Position Description

Program Officer - Overdose Prevention and Response Coordination
Location United States
Department Other Programs PH
# of openings 1
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Vital Strategies, headquartered in New York City, is an international public health organization. Our programs strengthen public health systems and address the world’s leading causes of illness, injury and death. We currently work in 73 countries, supporting data-driven decision making in government, advancing evidence-based public health policies and mounting strategic communication campaigns. Vital Strategies’ priorities are driven by the greatest potential to improve and save lives. They include cardiovascular health, tobacco control, road safety, obesity prevention, epidemic prevention, overdose prevention, environmental health, vital statistics systems building and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment research. Our programs are primarily concentrated in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific; Our overdose prevention program was our first initiative in the United States. Please visit our website at www.vitalstrategies.org to find out more about our work.

Vital Strategies offers highly competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits. We welcome and supports a diverse, inclusive work environment. As such, our commitment is to promote equal employment opportunities (EEO) for all applicants seeking employment.

The Position

Vital Strategies is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Program Officer – Overdose Prevention and Response Coordination, seconded to the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), located in Harrisburg, PA. The DOH plays a critical leadership role in the Opioid Operational Command Center. The Program Officer will assist the DOH with various functions related to the  Command Center, including research and presentations, project management, and coordination with relevant stakeholders.

Specific Duties

The Secondee shall conduct work as if the Secondee were a full-time employee of the Participating Agency and shall have the following duties:

  • Support, participate in, and coordinate Command Center meetings, including biweekly stakeholder presentations and stakeholder recruitment for Command Center meetings and activities
  • Support and advise DOH leadership on opioid related projects and policies, including naloxone strategy, prepare memos, weekly calls with Health Secretary and represent PA DOH on SAMSHA MAT and Naloxone strategy calls
  • Help to advance the implementation of projects and policies outlined in Pennsylvania’s multiagency 3-year strategic plan, including by producing periodic reports and action items to move implementation forward; incorporate input from stakeholders, state agencies, and the Governor’s Office
  • Work with the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to develop and facilitate a stakeholder committee and carry out the stakeholder engagement plan, as required by the strategic plan
  • Advocate for people who use drugs and other marginalized populations through ongoing enthusiastic participation in the Command Center and subsequent subcommittees or related working groups, providing recommendations that advance key interventions such as naloxone availability to harm reduction organizations, reducing social penalties for people who use drugs, access to supportive services, and access to medications for opioid use disorder across settings.
  • Regularly participate in learning activities such as webinars, attending conferences, and reading new research in the field

Qualities and Qualifications

  • 3+ years professional and/or work experience in public policy and/or health and human services, preferably in Pennsylvania
  • Graduate or undergraduate degree in political science, public health, public policy, social work, or related field.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with demonstrated ability to maintain partnerships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Familiarity with substance use/overdose/opioids policy, including related criminal justice issues, preferred 
  • Applicants must have a valid work permit to work in the United States at time of hire
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