Under the guidance of the Health Officer, the assessment program collects, analyzes, and distributes data about health and disease trends and issues in Snohomish County. In addition to health and disease trends in the county, the program has an active and increasing role during response to communicable disease and foodborne illness outbreaks in the county. The Epidemiologist II also provides 24/7 on-call for a one-week rotation with Prevention Services management and public health nurses. Working collaboratively with community partners, the program completes comprehensive reports like the Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan.
In addition to routine daily activities, the program provides fee-based epidemiological services to community partners in the region. Examples of this include recent projects with Verdant and San Juan Health Department.
The program is currently staffed with three employees: a 1.0 FTE Epidemiologist II, a .80 FTE Epidemiologist II, and a 1.0 FTE Epidemiologist I. Reclassifying the Epidemiologist I to an Epidemiologist II (see position description, Exhibit A) would provide the District the ability to utilize all three employees universally and add to the on-call rotation. Over the last several months the current Epidemiologist I has been working out of class by working on higher-level projects generally done by the Epidemiologist II. One example of this out-of-class work is opioid overdose surveillance, which requires data analysis of significant events reported by multiple healthcare facilities. Another example is health reporting area profiles, which involves social determinants of health analysis divided by geographic regions across Snohomish County. There is an immediate need for an additional Epidemiologist II work related to the COVID-19 response. This is vital to preserve and expand the District’s capacity to conduct necessary trace investigations and data analysis related to the spread of disease.
Currently the Epidemiologist I is budgeted at $110,514 (Range 17A, Step 6), including salary and benefits. If reclassification is approved, the new budgeted amount would be $116,444 (Range 20, Step 5). The increase in dollars would be used by the savings of having the Administrative Services Director position unfilled from January 1 to March 31, 2020.