Cowlitz County offers a generous benefits package which includes: Medical/Dental/Vision (includes dependent coverage)
VEBA/Health Retirement Account for those who qualify
Retirement through Washington State Public Employees Retirement System
Deferred Compensation plans available (457b)
Vacation, Bonus and Leave Days Paid
10 Paid Holidays Reasonable work hours
Internal Number: 2022-057
Applications must be submitted through the Cowlitz County online application system:
The role of the infection prevention specialist is to provide expertise in assessing infection prevention practices and capacity, outbreak management, preparedness for highly pathogenic infections (e.g. Ebola, measles), and surveillance of healthcare associated infections (HAI) with the primary focus being on non-hospital settings (e.g. ambulatory care, long-term care facilities (LTCF)) within Cowlitz County. Additionally, this position serves as a resource to staff by providing communicable disease support to public health nurses who are working with high risk or complex outbreaks. This position also works closely with other communicable disease staff to ensure appropriate case management and/or care coordination for individuals, families, groups and/or communities affected by Tuberculosis.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Infection Prevention Activities
Partner with facility leaders, physicians, and local, state, and national agencies on activities related to infection prevention.
Maintain current knowledge of federal, state, and local regulations and ensure that facility leaders are informed of emergent issues; understand and comply with infection control, safety, and OSHA procedures and regulations.
Follow department policies, procedures and standing orders as well as state and national guidelines for the management of HAI’s.
Support the planning and implementation of infection prevention and outbreak response control strategies, programmatic outreach activities and other special projects.
Provide consultation, technical expertise, and educational or training opportunities to public health partners and community stakeholders (e.g., health care providers, schools, LTCF, childcare centers, community-based organizations) to increase local and regional capacity to effectively prevent and control HAI’s and multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) through implementation of evidence-based infection prevention practices.
Participate in local, regional, and state antibiotic utilization management programs.
Assist with the maintenance of a comprehensive database of community healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, pharmacies, and schools to facilitate rapid and targeted dissemination of health alerts and critical public health information.
Compile and complete program related reports as required.
In partnership with the Community Health Manager facilitate development or revision of program related policies, procedures, or standing orders as needed.
Attend training to update skills and knowledge in the field and stay up to date on the current practices to meet infection control competency requirements.
Meet with the Community Health Manager as scheduled for position supervision.
Response to Notifiable Conditions and Outbreaks
Conduct or participate in outbreak investigations.
Develop partnerships with the State Department of Social and Health Services, the State Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other agencies as needed.
Collaborate with local, state, and regional partners to respond to infection disease situations and outbreaks, with a focus on HAI’s and MDRO/ Participate in, and coordinate when applicable, local and regional preparedness efforts for highly pathogenic infections (e.g. Ebola, MERS, measles).
Engage with healthcare and non-healthcare providers to promote improved surveillance of HAI’s through integration of surveillance systems and enhanced reporting.
In the event of a disaster public health staff may be asked to respond accordingly. May participate in incident command system response to control disease outbreaks and for the purpose of preparedness drills.
Other Infection Prevention Activities:
Ensure services are responsive to diverse cultural values, traditions and languages.
Advocate to protect and promote the health and safety of individuals and the community.
Integrate ethical considerations into all aspects of practice.
Use scientific knowledge with the consideration of all the social determinants of health.
Identify best practice strategies for identified health issues; create action plans with alternatives to attain expected outcomes.
Participate in interdisciplinary programs that monitor, anticipate and respond to public health problems.
Perform other duties as assigned.
Infection Prevention Specialist I:
Bachelor’s degree, from an accredited institution, in nursing, public health, epidemiology, microbiology, clinical laboratory science, medical technology, global health, disease control or any health-related field that would give the candidate the skills to successfully perform the duties of the position.
Two years of clinical experience in a healthcare facility working in infection prevention, epidemiology, or infectious disease surveillance.
Obtain a Certificate in Infection Control and Epidemiology (CIC) within two (2) years of hire
Possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.
Infection Prevention Specialist II:
Minimum qualifications of Infection Prevention Specialist I, and
Certificate in Infection Control and Epidemiology (CIC), OR Master’s Degree in nursing, epidemiology, public health or related field.
Cowlitz County is a great place to live and work. Located along the Columbia River less than an hour from the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Cowlitz County provides an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities and easy access to the Arts. The I-5 corridor runs right through Cowlitz County providing quick access to the Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon metropolitan areas.