Position Description

Technical Advisor – Opioid Settlement Funds Planning and Capacity-Building, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Location United States
Department Overdose Prevention Program
# 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 non-communicable disease prevention, cardiovascular health promotion, tobacco control, road safety, obesity prevention, epidemic prevention, environmental health, vital statistics systems building, and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis treatment research. Our programs are concentrated in low- and middle-income countries and cities in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Pacific. Please visit our website at www.vitalstrategies.org to find out more about our work.

We believe our programs are strengthened when they are developed and supported by individuals with diverse life experiences, whose understanding of social and cultural issues can help make our work and workforce more inclusive. We encourage people of all racial, economic, social, cultural, sexual orientation, and gender expressions to apply. As such, our commitment is to promote equal employment opportunities (EEO) for all applicants seeking employment. People of color, women, LGBTQI+ people, people with disabilities, people who use drugs or are in recovery, and formerly incarcerated people are encouraged to apply.

Vital Strategies is committed to helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protecting the safety of our employees. All U.S. employees will be required to be fully vaccinated unless the employee is approved for a reasonable accommodation due to a disability or a religious reason.

Read about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Vital Strategies: https://www.vitalstrategies.org/diversity-equity-and-inclusion-at-vital-strategies/

The candidate must have eligibility to work in the U.S. at time of hire.

Vital Strategies is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Technical Advisor – Opioid Settlement Funds Planning and Capacity-Building, seconded to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) located in Lansing, Michigan. The salary range for this position is $75,000-$85,000.

MDHHS plays a critical leadership role in the state’s effort to address the drug overdose epidemic. Vital Strategies will provide seconded staff to MDHHS to provide strategic guidance, planning, and implementation support related to Michigan’s opioid settlement funds. This position is for an experienced, public health and public policy advisor to coordinate cross-agency and multisector planning and to provide capacity-building support to localities. This position requires the ability to manage many project elements including excellent organizational skills, anticipating challenges and creative problem solving.


Duties and Responsibilities:

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

1. Support strategy development in collaboration with, MDHHS opioid policy team, MDHHS leadership, and program leads for spending and allocating the state’s portion of opioid settlement funds

2. Provide engagement, capacity-building, and technical assistance to localities on use of the opioid settlement funds, with recommendations on evidence-based activities allowable under the terms of the settlement agreement

3. Conduct policy research, organize stakeholder and community engagement, and draft policy memos to inform MDHHS decision making. Develop and draft documents for multiple audiences in various formats including technical internal documents to support decision making by leaders and easily digestible public content like PowerPoints, press releases, social media, and website copy related to overdose prevention initiatives and the opioid settlement funds.

4. Manage relationships with internal and external stakeholders collaborating on the opioid settlement funds and overdose prevention initiatives to ensure the proper representation MDHHS publicly.

5. Develop public communication materials and drafting responses to media and public inquiries regarding the opioid settlement funds and overdose prevention initiatives.

6. Lead on opioid settlement funds-related researching and summarizing best practices from other states, academia, and the private sector for addressing drug overdose, at the direction of the opioid policy team leader

7. Collect opioid settlement funds-related information about current state policies and practices, and analyze information to identify strengths and barriers related to overdose initiatives

8. Help to identify additional funding sources to supplement opioid settlement funds to initiate new projects, and expand and sustain activities related to overdose prevention initiatives

9. Lead on opioid settlement funds-related reporting to internal and external stakeholders on overdose-related government activities and progress

10. Support cross-pollination discussions with other Vital Strategies seconded staff to share relevant project updates, seed collaboration opportunities, and strengthen the network of overdose prevention staff statewide

11. Other duties as assigned



Education and Degree - 

● Graduate or undergraduate degree in public health, public policy, social work, psychology or other relevant field, preferred

Minimum of 10 years of relevant technical work experience in lieu of degree is acceptable

Skills and Abilities - 

● Project management expertise, with the ability to exercise independent judgment and maintain appropriate deadlines

● Excellent oral and written communication skills

● Strong interpersonal skills, with demonstrated ability to maintain collaborative relationships with internal and external partners

● Demonstrated ability to analyze data and basic understanding of evaluation and its role

● Ability to work well with diverse groups of individuals and organizations

● Excellent organizational skills

● Self-starter with ability to work independently

● Familiarity with Microsoft Office Suite



Required -

● 5 years professional experience preferably in public health. If Masters, 3 years’ experience.

● Experience with planning and capacity building large funding initiatives in collaboration with state and local stakeholders

Preferred -

● Familiarity with opioids settlement funds and/or federal and state funding landscape for overdose prevention initiatives

● Familiarity with drug use, harm reduction, and intersections with racial justice and health equity, preferred

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