Position Description

Program Officer - Correctional Health Substance Use Disorder Treatment Access: Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Location United States
Department Other Programs PH
# of openings 1
Apply Now

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 non-communicable disease prevention, cardiovascular health promotion, 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; the Overdose Prevention Program is our first initiative in the U.S. Please visit our website at www.vitalstrategies.org to find out more about our work.

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

Job Purpose:

Vital Strategies is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Program Officer – Correctional Health Substance Use Disorder Treatment Access, seconded to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC), located in Mechanicsburg, PA.

The DOC is taking steps to implement access to opioid agonist treatment for persons in custody at state correctional institutions (SCI) for whom such treatment is medically appropriate. The program will begin as a pilot at a select number of facilities, and gradually expand to other facilities across the Commonwealth. Vital Strategies will provide seconded staff to the DOC to assist in the development, implementation, and oversight of this project. Candidates must be eligible to work in the United States.

This position is full-time, fixed-termed (September 30, 2021) with a possibility of renewal.


Duties and Responsibilities:

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

  • Provide assistance to the Department in the oversight and expansion of opioid agonist treatment programs at the SCIs, including providing technical assistance with individual SCI on protocols, policies, and best practices;
  • Support protocol and policy development, and implementation, to help expand current program to include new inductions to treatment within SCI for individuals not previously on treatment
  • When safety conditions allow, travel to the SCIs to help educate medical and correctional staff and inmates about implementation of the Project, including agonist treatment generally;
  • Assist in developing and delivering orientation materials and training for newly hired social worker personnel with the SCIs, to advance implementation of opioid agonist treatment programs;
  • Perform project management tasks related to the Project, including but not limited to quarterly reporting on implementation progress, fiscal monitoring and contract management;
  • Maintain lists of community-based opioid agonist treatment providers within each SCI region and help build relationships and streamlined referral processes between the SCIs and providers, leveraging connections to DHS Centers of Excellence and PAC-MAT network whenever possible;
  • Maintain systems for tracking and reporting statistics regarding participation in opioid agonist treatment, treatment terminations, and other critical statistics regarding implementation per SCI as well as statewide; if possible, leverage tracking and reporting systems to develop research, learning, and program improvement opportunities
  • Provide general feedback and advice to DOC MAT program leadership, and other DOC personnel regarding evidence-based interventions to reduce harms associated with substance abuse;
  • Help identify additional training/educational needs and opportunities for DOC leadership and staff on the subject of opioid agonist treatment in correctional institutions; and
  • Additional duties as may be mutually agreed upon by Vital Strategies and the Dept.



Education and Degree -

  • Bachelor’s degree (in any field), required.
  • Master’s Degree in a related field (i.e. social work, psychology, counseling, public health or other similar field), preferred.

Skills and Abilities -

  • Comprehensive project management skills, with the ability to make sound, informed judgements;
  • Understanding of public health and related policy interventions;
  • Strong understanding of government structures and policymaking in relevant geographies;
  • Outstanding written and spoken communication skills in English;
  • Strong communication skills, with demonstrated ability to develop and maintain collaborative relationships with internal and external partners;
  • Ability to produce deliverables unaided and with minimal supervision;
  • Willingness to travel in order to assist with on-site engagement in participating cities;
  • Willingness and ability to work across different time zones.



Required -

  • At least five (5) years experience with programs for medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) required

Preferred -

  • Experienced in working collaboratively and remotely with internal and external team members to meet expectations and deliver the necessary assistance in a timely manner
  • Intermediate to advanced knowledge in Microsoft Office
  • Possess a genuine interest in the mission and vision of Vital Strategies
  • Demonstrated representational experience in professional and global settings


Work Conditions and Physical Requirements:

May be required to move to and from various locations.

Back Apply Now