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The federal government employs 3,837 public health program specialists of which 216 work overseas. The Department of Homeland Security is the largest employer with 3,591 followed by the Agency for International Development with 271.

Public health analysts may specialize in Federal public health programs, but do not usually represent those programs in dealings with non-Federal agencies and organizations. Their personal contacts are typically with people within HHS and they are primarily concerned with analyzing and evaluating the actual or potential effectiveness of current or projected public health programs in achieving objectives.

In this series public health program specialists supervise, direct, or perform work which involves providing advice and assistance to State and local governments and to various public, nonprofit, and private entities on program and administrative matters relating to the development, implementation, operation, administration, evaluation, and funding of public health activities which may be financed in whole or in part by Federal funds; or, conducting studies and performing other analytical work related to the planning, development, organization, administration, evaluation, and delivery of public health programs; or, other similar public health program work.

The job was featured by the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) and we want to briefly talk about this agency. This agency was founded in 1942 and is located in Atlanta, GA.

It is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, and is the nation’s premiere agency in promoting prevention and preparedness in the area of health.

(From the CDC website)

2017 Fast Facts

  • Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Facilities in 10 additional locations in the U.S.
  • More than 12,000 employees in nearly 150 occupations
  • Field staff work in all 50 states, DC, Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and more than 120 countries
  • CDC’s budget in 2017: $7.2 billion

What CDC Does

  • CDC is ready 24/7 to respond to any natural or manmade event.
  • By connecting state and local health departments across the U.S., CDC can discover patterns of disease and respond when needed.
    • CDC can deliver lifesaving medicines from the Strategic National Stockpile to anywhere in the U.S. in 12 hours or less.
  • Good decision-making on health depends on the right information. CDC monitors health, informs decisionmakers, and provides people with information so they can take responsibility for their own health.
  • Local and state labs must be able to safely detect and respond to health threats in order to prevent premature death, injury, and disease. CDC trains and guides state and local public health lab partners.

CDC Saving Lives

CDC helps save lives by responding to emergencies, providing expertise, developing vaccines, and detecting disease outbreaks wherever they arise. Staff work to strengthen local and state public health departments and promote health programs that are proven to work.

CDC Protecting People

CDCs scientists collect and analyze data to determine how threats to health affect specific populations. This work protects people from hundreds of public health threats every year.

During 2015 and 2016, CDC conducted more than 750 field investigations in 49 states, 5 U.S. territories, and in at least 35 different countries. Investigations help determine what made people sick and if others have been exposed.

Government Requirements:

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply.

The yearly salary for a GS-12-14 is $75,705.00 to $150,349.00.

Typical Duties and Occupational Profile:

Medical and health services managers, also called healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They might manage an entire facility, a specific clinical area or department, or a medical practice for a group of physicians. Medical and health services managers must direct changes that conform to changes in healthcare laws, regulations, and technology.

Duties

Medical and health services managers typically do the following:

  • Improve efficiency and quality in delivering healthcare services
  • Develop departmental goals and objectives
  • Ensure that the facility in which they work is up to date on and compliant with laws and regulations
  • Recruit, train, and supervise staff members
  • Manage the finances of the facility, such as patient fees and billing
  • Create work schedules
  • Prepare and monitor budgets and spending to ensure departments operate within funding limits
  • Represent the facility at investor meetings or on governing boards
  • Keep and organize records of the facility’s services, such as the number of inpatient beds used
  • Communicate with members of the medical staff and department heads

Medical and health services managers work closely with physicians and surgeons, registered nurses, medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, and other healthcare workers. Others may interact with patients or insurance agents.

Medical and health services managers’ titles depend on the facility or area of expertise in which they work.

The following are examples of types of medical and health services managers:

Nursing home administrators manage staff, admissions, finances, and care of the building, as well as care of the residents in nursing homes. All states require licensure for nursing home administrators; licensing requirements vary by state.

Clinical managers oversee a specific department, such as nursing, surgery, or physical therapy, and have responsibilities based on that specialty. Clinical managers set and carry out policies, goals, and procedures for their departments; evaluate the quality of the staff’s work; and develop reports and budgets.

Health information managers are responsible for the maintenance and security of all patient records and data. They must stay up to date with evolving information technology, current or proposed laws about health information systems, and trends in managing large amounts of complex data. Health information managers must ensure that databases are complete, accurate, and accessible only to authorized personnel. They also may supervise the work of medical records and health information technicians.

Medical and health services managers must effectively communicate policies and procedures with other health professionals.

Most medical and health services managers have at least a bachelor’s degree before entering the field. However, master’s degrees are common and sometimes preferred by employers. Educational requirements vary by facility and specific function.

Education

Medical and health services managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation. However, master’s degrees are common and sometimes preferred by employers. Graduate programs often last between 2 and 3 years and may include up to 1 year of supervised administrative experience in a hospital or healthcare consulting setting.

Prospective medical and health services managers typically have a degree in health administration, health management, nursing, public health administration, or business administration. Degrees that focus on both management and healthcare combine business-related courses with courses in medical terminology, hospital organization, and health information systems. For example, a degree in health administration or health information management often includes courses in health services management, accounting and budgeting, human resources administration, strategic planning, law and ethics, health economics, and health information systems.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many employers require prospective medical and health services managers to have some work experience in either an administrative or a clinical role in a hospital or other healthcare facility. For example, nursing home administrators usually have years of experience working as a registered nurse.

Others may begin their careers as medical records and health information technicians, administrative assistants, or financial clerks within a healthcare office.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Medical and health services managers must understand and follow current regulations and adapt to new laws.

Communication skills. These managers must effectively communicate policies and procedures to other health professionals and ensure their staff’s compliance with new laws and regulations.

Detail oriented. Medical and health services managers must pay attention to detail. They might be required to organize and maintain scheduling and billing information for very large facilities, such as hospitals.

Interpersonal skills. Medical and health services managers discuss staffing problems and patient information with other professionals, such as physicians and health insurance representatives.

Leadership skills. These managers are often responsible for finding creative solutions to staffing or other administrative problems. They must hire, train, motivate, and lead staff.

Technical skills. Medical and health services managers must stay up to date with advances in healthcare technology and data analytics. For example, they may need to use coding and classification software and electronic health record (EHR) systems as their facility adopts these technologies.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require licensure for nursing home administrators; requirements vary by state. In most states, these administrators must have a bachelor’s degree, complete a state-approved training program, and pass a national licensing exam. Some states also require applicants to pass a state-specific exam; others may require applicants to have previous work experience in a healthcare facility. Some states also require licensure for administrators in assisted-living facilities. For information on specific state-by-state licensure requirements, visit the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards.

A license is typically not required in other areas of medical and health services management. However, some positions may require applicants to have a registered nurse or social worker license.

Although certification is not required, some managers choose to become certified. Certification is available in many areas of practice. For example, the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management offers certification in medical management, the American Health Information Management Association offers health information management certification, and the American College of Health Care Administrators offers the Certified Nursing Home Administrator and Certified Assisted Living Administrator distinctions.

Advancement

Medical and health services managers advance by moving into higher paying positions with more responsibility. Some health information managers, for example, can advance to become responsible for the entire hospital’s information systems. Other managers may advance to top executive positions within the organization. Advancement to top level executive positions usually requires a master’s degree.

GS-0685-Public Health Analyst

General qualifications excerpted from Job Announcement #HHS-CDC-OM-17-1949748

Responsibilities

As a Public Health Analyst you will:

  • Serves as a special projects officer and conducts comprehensive research, review and analyses on a wide variety of public health-related programs to provide a wide variety of staff papers that address multi-functional issues.
  • Serves on review committees, study groups, public health task groups, or comparable groups delegated responsibility for reviewing and developing public health policies, procedures and guidelines.
  • Reviews and assesses the effectiveness of current public health policies and determines where new or changed policies are required to effectively execute public health programs, missions, and functions.
  • Provides executive management with recommendations to improve and/or overcome shortfalls and deficiencies and formulates alternative courses of action for the solution of complex cross cutting issues.
  • Prepares Congressional testimony, policy documents, briefings, reports, summaries, responses to requests for information, and other substantive documents.
  • Qualifications
  • MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
  • GS-12:  Applicants must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level in the Federal Service.  Specialized experience is experience which is directly related to the position which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to successfully perform the duties of the position to include experience providing assistance in evaluating and analyzing public health program operations (examples:  HIV/AIDS, TB, infectious diseases, and immunization).
  • GS-13:  Applicants must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 grade level in the Federal Service.  Specialized experience is experience which is directly related to the position which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to successfully perform the duties of the position to include experience independently evaluating and analyzing public health program operations (examples: HIV/AIDS, TB, infectious diseases, and immunization).
  • GS-14:  Applicants must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-13 grade level in the Federal Service.  Specialized experience is experience which is directly related to the position which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to successfully perform the duties of the position to include experience evaluating and analyzing public health program operations (examples: HIV/AIDS, TB, infectious diseases, and immunization) to include advising management on implementation and improvement initiatives.

Job Prospects (Excerpted from Occupational Handbook (OOH) published by the Department of Labor)

Job prospects for medical and health services managers are likely to be favorable. In addition to rising employment demand, the need to replace managers who retire over the next decade will result in some openings. Candidates with a master’s degree in health administration or a related field, as well as knowledge of healthcare IT systems, will likely have the best prospects.

Resources

Helpful Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

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