Job Specification

Position Title:
Epidemiologist Lead (Surveillance and Informatics)
Job Code:
7A012 - Social07
Job ID:

Purpose :

1. To provide leadership and subject matter expertise in epidemiologic services for the creation, development and implementation of a new provincial approach to analyzing, interpreting, and sharing death investigation data in Ontario to better understand the factors that contribute to mortality in Ontario and support evidence-informed recommendations to prevent deaths.
2. To provide strategic advice and recommendations to senior/medical management and external partners based on epidemiological analyses and evidence syntheses to support planning and decision making at the provincial level.
3. To lead informatics and surveillance and aberration detection, initially focusing on drug-related and excess mortality related to the pandemic, and then expanding to other causes of death.

Key Responsibilities :

' Leadership and Expertise
' Leads and participates in special projects and represents the Office of the Chief Coroner / Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OCC/OFPS) on internal / external advisory groups, working groups, committees and provide advice / information and recommendations.
' Leads and provides expertise in assessment and analytics activities at the OCC/OFPS to generate scientific and technical knowledge for evidence-informed mortality prevention, decision making, and planning.
' Assembles project teams of multi-disciplinary professionals; leads, oversees, coaches and mentors students and other trainees on epidemiological work.
' Leads the development of policies and procedures for, and the application of ethical principles to, the collection,

maintenance, use, and dissemination of data and information.
' Builds key relationships with other ministries, agencies and organizations, and provides leadership to students, seconded epidemiologists, other OCC and OFPS staff on unit projects/initiatives.
' Provides subject-matter expertise and resource support to OCC/OFPS colleagues.

Information Management and Data Analysis
' Designs and conducts complex data retrieval, analysis, research, evaluation, and knowledge exchange initiatives using data from death investigations across the province.
' Develops and maintains aberration detection algorithms, surveillance systems, databases and data warehouses geared at generating scientific and technical knowledge for evidence-informed mortality prevention, decision making, and planning programs, services, research, and surveillance activities of the OCC/OFPS.

Evidence Synthesis and Knowledge Exchange
' Leads the preparation of scientific, technical, and lay-audience publication of data analyses and research.
' Liaises and coordinate with stakeholders across multiple sectors'including government, public health, health agencies, academic institutions, and enforcement and investigative agencies'to ensure death investigation data analyses support death prevention and to contribute to, and keep appraised of, best practices in epidemiology.
' Reviews current data to enable and support decision-making processes for the OCC/OFPS and its stakeholders. ' Presents findings, initiatives and relevant unit activities as well as exchanges knowledge and represents the OCC/OFPS at local, provincial, national, and international forums, as appropriate.
' Prepares and reviews complex scientific and technical publications of trends, investigative findings, and research initiatives for internal audiences and the broader community as appropriate.
' Coordinates surveillance data-gathering and informatics processes to provide timely information to the OCC/OFPS and its key stakeholders.

Planning and Evaluation
' Supports epidemiological evaluation and planning across the OCC/OFPS.
' Supports the development of the unit's strategic plan and associated project management and evaluation. ' Leads the development of unit policies and procedures relating to knowledge exchange, surveillance, and informatics

Knowledge / Skill :

' The OCC/OFPS's mandate and relevant legislation such as the Coroners Act and applying this knowledge in data analyses and knowledge exchange with OCC/OFPS colleagues and key stakeholders; regulatory trends in epidemiology and surveillance to develop policies and procedures for the application of ethical principles to the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of data and information.
' Principles and concepts of epidemiology, including methodologies to determine the frequency, pattern, and determinants of mortality, and application of this information to reduce mortality.
' Principles of biostatistics to define and test hypotheses, sample, descriptive and inferential statistics, power, and error; to calculate of standardized rates, measures of precision, trends, associations, burden, and effectiveness/efficacy
' Principles of epidemiological research to identify potential sources of bias and confounding, to critically appraise and synthesise relevant sources of information, to procure data, prepare reports and edit with scientific rigour; to organize research study from design to reporting, including conceptualizing novel approaches to new
and existing issues
' Statistical software packages (e.g., SAS, SSPS, or R), including the application of univariate and multivariate analysis techniques, analysis of categorical and continuous data, and modelling
' Theory and practice of computer science or information science relevant to epidemiology, including experience with SQL, in order to encode or transform free-text data to structured data; skills in informatics, database and data warehouse development, data processing, data storage, and data retrieval relevant to epidemiology to support surveillance and analysis, including application of extract, transform, load processes
' Mortality surveillance, including the ability to design and manage surveillance systems ' Health equity lens to prioritize projects and meet the needs of special populations
' Project management to provide project planning and leadership on concurrent projects and to manage deadlines and competing priorities.
' Application of the information management lifecycle to apply privacy considerations in the conduct and communication of epidemiological studies.
' Communication and presentation skills to relay detailed, complex data and principles to a variety of stakeholders, including the public, media, internal senior leadership, other ministries and government officials ' Writing and editing skills to prepare and present statistical data in understandable formats and to prepare and/review various written materials to provide advice to senior leadership.

Interpersonal / Influencing Skill :

' ' Consensus building skills to maintain relationships with internal and external partners and stakeholders in the management of project teams typically comprising multi-disciplinary professionals, to ensure decisions are made with full understanding of implications.
' Consultation, networking and advisory skills to influence and guide diverse groups of internal and external stakeholders and to establish strong research, academic, institutional and professional working relationships. ' Relationship management skills to provide support in the evaluation and critique of the unit's work and the quality and comprehensiveness of client satisfaction in the provision of epidemiologic content and expertise, ensuring high quality of products is consistently maintained.
' Influencing and negotiation skills to liaise with research partners on the planning, implementation and reporting of research studies.

Analyzing / Problem Solving Skill :

' Analytical and problem-solving skills to:

' Develop long term unit objectives, strategies and policies from a future oriented lens
' Lead the identification of options for analysis and the selection of appropriate analytical methods to study complex high-volume data from structured and unstructured sources to identify causes and determinants of mortality.
' Lead information and surveillance including the collection, analysis and collation of sufficient and necessary information and epidemiologic evidence to support evidence-informed decision making within and outside the OCC/OFPS, based on the input of medical/senior management.
' Identify challenges with existing data and ensure caveats are effectively communicated ' Conduct data validation and editorial review of unit products prior to dissemination
' Undertake quality assurance efforts to identify errors or limitations in death investigation data.
' Assess the impact of impending releases to the public, media, or other external stakeholders, and assists in preparing contingency plans for such releases.

Decision Making / Responsibility :

Responsible for:

' Selecting epidemiological research and analytical methods, the extent of stakeholder consultation and the effective use of project resources
' Planning and leading epidemiological projects and collaborations related to death investigation data.
' Providing strategic advice and recommendations to Senior/Medical Management and external partners based on epidemiological analyses and evidence syntheses.
' Communicating the outcome of unit activities, including recommendations for actioning this information, to Medical/Senior Management, internal committees, and external stakeholder groups.

Has latitude to:
' Make evidence-based decisions in the absence of parameters or precedent, and to provide authoritative advice to senior management, the public, and other external stakeholders.
' Liaise directly with external stakeholders to build strong working relationships between these and the OCC/OFPS.

Decision-making is guided by:
' Senior management, and the strategic framework of ministry goals, corporate objectives, relevant legislation, regulations, ministry policies, practices, directives, standards and guidelines; and
' The broad framework of government directives prescribed by Cabinet

Contacts / Stakeholder :

' Chief Coroner, Chief Forensic Pathologist, and other members of the Medical/Senior Management team at the OCC/OFPS to provide advice on epidemiological issues and findings.
' Media, public, interest groups, and other stakeholders to communicate analytic findings through reports, publications, and presentations.
' Content experts throughout the OCC/OFPS, public health and research fields to discuss epidemiologic needs and advise on methods to organize, access and disseminate the data, including but not limited to death review committees, the Child and Youth Review Analysis (CYDRA) team, and Inquest Unit.
' External partners, including but not limited to local, provincial, and national public health agencies, advocacy groups, research organizations, healthcare organizations, Children's Aid Societies, police services, and universities to design, conduct, and summarize analyses using death investigation data, including evidence- informed best practices in mortality prevention.
' Other jurisdictions/federal government and international contacts to lead/participate in consultations and exchange information/advice

Guidance / Supervision :

' Lead multi-disciplinary interdisciplinary committees and working groups in the development of surveillance, informatics, research, analysis, which may include consultation papers, briefing materials, policies, procedures, and academic publications.
' Organize, supervise, and assign work; review progress; provide guidance, advice, and mentoring to team
members, as well as internal and external stakeholders in some situations.
' Provide expert epidemiological advice to senior/medical management and the Chief Coroner of Ontario. ' Coach and mentor and direct and oversee the work of students and trainees supporting the unit.

Demands / Pressures :

' Frequent requirement to balance competing priorities and tight deadline demands.
' Frequent requirement to deal with new, unanticipated priorities, or contentious issues that arise unexpectedly. ' May require infrequent travel between offices and to offsite meetings or presentations.

Work Demands :

' Frequent requirement to balance competing priorities and tight deadline demands.
' Frequent requirement to deal with new, unanticipated priorities, or contentious issues that arise unexpectedly. ' May require infrequent travel between offices and to offsite meetings or presentations

Mental / Sensory :

' May be exposed to traumatic information resulting from death investigation.
' Frequent requirement to concentrate and pay close attention to detail in order to read complex materials, analyze data, undertake research, and draft materials and high-profile documents.
' Position requires frequent use of computers to review large quantities of data.

Conditions / Environment :

' Works in a regular office environment, with regular requirement to sit at a desk with limited physical activity required.

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