The Fund for Public Health in New York City (FPHNYC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to the advancement of the health and well-being of all New Yorkers. To this end, in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), FPHNYC incubates innovative public health initiatives implemented by DOHMH to advance community health throughout the city. It facilitates partnerships, often new and unconventional, between government and the private sector to develop, test, and launch new initiatives. These collaborations speed the execution of demonstration projects, effect expansion of successful pilot programs, and support rapid implementation to meet the public health needs of individuals, families, and communities across New York City.
PROGRAM OVERVIEW (NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases, Enhancing Detection Grant Program)
The Bureau of Communicable Disease (BCD), part of the Division of Disease Control, is composed of seven units/programs which are responsible for monitoring and investigating 73 infectious diseases including viral hepatitis, foodborne, waterborne, vector-borne and zoonotic diseases. BCD also monitors and analyzes trends in disease data and provides consultation to the medical community and the public on the recognition, prevention and control of communicable diseases. BCD is currently supporting the citywide COVID-19 response under the DOHMH’s Incident Command System.
The Incident Command System (ICS) is the structure used by the Health Department to respond to emergencies. Surveillance and Epidemiology (SurvEpi) is an Emergency Response Group (ERG) within ICS. The key goal of SurvEpi is to collect, analyze and interpret information about COVID-19 and supply the data necessary to make public health decisions. The objectives of SurvEpi are to maintain surveillance, provide data to inform situational updates and to conduct special investigations as needed.
As part of the NYC DOHMH emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Congregate Settings Investigation and Response Unit (CSIRU) was established within the framework of ICS in the SurvEpi ERG and was tasked with undertaking investigations and contact tracing of all positive COVID-19 cases within congregate residential settings in NYC (i.e. nursing homes, assisted living homes, homeless shelters, etc.).
We are seeking to identify one Medical Epidemiologist in the Congregate Settings Investigation and Response Unit which will provide leadership and support for outbreak investigation of COVID exposures in residential congregate facilities. It is expected that this person will work up to 35 hours per week.
The role of the CSIRU Medical Epidemiologist will be to:
- Interface with congregate residential facilities and participate in and/or lead case investigations.
- Interview facility directors and staff as well as residents and close contacts.
- Assess facility capacity to isolate and quarantine individuals with COVID-19 and their contacts, and provide assistance to support patient care and isolation/quarantine recommendations.
- Provide locally-relevant infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance and support based on current scientific knowledge and agency recommendations.
- Attend in-person facility site visits in order to provide formal review of IPC practices.
- Develop guidance documents and educational resources related to management of COVID 19 in congregate residential facilities.
- Interface within the other local and state agencies to plan for optimal isolation and testing strategies.