Philadelphia Area Resources for COVID-19

Harm Reduction Specialist, The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) Substance Use Program

Posted Date: 
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 - 11:00am
Expiration Date: 
Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 11:00am
Job Summary: 

Level: Experienced

Job Location: Kensington - Philadelphia, PA

Position Type: Full Time

Education Level: 4 Year Degree

Salary Range: $43,260.00 Salary/year

Travel Percentage: Up to 50%

Job Shift: Day

Job Category: Nonprofit - Social Services

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH)’s Substance Use Program is hiring a Harm Reduction Specialists who will provide essential support for all of the Program’s harm reduction activities. The individuals filling these positions will continue harm reduction initiatives currently in place as well as proactively seek out new opportunities for outreach. Emphasis will be placed on 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 Specialists will report to the Harm Reduction Coordinator and work very closely with staff within PDPH’s Substance Use Program, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, the Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services, the Police Department, the Medical Examiner’s Office and health care providers associated with all major Philadelphia area hospital emergency departments.

JOB SPECIFICATIONS

Responsibilities/Duties

  • Under the supervision of the Health Department’s Harm Reduction Coordinator, the Harm Reduction Specialists will perform the following essential job functions:
  • Coordinate regular outreach in highly affected neighborhoods.
  • Seek out opportunities and venues for outreach activities.
  • Schedule and conduct community-based training and education sessions regarding overdose prevention and naloxone use.
  • Manage PDPH naloxone inventory.
  • Help to plan and implement a community-based naloxone education and distribution program, identifying community organizations in high risk neighborhoods who are receptive and able to partner with the Department.
  • Coordinate activities relating to safe syringe disposal and drug-related litter clean-up.
  • Oversee 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, availability of naloxone, and other harm reduction strategies.
  • Maintain records about the distribution of naloxone from PDPH to these community organizations, including but not limited to number of events hosted, number of people trained, and number of doses 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.

Qualifications

Education

Bachelor’s degree in health or social sciences OR an associate’s degree with two+ years of relevant work experience. 

•    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

Skills/Experience 

•     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.

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

•     Bilingual English/Spanish highly preferred.

Work Environment:

  • Standard office setting with extended periods at workstation 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.

Travel:

Local travel to multiple sites and community meetings.

Physical Demands:

  • 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:

Salary: $43,260

  • Medical with vision benefits
  • Dental insurance
  • 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.  

DISCLAIMER

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.