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Epidemiologist, (PHL Enterics), Agency for Health Protection and Promotion

Toronto, Ontario
Deadline February 22, 2010

Position Title: Epidemiologist (PHL Enterics)
Code: EPI-02
Reports to: Senior Public Health Epidemiologist
Duration: Permanent
Location: Toronto Public Health Lab 81 Resources Road
Posting Date: Monday, February 8, 2010
Closing Date: Monday, February 22, 2010

Organization Summary

The Ontario Agency for Health Protection & Promotion (OAHPP) is a centre for specialized research and knowledge in public health, focusing in the areas of infectious disease, infection control and prevention, health promotion, chronic disease and injury prevention, and environmental health. It provides technical and scientific assistance, rapid on-site field support, as needed, specialized communication and training, as well as standards input and practical tools for implementing best practices.

The Agency was created by the Ontario Government as a result of its commitment to Operation Health Protection, through the Health System Improvements Act (Bill 171). As Ontario’s first ever provincial Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, the Agency brings academic, clinical, and government experts together to create a centre of public health excellence in the province.

Position Summary

The Epidemiologist supports critical corporate and laboratory Agency areas as part of a Surveillance and Epidemiology team, specifically to build the Agency’s vigilance of, and responsiveness to enteric outbreaks and other emerging epidemiological trends. The Epidemiologist works closely with corporate and laboratory professionals to collect, interpret, and relate episodic and regular jurisdictional surveillance data in the areas of foodborne, waterborne and environmental pathogens.

The Epidemiologist supports the Agency’s surveillance and outbreak detection/response strategies and tactics in conjunction with the Senior Public Health Epidemiologist and other members of the corporate and scientific teams. In addition to resourcing the Agency’s corporate intelligence of epidemiological activities, the Epidemiologist also liaises with government, public health, research, and academic institutes to contribute to and keep apprised of best practices in surveillance methodology, information and reporting tools, and outbreak detection/response.

Reporting Relationship and Span of Control

The Epidemiologist reports formally to the Senior Public Health Epidemiologist, and forms part of a broader Surveillance and Epidemiology team, which is deployed throughout the Agency as a cross-functional resource.

This position also reports through the Medical Microbiologist, Enteric Diseases, OAHPP Toronto Public Health Laboratory (PHL), to the PHL Surveillance Chief (title tbd), and works closely with the Outbreak Co-ordinator as part of the surveillance and outbreak response team within the PHL.

Key Responsibilities

As part of a team, the Epidemiologist:

  • Manages the Agency’s surveillance data collection and data management processes. Routine data reporting is a key activity.
  • Supports epidemiological research and surveillance activities of Agency.
  • Coordinates and supports surveillance activities of the 12 Regional Public
  • Health Laboratories with the Toronto Public Health Laboratory.
  • Designs and coordinates surveillance data-gathering processes to provide timely information to the Agency and its key stakeholders, either as part of regular reporting activities, or on an as-needed basis for special purposes.
  • Prepares current data to enable and support decision-making processes for the Agency and its stakeholders. Responds to requests for information from stakeholders.
  • Designs, coordinates, and participates in the Agency’s outbreak detection/response strategy and tactics for infectious disease incidents.
  • Identifies appropriate data sources and monitors current local, provincial, national, and international trends in epidemiological activity and reports these as required on a timely basis.
  • Provides subject-matter expertise and resource support to Agency colleagues, particularly the Public Health Laboratories.
  • Liaises as necessary with stakeholders and resources in various health-sector and regulatory institutions, and builds strong working rapport between these and the Agency.
  • Presents findings, initiatives, and relevant Agency activities at local, regional, national and international forums as appropriate.

Knowledge & Skills

  • Expert knowledge and experience of infectious disease surveillance, research, advanced statistics, large databases, infectious disease control, and public health.
  • Expert understanding of relevant regulations and regulatory trends in epidemiology, public health and surveillance (e.g., privacy legislation).
  • Expert communication and inter-personal skills to enable effective information presentation and deployment into teams of multi-disciplinary professionals.
  • Extensive understanding of microbiology laboratory operations and processes.
  • Strong writing and editing skills to prepare and review Agency reports, briefing notes, letters, and position papers.
  • Mature, creative, and conscientious work bearing.

Education & Experience

  • Completion of graduate-level training in microbiology and public-health, epidemiology, or biostatistics.
  • Between two and four years experience as an epidemiologist in a public-health facility, with similar involvement in identifying or working with infectious disease data sources; managing surveillance systems, procuring data, preparing reports, and editing reports with scientific rigour.
  • Experience managing and analysing data from large databases, including outbreak detection, trend analysis, and software such as SAS, SPSS, and STATA.
  • Experience of geo-spatial analysis of data would be desirable
  • Experience working with a diverse stakeholder group, building public health, research, academic, institutional, and professional networks, and working at local, provincial/territorial, and/or federal levels.
  • Experience influencing public-health policy and practice, having introduced new initiatives and implemented them.
  • Experience of delivering training to public health colleagues or students.

Contact Information:

Your cover letter and resume must clearly indicate how you meet the qualifications and competencies.

Please reply in confidence quoting job reference EPI-02 to

We appreciated your interest and we will contact you if a meeting is required.