COVID-19 Public Health Specialist (Anticipatory Recruitment)
Canadian Red Cross
Ottawa, Ontario, CA
5d ago

Do you want to make a difference? Join the world's largest humanitarian network. The Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS) is a non-profit, humanitarian organization dedicated to helping Canadians, as well as the most vulnerable throughout the world.

An Emergency Response Unit (ERU) is a standardized modular package of equipment, medical supplies and pharmaceuticals ready to be deployed on short notice with a team of highly qualified and trained personnel to international emergencies.

The Public Health Specialist , under the direction of the Team Leader, Senior Medical Officer or a designated management position, will work in collaboration with other Partners, delegates, national staff and volunteers, local health authorities and affected communities as part of a team within the mandate of the CRC.

Specifically, this position will focus on the following :

  • Strengthening the Emergency Response Unit by setting up, managing and / or supporting epidemic control, health promotion and disease prevention interventions.
  • Managing and / or supporting epidemiological data collection, analysis and sharing at both clinic and community levels.
  • Supporting and coordinating other health care providers to undertake public health related tasks. This could include supervision, mentoring and training.
  • Given the nature of ERU and the context, the intensity and types of activities may vary by rotation (set up, running of the operation and handover).
  • Note : A wide range of PH specialists will be considered for the ERU roster including but not limited to : Generalists, Epidemiologists, Vaccination / IPC / Community Mobilization / SBCC Specialists etc.
  • Key Tasks and Responsibilities

    Due to the broad range of public health interventions that can be required in an emergency, public health (PH) specialist duties / responsibilities will vary greatly from one deployment to another.

    PH delegates are not expected / required to be specialists in all areas, but rather will be selected for deployment based on the best possible match of program needs and demonstrated individual competencies.

    Tasks that are frequently required of the PH delegate include :

  • Determine how medical / epidemic surveillance is carried out within specific contexts and ensure that ERU is compliant with the national minimum standards, including adherence to reporting requirements / mechanisms enforced by authorities.
  • Participate / lead initial and ongoing assessments of the public health needs of affected communities and make program recommendations according to findings.
  • Set up, manage and supervise ERU health information systems (HIS) including collection, analysis and timely, appropriate and confidential sharing / reporting of data.
  • Reinforce, when possible and appropriate, the capacity of appropriate volunteers through basic and / or specialized CBHFA / ECV / CBS training.
  • Along with clinical ERU colleagues and external partners, assist with the set-up, community sensitization and management of a patient referral system within specific contexts
  • Plan, manage, and / or support context-specific community based epidemic control and disease prevention activities.
  • Design, manage and / or support disease monitoring and community-based surveillance activities.
  • Design, manage and / or carry out monitoring and evaluation activities related to context-specific activities; ensure lessons learned are shared with relevant stakeholders and / or are actioned appropriately.
  • In close collaboration with relevant partners identify local volunteers and community partners who can support the work of the ERU, and follow proper recruitment and training procedures to work with vulnerable populations
  • Coordinate with key organizations (local health departments, government representatives, military counterparts, domestic counterparts, etc.) on a regular basis.
  • Contribute to team sit-reps and other internal / external reports as required.
  • Duties Applicable to All Staff

    These duties complement the key tasks and responsibilities of each ERU Delegate and are in addition to the specific mandate elaborated in the ERU Deployment Order and Terms of Reference :

  • Actively work towards the achievement of the CRC’s mission : Save lives, protect livelihoods, and strengthen recovery from disasters and crises Enable healthy and safe living Promote social inclusion and a culture of non-violence and peace
  • Abide by and work in accordance with the Red Cross / Red Crescent Principles : To prevent and alleviate human suffering To protect life and health and ensure respect for the human being Making no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions, and giving priority to the most urgent cases of distress Not taking sides in hostilities or engaging in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature Not prompted in any manner by desire for gain Sharing equal status with other Societies in the Movement and equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other
  • Abide by and work in accordance with the ERU Standard Operating Procedures
  • Contribute to a positive team environment and service excellence to meet the needs of beneficiaries
  • Perform any other work-related duties and responsibilities that may be assigned by the line manager.
  • General Qualifications

  • In good mental and physical health
  • Discrete, professional and mature
  • Capable of decision-making in conditions of uncertainty
  • Able to work with limited resources, demonstrate innovation in problem solving
  • Capable of handling extreme stress, change and situations of insecurity
  • Able to leave for four to six weeks on very short notice
  • Education and Training

  • Master’s Degree in Public Health or equivalent relevant work experience (to be assessed on a case-by-case basis using a competency matrix)
  • Preferred professional qualification as a Medical Doctor, Registered Nurse or Nutritionist
  • Experience

  • Experience of managing and supporting staff
  • Experience in living or working in a cultural context other than their own
  • Preferred experience working in outbreak, emergency, epidemic situations
  • Preferred experience working in low-resource settings
  • Skills / Knowledge

  • Comfortable with both adult and pediatric as well as geriatric populations
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Can design and implement sound public health interventions in a variety of settings
  • Skills in training, facilitation, coaching and development of staff and volunteers
  • Strong computer literacy (Windows, Microsoft Office, spreadsheets, word processing, e-mail)
  • Valid international driving license (manual gears)
  • Fluent in English
  • Working knowledge in French or Spanish is an asset
  • Fluent in languages other than English, French or Spanish is an asset
  • Working Conditions

    Context-specific Canada-based field position. Working in a setting that is very demanding, both physically and psychologically.

    Difficult working conditions are expected including the following :

  • Due to the dynamic nature of an emergency and pandemic situation, proximity to Covid-19 affected areas and personnel, issues of access and mobility;
  • May face basic living conditions;
  • Long hours of work in a demanding context with limited resources;
  • The ability to work in a high risk, fluid and evolving situation may be required, as is the ability to work in stressful and often ambiguous conditions.
  • Issues of access and mobility due to the dynamic nature of an emergency situation

  • Ability to meet the physical requirements of an ERU mission, which may include the set-up, stocking or packing down of a field hospital, the ability to lift up to 25 kgs, and the ability to stand or travel for long periods of time
  • CRCS supports a safe working environment and comfortable accommodation however, as in all contexts, ERU team members must be aware and responsible for their personal safety and that of employees under their supervision.
  • In some remote areas access to a referral pathway could be limited
  • All CRCS delegates must be cleared by the Travel Health Team with medical clearance.
  • To deploy with us on national missions, you must successfully complete a Vulnerable Sector Criminal Record check and professional reference checks.

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