[Job Vacancy][PIHOA]Consultants for US-Affiliated Pacific Islands

Updated: Aug 1



POSITION TITLE: Strengthening Health Interventions in the Pacific Instructor/Adjunct Faculty

POSITION STATUS: Multiple Consultant Positions, Temporary

POSITION PERIOD: Immediate through to July 31, 2022, with possible extension contingent on funding

DUTY STATION: Various locations in the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPIs) based on need


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 Hagåtña, 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 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.


Strengthening Health Interventions in the Pacific (SHIP): SHIP is a Pacific-wide initiative led by the Pacific Community (SPC) under its Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network (PPHSN) in partnership with the Fiji National University (FNU), World Health Organization (WHO), and PIHOA. As a permanent Coordinating Body (CB) member of PPHSN, PIHOA is responsible for implementing SHIP in the USAPIs in partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the primary funding agency. SHIP is modeled after CDC’s Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP), but adapted for the Pacific region. SHIP is accredited by FNU.

SHIP is distinguished from other academic/training programs by the involvement of health leadership to drive the focus of the program and heavy emphasis on students making tangible improvements in surveillance and health information systems (HIS) within their respective healthcare agencies as a tangible outcome of their coursework. The overall aim of SHIP is to generate a critical mass of quality-trained data literate and technically-skilled healthcare workers in the areas of epidemiology, surveillance/data systems, and data-driven decision-making. SHIP is designed for health professionals who work with a wide range of health information and data, not limited to but including communicable disease, non-communicable disease (NCD), maternal and child health, behavioral health, environmental, performance improvement and clinical data.


SHIP is comprised of three tiers (courses):

  • Tier 1 Post-Graduate Certificate in Field Epidemiology (PGCFE), also known as Data for Decision-Making (DDM)

  • Tier 2 Post-Graduate Diploma in Applied Epidemiology (PGDAE)

  • Tier 3: Master’s in Applied Epidemiology (MAE)


Tier 1 and 2 courses are comprised of up to four or five discrete, week-long modules delivered on-site and in-person, supplemented by additional online coursework to be completed during and in-between modules. Each course module is delivered as a combination of classroom-based teaching and didactic learning sessions followed by structured activities/exercises that encourage and support the model of learning “from work, at work, for work” where students plan, design and implement selected projects prioritized by their respective workplace supervisors and health leadership utilizing real local data. Since 2015, multiple courses have been delivered in all four states of the FSM and FSM National, American Samoa, Guam, Palau and the RMI, with 101 USAPI health staff having received their PGCFE to date. Seventeen PGCFE graduates are currently pursuing the completion of the Tier 2 PGDAE, and three are ready to commence the MAE track.


SUMMARY OF DUTIES: PIHOA is seeking highly experienced Epidemiologists to support SHIP Tiers 1 and 2 course delivery as SHIP Adjunct Faculty consultants under the direction of PIHOA’s SHIP Program Manager and SHIP Faculty Lead. Successful candidates will also be required to meet FNU’s adjunct faculty requirements. The timing and frequency of course delivery will be dependent on jurisdiction needs and readiness, and program funding.


SCOPE OF POSITION

  1. Reports To: SHIP Program Manager

  2. Supervises: None

  3. Fiscal Responsibilities: None

  4. Signature Authorities: None

  5. 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/training, health information systems, data-driven decision-making and cultural competency. The position will interact with a wide array of multi-disciplinary team members working across multiple locations, and may include interactions with national, state and regional health leadership, including the USAPI Directors and Secretaries of Health and regional technical partners.


MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES/DELIVERABLES

As directed by the SHIP Program Manager, the SHIP Adjunct Faculty will work in collaboration with the SHIP Faculty Lead, other SHIP faculty, and PIHOA’s Regional Epidemiology Unit (REU) team to:

  1. Lead and/or co-facilitate Tier 1 and/or 2 courses in participating USAPI sites. This will include preparation of course materials, slide decks, exercises and examinations in adherence to the approved SHIP curriculum and course templates prior to course roll-out; assure student learning objectives and outcomes adhere to stated SHIP course learning and competency milestones and FNU course completion requirements; monitoring, troubleshooting and assessing and grading of student work and final projects; compilation of course workshop reports; and compilation and submission of all required student final projects, individual module examination scores, and final course grades to the SHIP Program Administrator for onward submission to FNU for review;

  2. Coach and mentor SHIP Tier 1 and 2 students throughout the period of course delivery, both on-site and remotely, to ensure students stay on track with attaining course competency and learning objectives and milestones, complete and submit required and graded course exercises and final projects in a timely and quality manner, and where possible, support students interested in publishing their final projects in peer-reviewed journals;

  3. Work with SHIP Faculty Lead, other co-Adjunct Faculty and SHIP Program Manager to monitor overall student performance and identify students who are in need of additional support and identify and implement appropriate interventions. As needed, this may also include documenting and submitting recommendations for student continuation/non-continuation in the program;

  4. Support and/or lead post-module workshop training debriefings with local health leadership and relevant supervisors to keep them informed at all times of course and student progress to ensure their continued commitment to supporting their respective staff participating in SHIP;

  5. Be an active member of the SHIP Adjunct Faculty Team which includes participating in all required pre-module delivery planning and implementation and post-module delivery evaluation meetings; provide input to improving and enhancing the SHIP curriculum and associated teaching materials and strategies, as needed; and, support and/or provide input to overarching SHIP evaluation efforts; and

  6. If/when requested and/or needed, participate in-person or remotely, in PIHOA Executive Board Meetings and other relevant regional meetings including, but not limited to, PPHSN meetings; annual meetings of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET); and, project management calls with CDC Technical Monitors and Project Officers.

PRIMARY QUALIFICATIONS


1. Education: Minimum of a master’s level degree in epidemiology, public health, or other social or health sciences-related fields from an accredited academic institution. Doctoral or MD level degree preferred.

2. Experience: Minimum 3 years of professional experience in field/research work in epidemiology and/or training and capacity building in public health and surveillance or related fields. Experience in strengthening public health systems in the Pacific region is desirable. Experience working with a Field Epidemiology Training Program or similar course in the USAPIs or other countries with similar challenges and unique needs preferred.

3. Knowledge Competencies

  • Advanced knowledge of core public health principles and current best practices

  • Advanced knowledge of public health surveillance systems in low-resource settings

  • Demonstrates knowledge of adult learning principles and best practices, including mentorship in the classroom and in the field, and effective facilitation/training approaches and methodologies. Evidence of training and mentoring public health professionals is required

  • Knowledge and experience in developing, analyzing, strengthening public health surveillance systems, and/or conducting outbreak investigation and response, and/or conducting community-based surveys, and/or managing field epidemiology projects

  • Knowledge and experience in planning and conducting epidemiological studies and communicating findings for data-driven decision-making and/or policy-making

  • Knowledge and experience in the use of data for quality improvement projects, or improving efficiencies in the management and delivery of clinical, primary care, and/or public health service

  • Advance knowledge and demonstrated experience in drafting, editing, submitting, and successfully publishing peer-reviewed publications/journals

4. Abilities and Skills: Must have excellent English oral and written communication skills; experience working with multi-disciplinary teams working across multiple locations and 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; experience working with public health agencies, leadership and systems in the USAPIs, or other similar, resource-challenged settings.

5. Travel: Must have a valid passport and be willing and able to travel in the US, Pacific region, and internationally. PIHOA does not cover expenses for passport and visa expenses. The position will require to travel from home base for both short and long periods, and possibly to multiple locations under one travel period.

6. Other Requirements: PIHOA reserves the right to conduct security checks on successful applicants. Though not required, it is highly advised to have a valid driver’s license.


PHYSICAL/MENTAL DEMANDS: This consultancy may require prolonged sitting and some standing, walking, kneeling, and bending, requires eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity sufficient to operate computer keyboard and office equipment; and travel to resource-limited and/or rural and jungle/atoll/mountainous environments. Requires occasional lifting up to 45 pounds.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS/OTHER DEMANDS: Given the nature of PIHOA work in the Pacific region and travel requirements for the consultancy services, PIHOA consultants/contractors may potentially be exposed to vector-borne and local infectious diseases, inclement weather conditions, high humidity, intense heat and sun. Successful candidates must be flexible, adaptable, and able to work in resource-limited, rural island environments with limited public infrastructure and communications, and often less than 1 to 2-star accommodations with little to no disability access.


COMPENSATION: Commensurate with qualifications and experience, a flat rate consultancy fee of USD five hundred and fifty dollars (USD 550) per day will be paid based on agreed contract deliverables completed. Fringe and other benefits are not covered under PIHOA consultancy contracts. Consultants are required to submit monthly invoices for payment with accompanying progress reports that outline status of deliverables.


TERM OF POSITION: This vacancy is a considered a temporary consultancy with immediate contract effective date through to July 31, 2022, with the possibility of renewal/extension based on performance and funding agency approval.


APPLICATION: Submit the following electronically with attention to Allison Ikeda (hr@pihoa.org), PIHOA HR Administrator:


1. Letter of Interest that outlines your overall qualifications and professional experience in response to the Primary Qualifications listed above;

2. Curriculum Vitae or Resume; and

3. Minimum of three (3) professional references - these references must be from current and past employment supervisors based on the last 8-10 years of employment.


For any specific inquiries relating to the scope of work of the consultancy, please direct them to Helene Le Mouellic (helenel@pihoa.org), PIHOA SHIP Program Manager.

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