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Environmental Epidemiologist

State of Massachusetts
South Boston, Massachusetts, US
Closing date
Dec 7, 2022

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Academic / Research, Government
Conservation science
Environmental Justice
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is seeking a technical and goal-oriented individual to fill the role of Environmental Epidemiologist for the Community Health Assessment (CHA) section of the Environmental Epidemiology Program within the Bureau of Environmental Health (BEH).

The Bureau of Environmental Health works to protect communities, especially the most vulnerable, from the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards, which result in significant health disparities. The Bureau is committed to the principle of environmental justice that all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, or ability, have a right to be protected from environmental pollution, and to live and enjoy a clean and healthful environment.

The Epidemiologist I will provide epidemiologic support to CHA by conducting descriptive community-based epidemiological assessments and evaluating potential environmental exposures. Responsibilities of this position will include, but are not limited to, analyzing, interpreting, and summarizing health and environmental data; preparing letters and reports in response to inquiries regarding disease patterns and potential exposures to environmental contaminants; reviewing the epidemiological literature; triaging calls from the public and local officials about suspected disease clusters; and presenting environmental health information to the public. The Epidemiologist I will support the goals of the MDPH/BEH Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Program by preparing health datasets, such as cancer and birth defects, for national CDC data calls and updates to the MA EPHT website as well as conducting QA to ensure accuracy and appropriate data suppression. Additional EPHT duties will include preparing topic-specific messaging for the website using clear writing and plain language, presenting to internal and external audiences, and participating in national content work groups. The incumbent must have excellent analytical and writing skills and be comfortable communicating with the public by phone. The selected candidate should be committed to advancing the racial and health equity and environmental justice work of the Bureau. Submission of a cover letter with the application is encouraged.

Duties and Responsibilities (these duties are a general summary and not all-inclusive):

* Prepares data for submission and upload of cancer and birth defect indicators to the state and national EPHT websites and conducts quality assurance for accuracy.
* Reviews the methods for the collection and quality of health and environmental data to assess completeness and accuracy.
* Analyzes collected data using the appropriate statistical methods, summarizes results, and disseminates information as directed.
* Prepares draft content and messaging for the MA EPHT website.
* Participates in national CDC content work groups and communicates pertinent information of ongoing and future activities to the EPHT team.
* Collects, analyzes, interprets, and summarizes health and environmental data for small area/community environmental health investigations related to EPHT or other CHA activities.
* Prepares letters and reports in response to inquiries from the public and local officials about disease patterns and potential exposures to environmental contaminants.
* Communicates with the public about disease rates and patterns, potential exposure opportunities, environmental contaminants, and environmental health principles.
* Responds to telephone inquiries from the public and local health officials regarding health and environmental concerns.
* Collaborates with staff from other programs and Bureaus, such as the Birth Defects Monitoring Program and the Massachusetts Cancer Registry, to communicate updates and represent BEH interests.
* Analyzes and determine the applicability of epidemiological data to draw conclusions and make recommendations.
* Reviews, assembles and maintains up-to-date literature files on the epidemiology of selected chronic and environmentally related diseases. Determines proper format and procedure for assembling information.
* Reviews professional journals, health bulletins, and other publications to keep informed of current trends and new data in the fields of exposure assessment and environmental health.
* Attends day or evening meetings within Massachusetts communities as needed for EPHT or other CHA activities.
* Maintains confidential records in accordance with state privacy laws and department regulations.

Required Qualifications:

* Knowledge of the principles and practices of epidemiology.
* Understanding of the principles of biology and disease processes.
* Knowledge of the methods of statistical and scientific report writing.
* Knowledge of the principles of environmental epidemiology and environmental health.
* Capable to utilize computers and applications such as statistical, word processing, and spreadsheet software.
* Capability to manage databases, construct data files, and perform data cleaning and quality assurance/quality control as needed.
* Capacity to analyze and determine the applicability of epidemiologic and demographic data to draw conclusions and make appropriate recommendations.
* Ability to calculate age-adjusted, crude, age, and sex-specific rates of disease or exposure.
* Able to write concisely, express thoughts clearly using plain language, and develop ideas in a logical sequence.
* Capability to conduct statistical analyses and prepare statistical reports.

Preferred Qualifications:

* Proficiency in Microsoft products (specifically Access, SQL coding) and SAS or other data analysis software.
* Ability to evaluate potential environmental exposure pathways.
* Knowledge of the principles of environmental justice, health equity, and social determinants of health.

About the Department of Public Health:

The mission of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is to prevent illness, injury, and premature death, to assure access to high quality public health and health care services, and to promote wellness and health equity for all people in the Commonwealth.

We envision a Commonwealth in which all people enjoy optimal health. Massachusetts ranks among the healthiest of states according to comparative analyses, but we face numerous challenges, including chronic and infectious disease, substance abuse, violence, preventable hospitalizations, and health disparities.

DPH coordinates programs and policies to address specific diseases and conditions and offers services to address vulnerable populations' needs. We also develop, implement, promote, and enforce regulations and policies to assure that the conditions under which people live are most conducive to health and enable people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. We license health professionals, healthcare facilities and a variety of businesses that impact public health. We operate the state laboratory and four public health hospitals. We monitor health status and manage vital records including births, marriages and deaths. We educate people about public health issues and work closely with local boards of health and community partners to identify and solve public health problems.

More information can be found at: MA Department of Public Health

Pre-Hire Process:

A criminal background check will be completed on the recommended candidate as required by the regulations set forth by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services prior to the candidate being hired. For more information, please visit

Education, licensure and certifications will be verified in accordance with the Human Resources Division's Hiring Guidelines.

Education and license/certification information provided by the selected candidate(s) is subject to the Massachusetts Public Records Law and may be published on the Commonwealth's website.

If you require assistance with the application/interview process and would like to request an ADA accommodation, please click on the link and complete the Reasonable Accommodation Online Request Form

For questions regarding this requisition, please contact the Executive Office of Health and Human Services Human Resources at 1-800- 510-4122 Ext. #2

First consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.


Applicants must have at least (A) four (4) years of full-time, or equivalent part-time, professional or technical experience in epidemiology, biology, biostatistics, toxicology, environmental science, environmental health, ecology, public health, chemistry, virology, immunology, bacteriology, microbiology, or statistics and (B) of which at least one (1) year must have been in a professional capacity or (C) any equivalent combination of the required experience and the substitutions below.


I. A Bachelor's degree with a major in epidemiology, biology, biostatistics, toxicology, environmental science, environmental health, ecology, public health, chemistry, virology, immunology, bacteriology, microbiology, statistics, or other health-related field may be substituted for a maximum of two (2) years of the required (A) experience.

II. A Master's degree with a major in epidemiology, biology, biostatistics, toxicology, environmental science, environmental health, ecology, public health, chemistry, virology, immunology,, bacteriology, microbiology, statistics, or other health-related field may be substituted for a maximum of three (3) years of the required (A) experience and one (1) year of the required (B) experience.*

* Education toward such a degree will be prorated on the basis of the proportion of the requirements actually completed.

NOTE: Educational substitution will only be permitted for a maximum of one (1) year of the (B) experience.

Comprehensive Benefits

When you embark on a career with the Commonwealth, you are offered an outstanding suite of employee benefits that add to the overall value of your compensation package. We take pride in providing a work experience that supports you, your loved ones, and your future.

Want the specifics? Explore our Employee Benefits and Rewards!

Executive Order #595: As a condition of employment, successful applicants will be required to have received COVID-19 vaccination or an approved exemption as of their start date. Details relating to demonstrating compliance with this requirement will be provided to applicants selected for employment. Applicants who receive an offer of employment who can provide documentation that the vaccine is medically contraindicated or who object to vaccination due to a sincerely held religious belief may make a request for exemption.

An Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Commonwealth is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. Research suggests that qualified women, Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) may self-select out of opportunities if they don't meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage individuals who believe they have the skills necessary to thrive to apply for this role.
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