Assessment And Evaluation Senior Epidemiologist

Thurston County
Full Time $7,383 - $9,820 Per year WA 412 Lilly Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98506, United States


**The closing date for this employment opportunity has changed, and will now remain open until filled. Thurston County reserves the right to close the recruitment at any time.**
Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) Department is recruiting for an to manage the Assessment and Evaluation Team, which is housed within the Disease Control and Prevention (DCP) Division.
The Assessment and Evaluation Team conducts program evaluation and health assessment activities. Program evaluation activities include providing technical assistance to PHSS programs in developing qualitative and quantitative data collection instruments, conducting in-person data collection, using online data collection platforms, and analyzing data to help plan and evaluate projects and programs. Health assessment activities include analyzing, interpreting, visualizing, and disseminating data on a variety of health and behavior topics for inclusion in reports, presentations, and internal and external data requests.
The Assessment and Evaluation Team consists of two epidemiologists that report to the senior epidemiologist. One of the epidemiologists is a new environmental health epidemiologist who will support the Assessment and Evaluation Team with data on climate change and environmental risk factors to human health, as well as provide support to the Communicable Disease team (also housed within the DCP Division) and to the Environmental Health (EH) Division. As the senior epidemiologist, you will help build the foundation for the new environmental health epidemiologist position and other new DCP positions approved in the biennium budget. This involves program management, budget oversight, contract management, policy/procedure development, and strategic planning.
Your leadership and technical expertise will shape the trajectory of the Assessment and Evaluation Team, the DCP Division, and PHSS. You will provide direction and support to staff, serve on related PHSS leadership and workgroup teams, and interact directly with community partners. You will serve as a point-of-contact resource for PHSS programs and community partners to ensure the collection, analysis, and dissemination of high-quality data, supporting public health surveillance, program evaluation, and policymaking. As a data steward, you will lead data modernization efforts and help others use data to identify and prioritize needs, make data-informed decisions, plan and evaluate programs, develop and implement policies, demonstrate a need for funding, and inform the community about local health issues. Your work will help develop a comprehensive understanding of health in our community and translate data into action. You will also handle data-sharing agreements, confidentiality agreements, and issues related to data privacy and security, ensuring compliance with requirements for sensitive information release.
Some of the essential job functions include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Serve as a manager to the Assessment and Evaluation Team and provide exceptional leadership to PHSS.
  • Represent Thurston County at Board of County Commissioner meetings, Board of Health meetings, and community meetings and present with cultural sensitivity on complex and sometimes controversial topics.
  • Lead PHSS through its Community Health Assessment (CHA) and Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) processes.
  • Collaborate with local hospital systems on their Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs).
  • Design studies, surveys, and other data collection tools and databases.
  • Work with data from a variety of existing data sources, including vital records, population surveys, and information systems.
  • Use data analysis software to conduct statistical analyses and identify/monitor trends.
  • Use data visualization software to create static and interactive charts, maps, dashboards, stories, and written reports to help communicate findings.
  • Understand and articulate health disparities among communities and include them in data collection and analysis.
  • Conduct focus groups, key informant interviews, and other community engagement activities.
  • Use qualitative data analysis software to analyze data from community engagement activities.
  • Advise public health programs on program planning, evaluation, and process improvement and using tools such as logic models, evaluation matrices, and frameworks to help plan, evaluate, and improve project and program outcomes.
  • Advise others on best practices for data use and interpretation.
  • Perform other work as required or assigned, including, but not limited to, a 24/7 response during public health emergency situations and disease outbreak investigations.
 The ideal candidate has the following knowledge, skills, and abilities: 
  • Knowledge of epidemiological principles and practices, surveillance methods, data collection techniques, and proficiency to perform data analysis independently.
  • Knowledge of pertinent federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations related to data handling, collection, and distribution.
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with governmental, voluntary, and private organizations and groups concerned with public health initiatives.
  • Ability to interact appropriately with community partners, including medical professionals.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, on both technical and non-technical levels.
  • Ability to perform research procedures including biostatistical methodology and analyze and interpret epidemiological data.
  • Experience advising public health programs on how to use data and scientific information for planning and decision-making.
  • Ability to interact professionally with internal and external departments.
  • Knowledge of counseling, teaching, and management principles.
  • Ability to train, direct, and evaluate the performance of lower-level staff.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with staff, co-workers, and the general public.
  • Ability to prioritize and handle multiple priorities.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
What we offer our employees:
  • Work-Life Balance: We are committed to ensuring that our staff experience the reward of public service, while also sustaining a routine that suits each individual’s lifestyle.
  • Plan for Your Future: As a member of our team, you enjoy great employee benefits, including a retirement plan, pre-tax savings accounts, as well as comprehensive health care and dental/vision care for you and your family. Please visit our website for more information. 
  • Paid Leave: Full-time regular employees earn a minimum of 12 paid vacation days per year in addition to 11 paid and 2 floating holidays. 
  • Robust Training Program: Employees are encouraged to attend County-paid training to help them further their career, learn new skill sets, and stay on top of emerging trends in our industry. We also encourage staff to participate in professional organizations and attend conferences.  
  • Flexible Work Schedules: Options some employees may take advantage of are alternative or compressed schedules and/or remote working.
  • See under Benefitslater in this job description for detailed information about the many other benefits the County offers.
Why you’ll love it here
Thurston County is located between Seattle and Portland in Western Washington’s South Puget Sound Region. Perched between the mountains and the ocean, the area boasts the perfect blend of year-round outdoor activities including boating, hiking, skiing, and more. The region is also home to the state capital city of Olympia, known for its many restaurants, microbreweries, coffee shops, farmers markets, kids’ activities, history, and art events. Discover more about life in Thurston County at . 


  • Master of Science in Epidemiology, Public Health, Statistics, or closely related field and three years professional-level experience working in epidemiological research or public health disease investigation. An applicable Bachelor's degree can be substituted for the higher degree with five or more years experience directly applicable to the requirements of the position.
  • Must have experience applying epidemiological principles and practices, including the symptoms, causes, means of transmission and methods of control of communicable and chronic diseases, including one year as a Program Coordinator.
  • Current Washington State Driver's License or have requested and obtained an appropriate accommodation.
  • Ability to use various computer database management and statistical software with knowledge of modern office procedures and methods.

Desired Skills

Respect and Organizational Culture:

  • Create an environment where employees and partners can safely express needs or concerns and where employees can make and correct mistakes
  • Effectively interact with sensitivity while working with persons from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, educational, racial, ethnic, and professional backgrounds, and persons of all ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, and lifestyles
  • Thrive in a fast-paced, robust organization maintaining a positive work environment
  • Serve the public in a timely, complete, accurate, and professional manner while ensuring that written and verbal communication is clearly understood by others
  • Maintain cultural competency to support diverse perspectives in developing, implementing, and evaluating policies, programs, and services that affect the health of the community
  • Strong oral communication for networking and interpersonal relationships
  • Excellent written communication including the ability to craft correspondence, reports, and articles or web postings with minimal grammatical and syntax errors
  • Supervise, motivate, and develop employees and team to become more productive and effective in achieving desired goals and career growth while encouraging employee critical reflection; able to give direction without conflict
  • Show fairness and impartiality in interactions; is interested in employee welfare, elicits staff input where feasible; respond to staff suggestions and complaints in a sincere, sensitive, and timely manner
Goal Setting and Accomplishment:
  • Use strategic thinking and planning for goal setting and evaluation
  • Effectively plan, organize, and manage competing priorities and challenges under pressure
  • Create a sense of mission by articulating and modeling confidentiality, professional values, and ethics with honesty and integrity
  • Operate with a high degree of flexibility, initiative, attention to detail, and commitment
  • Delegate and use persuasion and negotiating skills for shared responsibility and acceptance of change