Position Description

Technical Advisor – Opioid Funding Strategic Planning, Wisconsin Department of Health Service
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/

Vital Strategies is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Technical Advisor – Opioid Funding Strategic Planning, seconded to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WIDHS) located in Madison, Wisconsin. The salary range for this position is $70,000-$80,000. The candidate must have eligibility to work in the U.S. at time of hire.

WIDHS plays a critical leadership role in the state’s effort to address the drug overdose epidemic. Vital Strategies will provide a seconded staff to WIDHS to lead development of Wisconsin’s overdose prevention strategy funded by state, federal, and national opioid settlement agreements. This position will analyze gaps in current programming, understand county level plans to avoid duplication, design annual plans at the state level, and facilitate implementation efforts. The Secondee will bring a harm reduction, data driven approach to community awareness/anti-stigma efforts, overdose prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts.

Period of Assignment: The incumbent is an at will employee as determined by WIDHS, Vital Strategies, and the employee. After the project period the position will be considered for a permanent DHS position depending on funding.


Duties and Responsibilities:

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

1. Support stakeholder engagement; coordinate strategic meetings; document meeting themes and action points; and document county level plans to avoid duplication.

2. Identify strengths, barriers, and gaps regarding efforts to reduce overdose deaths in the state.

3. Analyze available data to inform the state’s overdose prevention strategy.

4. Identify essential data systems requiring support that will improve timely assessment and response to overdose spikes and improve treatment access.

5. Understand the regulatory environment and the diverse needs across the state and its communities. Use this knowledge to design realistic and ambitious interventions.

6. Design detailed and strategic plans encompassing community awareness to prevent drug misuse, efforts to mitigate the harm that stigma causes for people who use drugs, integrated substance use disorder screening and diagnosis across settings and coordinated access to evidence-based services, evidence-based harm reduction interventions, mitigation for systemic barriers to treatment for those who seek it, and programming that enables individuals to build recovery capital and wellness.

7. Include specific interventions to improve equitable access to services for racial and ethnic minority populations and rural communities.

8. Engage leaders in sovereign nations and provide technical assistance in developing and implementing opioid settlement agreement programs, as requested.

9. Inform a monitoring and evaluation strategy that assesses the impact of implementation and informs improvement to annual plans to come (also written by the incumbent).

10. Identify funded partners who require additional technical assistance and develop a plan to improve implementation.

11. Document progress and disseminate updates statewide including to the people the plan is meant to serve.

12. Travel, as COVID-19 infection rates allow, to urban and rural communities throughout the state as needed.

13. Monitor emerging strategies that may be included in future plans that will further reduce overdose deaths.

14. Support cross-pollination discussions with other Vital Strategies staff to share relevant project updates and seed collaboration opportunities.

15. 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 10 years of relevant technical work experience in lieu of degree is acceptable

Skills and Abilities - 

● Demonstrated project management ability to establish and meet deadlines producing high quality products

● Ability to synthesize information from various sources and review/understand data to inform action.

● Strong people skills, with demonstrated ability to maintain partnerships with internal and external stakeholders

● Excellent oral and written communication skills

● 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 - 

● At least 5 years professional experience preferably in public health, public policy, or related experience. If Masters, 3 years’ experience.

● Experience providing technical or programmatic guidance for, or management of, harm reduction or treatment service settings.

● Deep knowledge of harm reduction and treatment interventions.

● Understanding of principles of health equity and disparities.

● Experience working in, or with, state or county government agencies or policy advocacy in WI.

Preferred - 

● Knowledge of recovery and/or anti-stigma interventions.

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

● Familiarity with substance use/overdose/opioids policy, including related criminal legal issues.

● Experience working with sovereign nations.


Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:

● Ability to travel within the state if COVID-19 transmission rates allow

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