable disease patients, their contacts and others associated with them to elicit extremely sensitive and identifying information regarding sexual contacts and substance abuse for the purpose of obtaining necessary information in interviews to carry out effective epidemiology.
Ability to train and select subordinate staff and to plan, assign and review their work.
Ability to perform investigative work relative to epidemiological programs.
Ability to prepare detailed reports and correspondence and present this information to groups of varying size and socio-economic background.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with government agency representatives, health care personnel in the public and private sectors, diseased individuals and the general public, including various ethnic and cultural groups.
Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
Possession of a valid motor vehicle operator's license.
Individuals appointed or promoted to this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six months, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Medical History Review
Class Established: October, 1981
Revised: May, 1991 (M)