New York State will hire and train a team of staff working remotely to support the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) and Local Health Departments (LHDs) to perform COVID-19 contact tracing in communities across NYS. The aim of this initiative will be to call every person diagnosed with COVID-19, establish all contacts of this person, and proceed to call and maintain ongoing communication with every contact. In addition, the team will support the isolation and quarantine of individuals, as appropriate in cooperation with the LHD. This includes virtual needs checks and referral to community resources as needed. This contact tracing initiative is in tandem with statewide-wide efforts to increase testing, improve communication and knowledge of effective strategies to reduce transmission, and implementation of isolation and quarantine. This will fortify efforts to control the pandemic in NYS.
The Community Support Specialist will be part of a team of up to 20 Contact Tracers and one Team Supervisor, who will all have a similar hybrid remote/center location-based presence as the Contact Tracers and the Team Supervisor. Each team will be collectively responsible for working with the LHD to contact people diagnosed with COVID-19 and determine their contacts, helping make care plans for people with COVID-19 and their contacts, and maintaining communication and connecting contacts with various services (including social support structures, testing, clinical care, etc.). The team will provide education about COVID-19, on isolation, quarantine procedures and about relevant social services. The Community Support Specialist will work with the team to address the support needs of those who are contacts, especially those who are under Isolation or Quarantine. This will include working with LHDs and support agencies to address housing, food, mental health, testing, medical needs and other needs.
- Work in a hybrid remote/central location-based environment.
- Work collaboratively with approximately 20 Contact Tracers who are working remotely, to support needs identified in their communication with contacts.
- Work with local health departments and county agencies to identify solutions to meet the needs identified amongst COVID-19 patients and contacts. This could include appropriate housing, food banks, mental health services, visiting nurses, and other community programs helping patients in need and/or people in isolation or quarantine.
- Develop and maintain a list of available resources by county, as they are identified.Assist with phone calls the team is responsible for, including contacting people with COVID-19 to find out their contacts, as well as calling contacts and informing of their exposure, need for quarantine and arranging for testing if appropriate.
- Maintain daily contact with Team Supervisor.The position is considered temporary with a one-year engagement expected and the possibility to extend as needed.
- The contact center will operate 7 days a week between the hours of 8am and 8pm. Evening and/or weekend work may be required.
- A Bachelor’s degree AND at least one year of experience specifically in social/human services.
An Associate degree in social science (social work, sociology, psychology, mental health counseling, or related field).
A minimum of three years college level course work with a focus on social science (social work, sociology, psychology, mental health counseling, or related field).
- Must be a NYS resident with familiarity with of NYS geography; cities/towns/locations.
- Experience in a health, human service, or community-based organization, or institutional setting is preferred
- Familiarity with and experience working in a health system in NYS. This includes but is not limited to hospitals, health care providers, health regulatory organizations, or schools
- Experience working with community resources and social services in NYS is strongly preferred. (Please indicate what location on your application.)
- Ability to speak, read, and write English clearly and concisely. Fluency in a second or multiple languages would be a plus.
- Employment is contingent on completion of a background check by NY State.
- Own telephone, computer, wireless internet (WiFi) and electronic equipment. ( A partial reimbursement to maintain unlimited phone and data access will be provided.)
- Must have access to a working PC with Windows 10, Antivirus Protection: Windows Defender and Windows Firewall; or Mac with Apple OS X 10.13, Antivirus Protection: Sophos; and personal mobile device to use for this job.
- A headset is preferred.
- Ability to exhibit a professional, positive attitude and independent work ethic.
- Excellent interpersonal skills required and ability to interact professionally with culturally diverse individuals during a time of crisis and distress.
- Ability to show empathy to distressed individuals and assist with identifying solutions to problems identified.
- Excellent organizational and communication skills.
- Critical thinking and sound judgment required.
- Ability to handle confidential information with discretion and professionalism.
- Proficiency with computers including data entry into electronic tracking systems and running summary reports.
New York State is an Equal Opportunity Employer
It is the policy of the State of New York and its contractors to provide for and promote equal opportunity employment, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment without unlawful discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, religion, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, veteran or military service member status, marital status, domestic violence victim status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, arrest and/or criminal conviction record, or any other category protected by law, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification or other exception.
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