The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH)’s Substance Use Program is hiring a Harm Reduction Specialist: Project Lead who will provide essential lead support for Fentanyl Test Strip (FTS) Project harm reduction activities. The individuals filling this position will continue harm reduction initiatives currently in place as well as proactively seek out new opportunities for outreach and partners. Individual will work hand in hand with Harm Reduction Program Manager to develop a plan for FTS distribution, training, and educational awareness materials. Harm Reduction Specialist: Project Lead will aid team in community education and distribution of naloxone, a life-saving medication that reverses opioid-related overdoses, as well as activities relating to safe syringe disposal, drug-related litter clean-up, and coordinating community outreach activities during overdose surges. The Harm Reduction Specialist: Project Lead will report to the Harm Reduction Program Manager and work very closely with staff within PDPH’s Substance Use Program, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, Mutual Aid Groups, Recovery Houses, SSPs, Community Based Organizations, Local Shelters, Emergency Medical Services, and health care providers associated with all major Philadelphia area hospital emergency departments.
Under the supervision of the Health Department’s Harm Reduction Program Manager, the Harm Reduction Specialist: Project Lead will perform the following essential job functions:
- Coordinate regular outreach in highly affected neighborhoods.
- Seek out opportunities and venues for outreach activities: heavy emphasis on FTS initiatives.
- Schedule and conduct community-based training and education sessions regarding Fentanyl Test Strip use, overdose prevention and naloxone.
- Manage PDPH Fentanyl Test Strip inventory.
- Help to plan and implement a community-based fentanyl test strip education and distribution program, identifying community organizations in high risk neighborhoods who are receptive and able to partner with the Department.
- Identify populations that are not being reached by current campaigns and develop initiatives that help broaden opportunities for providing assistance to these individuals.
- Coordinate activities relating to safe syringe disposal and drug-related litter clean-up.
- Attend outreach activities during and following surges in overdose.
- Collaborate closely with community organizations to develop culturally-appropriate materials and strategies to raise awareness about the dangers of opioids, fentanyl test strip as a overdose prevention tool, availability of naloxone, and other harm reduction strategies.
- Maintain records about the distribution of fentanyl test strips from PDPH to these community organizations, including but not limited to number of events hosted, number of people trained and number of strips distributed.
- Develop processes and procedures that will facilitate client access to drug treatment, such as warm hand-offs and expedited enrollment in medication assisted treatment programs.
- Support other drug-related activities in PDPH through close work with staff involved in addressing the drug crisis in Philadelphia, including primary prevention, harm reduction and treatment initiatives.
- Participate in local, state and national conferences, conference calls and workgroups addressing opioids and related public health topics.
- Perform other activities related to opioid and substance use initiatives, as identified.
- Participate in Emergency Preparedness drills, exercises, and trainings for the Health Department, as needed.
Bachelor’s degree in health or social sciences OR an Associate’s degree with two+ years of relevant work experience.
Additional required qualifications:
Knowledge of/and or personal experience with substances and substance use
Experience and/or knowledge of the principles, practices, and techniques of outreach, education, and community-based networking
Sensitivity to and experience working with ethnically, economically, culturally, and sexually diverse individuals, communities, agencies and organizations
Excellent oral and written communication skills.
Ability to analyze and think critically to apply reasonable judgment and problem-solving skills.
Excellent organizational skills.
Ability to work as part of a team, to prioritize and handle multiple tasks, and to work independently in a high-pressure environment.
Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with persons contacted in the course of work.
Bilingual English/Spanish highly preferred.
Standard office setting with extended periods at work station and periodic use of office equipment.
Street outreach requires staff to work in extreme weather conditions occasionally.
Position Type and Work Schedule:
Full time position, typical hours are Monday through Friday with weekends as needed. Flex office schedule options available with supervisor approval.
COVID-19 Requirements - Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination upon hire.
Local travel to multiple sites and community meetings.
Ability to transport materials
Routinely moves equipment or supplies weighing up to 30lbs.
Street level outreach and events require long periods of standing and walking
Assisting in OD Reversal requires ability to use maneuvers to roll over individuals of various weighs.
Salary and Benefits:
Our employees are our most valuable resource, so we offer a competitive and comprehensive benefits package, which can include:
Medical with vision benefits
Flexible spending accounts
Life, AD&D and long term care insurance
Short- and long-term disability insurance
403(b) Retirement Plan, with a company contribution
Paid time off including vacation, sick, personal and holiday
Employee Assistance Program
Eligibility and participation is handled consistent with the plan documents and HFP policy.
The Health Federation reserves the right to modify, interpret, or apply this job description in any way the Company desires. The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by an employee assigned to this position. This job description in no way implies that these are the only duties, including essential duties, responsibilities and/or skills to be performed by the employee occupying this position. This job description is not an employment contract, implied, or otherwise. The employment relationship remains “at will.” The aforementioned job requirements are subject to change to reasonably accommodate qualified disabled individuals.
Equal Opportunity Employer
The mission of the Health Federation of Philadelphia is to improve access to and quality of health and human services for underserved and vulnerable populations. Health equity is at the heart of all our work. We believe in and are firmly committed to equal employment opportunity for employees and applicants. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, religion, disability, sex or gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, military or veteran status. This commitment applies to all aspects of the Health Federation of Philadelphia’s employment practices, including recruiting, hiring, training, and promotion.