Overview

Job Description:
The Epidemiologist III performs highly advanced research and epidemiological work in the area of maternal mortality and morbidity. Work involves the probabilistic data linking of large data sets (e.g., birth records, death records, and Medicaid data) related to ongoing surveillance projects for the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee (MMMRC). Identifies and verifies through record review processes pregnancy-associated deaths for MMMRC case review. Utilizes advanced statistical software and techniques to automate and simplify routine data tasks for the MMMRC and to conduct highly advanced and descriptive analyses on maternal mortality and morbidity, including dissemination of results. Develops and maintains complex, detailed scientific protocols and operational manuals for MMMRC processes. Designs and implements data collection and data management tools for maternal health surveillance including the management of an Access database. Develops new methods and products to enhance MMMRC case review. Attends quarterly MMMRC meetings to provide consultation, as needed, on cases. Work is performed under minimal supervision with extensive latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgement. Reports to the Surveillance and Data Analytics Manager in the Maternal & Child Health Epidemiology Unit.

Essential Job Functions:
Attends work on a regular and predictable schedule in accordance with agency leave policy and performs other duties as assigned.

35% Work includes the probabilistic data linking of large data sets (e.g., birth records, death records, and Medicaid data) related to ongoing surveillance projects for the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee (MMMRC). Identifies and verifies through record review processes pregnancy-associated deaths for MMMRC case review. Utilizes advanced statistical software and techniques (e.g., SAS Macros or SQL) to automate and simplify routine data tasks for the MMMRC.

20% Analyzes large data sets (e.g., birth records, death records, and Medicaid data) and linked data sets. Conducts highly advanced and descriptive analyses on maternal mortality and morbidity, including dissemination of results. Uses specialized software, such as SAS, Python, SQL, Tableau, ArcGIS, and Microsoft Access, to analyze and display data for presentations, reports, publications, and other products. Contributes to written manuscripts and research reports based on these data for publication and/or dissemination.

15% Designs and implements data collection and data management tools for maternal health surveillance including the management of an Access database. Initiates and plans for annual data updates and version updates to the socio-spatial context dashboard and Medicaid coversheet. Develops new methods and products to enhance MMMRC case review. Attends quarterly MMMRC meetings to provide consultation, as needed, on cases.

15% Develops and maintains complex, detailed scientific protocols and operational manuals for the MMMRC case identification process, socio-spatial context dashboard update process, Medicaid coversheet process, and all other related processes assigned. Communicates all planned updates and changes to processes with DSHS management and leadership for approval.

10% Serves as a subject matter expert on maternal mortality and morbidity including the enhanced method process for case finding. Provide research consultation and technical assistance to programmatic, medical, and public health professionals on epidemiological methods, research/surveillance design and program evaluation/assessment of public health practices on maternal mortality and morbidity. Works in collaboration with epidemiologists and other research specialist staff across the agency and other state/federal agencies.

5% Performs other duties as assigned including but not limited to actively participating and/or serving in a supporting role to meet the agency’s obligations for disaster response and/or recovery or Continuity of Operations (COOP) activation. Such participation may require an alternate shift pattern assignment and/or location.

Knowledge Skills Abilities:
Knowledge of principles and methods of epidemiology and related biostatistics
Knowledge of statistical concepts, research methods and planning, and their applications to public health surveillance, epidemiology, and research
Knowledge of current social, economic, and public health issues related to maternal mortality
Knowledge of computer software package applications, including statistical packages and programs such as SAS, SAS Macros, Python, SAS Viya, and SQL; Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access), and Tableau.

Skills in Access and developing databases in Access
Skills in the development of technical standard operating procedures and data management plans
Skills in project management to organize major project activities into a logical sequence with a reasonable and achievable schedule of deadlines
Skills in advanced SAS programming logic and scripting for statistical analysis of large data sets (100,000 records or more)
Skills in linking large datasets (100,000 records or more) that includes data cleaning, data processing, and automated report generation
Skill in the use of statistical measurement techniques, research design and implementation, problem-solving methods and techniques
Skill in critical thinking and problem solving

Ability to work independently and show initiative
Ability to manage and query complex databases
Ability to assimilate complex epidemiological concepts and to communicate these effectively in an easily understood format both orally and in writing
Ability to develop and effectively deliver training and technical assistance about research/data methods, procedures or DSHS policies
Ability to assess the reliability, validity, and appropriateness of proposed data collection methods and epidemiologic designs
Ability to plan, organize, and conduct assigned phases of complex research projects
Ability to interpret complex statistical analysis, charts, and tables
Ability to develop and analyze measuring instruments with respect to reliability, relevance, and validity
Ability to develop visualizations utilizing specialized software, such as SAS, Python, SQL, Tableau, and ArcGIS for presentations and reports
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and to work with others as part of a team.

Registration or Licensure Requirements:
SAS certification in SAS Programming preferred, but not required

Initial Selection Criteria:
Graduation from an accredited college or university with receipt of a Master’s degree in epidemiology, public health, statistics, social science or a related field. Experience and education may be substituted for one another.
Two or more years of experience in analytics.
Experience with analyzing data in SAS.
Experience analyzing vital event, hospital discharge, outpatient, electronic health record, or Medicaid data.

Additional Information:
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION PRIOR TO SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION FOR THIS POSITION:

Information on the application must clearly state how the applicant meets initial selection criteria in the Summary of Experience section in order to be interviewed. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of an application.

Applicants must provide information relevant to the required experience for this position. Answer all questions and completely summarize your experience including technical and managerial responsibilities and any special training, skills and qualifications for each position you have held in the employment history section of application.

All fields on the application must be filled-in completely. This includes, but is not limited to, previous salary, previous supervisor, and reason for leaving previous position.

Agency salary policy, budget and candidate’s qualifications will dictate the final salary offer.

This position is available for a hybrid work schedule for up to three days per week as an added employee benefit.

Applicants selected for an interview will be required to provide the following: a SAS code sample and a writing sample.

Note: Military occupation(s) that relate to the initial selection criteria and registration or licensure requirements for this position may include, but not limited to: 68S, 60C, HM, 230X, 4E0X1, 43HX, 43MX, 43EX. All active duty military, reservists, guardsmen, and veterans are encouraged to apply if qualified to fill this position. For more information see the Texas State Auditor’s Military Crosswalk at http://www.hr.sao.state.tx.us/Compensation/JobDescriptions.aspx.

MOS Code:
68S, 60C, HM, 230X, 4E0X1, 43HX, 43MX, 43EX

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About Texas Department of State Health Services

Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Unit

Our Vision:
Use rigorous, high-quality, data-driven surveillance, needs assessment, evaluation, and research to improve the health of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) populations which include:

  • Women of childbearing age;
  • adolescents;
  • children;
  • infants; and
  • children and youth with special health care needs.

Our Mission:

  • Provide expertise in applied epidemiology and surveillance to promote public health decisions and recommendations for the best possible health outcomes for MCH populations.
  • Conduct research projects based on innovative scientific approaches and advanced statistical analyses to expand the knowledge base on maternal and child health populations.
  • Inform public health interventions, programs, and policies by translating timely and accurate surveillance, needs assessment, evaluation, and research into usable and meaningful information
  • Improve surveillance and case review activities in Texas and timely and accurate reporting of data and findings.

Our Values:

  • Integrity: trust, transparency, accountability, ethical commitment, reliability, respect.
  • Excellence: meet and exceed expectations, continuous improvement, identify and document best practices, promote high-quality outcomes.
  • Professionalism: personal and professional accountability, unity within our unit, discipline, inclusivity, diversity.
  • Leadership: innovative, proactive, visionary, stewardship.

Our Functions and Expertise:

  • Population Health Needs Assessment and Surveillance: To assess the status, needs, and disparities within the maternal and child health population through data collection, data analytics, and geographic mapping.
  • Program and Intervention Evaluation: To use mixed-mode data collection to drive maternal and child health program and intervention refinement.
  • Measurement and Reporting: To measure and report the impact of health conditions, and respond to data requests by agency executives, legislators, federal and local partners, advocates, media, and the public-at-large.
  • Research and Creative Inquiry: To expand the knowledge base by assessing the causes and impacts of health outcomes among maternal and child health populations. To stay current on best practices and cutting-edge methods in the field.
  • Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System: To collect, analyze, and report Texas-specific, population-based data on maternal attitudes and experiences before, during, and shortly after pregnancy.
  • State Systems Development Initiative: To develop, enhance, and expand maternal and child health data capacity for its needs assessment and performance measure reporting in the Title V MCH Block Grant program.