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Date: Sep 11, 2019

The State Personnel System is an E-Verify employer. For more information click on our E-Verify website.

Requisition No: 75541 

Agency: Department of Health

Working Title: OPS BIOLOGICAL SCIENTIST III - 64906211 1

Position Number: 64906211 

Salary:  $20.00 - $26.00 per hour 

Posting Closing Date: 09/25/2019 



*This position is being reclassed from Government Operations Consultant I to a Biological Scientist III



This is an OPS (Other Personal Services) positions and as such no paid time off is offered. Health benefits will be offered for full-time employment.  OPS employees are eligible to participate in a deferred compensation plan.


We request that all applications be completed with People First - no faxed or mailed applications to the agency. Experience, education, and/or training used to meet the minimum qualifications and in response to the qualifying questions must be verifiable through information contained in your application.

When completing the online application, all gaps of employment or education greater than 90 days starting from high school must be explained (approximate date, month, and year) identifying company name or if unemployed. Incomplete applications will not be considered.



This an advanced professional position in a county wide disease prevention program.  The position requires collection of information regarding individual case reports as well as participation in outbreak investigations.  DOH-Broward will enhance the timelines of morbidity and mortality data by conducting drug overdose surveillance, using Florida’s syndromic surveillance system (SyS), Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE) data investigation. ESSENCE is a biosurveillance system that collects emergency department chief complaint data from participating hospitals and urgent care centers in Florida enabling detection and continuous monitoring of community health incidents such as the opioid epidemic.  Epidemiology staff also monitor and collect data from the Florida Poison Information Center Network calls, reportable disease data from the Merlin database, and mortality data from the Florida Office of Vital Statistics. The objective of the surveillance systems is to provide the epidemiologist with the data sources needed to identify outbreaks or unusual trends more rapidly, leading to a timelier public health response. Increased surveillance and investigation will occur through the daily monitoring and investigation by the DOH-Broward Epidemiology Program. Staff will use aggregate data to analyze the epidemiologic characteristics and provide information to facilitate informed decision-making and timely response and provide actionable patient-identifiable data for further investigation or validation. 


Conducting complex activites around surveillance of disease (in individuals and outbreaks) to include disease associated with food, water, and those suspected of being due to weapons of mass destruction biological agents.  This process would include interviewing individuals and writing up these reports so they can be submitted to the electronic database.  This may also entail questionnaire and interview design.  Will also advise patients regarding their disease and how to prevent future occurrence  (if the disease can recur).


Investigate every opioid related chief complaint, and spikes reported through ESSENCE. Initate case investigations or reported diseases on the direction of surveillance and investigation supervisors during specified time intervals.  This may include appropriate and targeted field investigations and notification of managers for appropriate action.   The position involves looking at the data entered and writing reports.  Also, provide oral and written presentations to both health department employees and the community thus providing education. 


Investigate specialized research projects, present outcomes, and give recommendations.  Serve as lead epidemiologist opioid  initiatives.  Work in collaboration with other State and local partners to utilize data to address issues of overdose fatalities and serves as a resource to other BCHD sections as needed.


Serve as ESSENCE leads for the opioid grant project and as a resource to the community and project partners to include the provision of  technical assistance to Broward County’s 16 acute care hospital emergency departments and 4 freestanding emergency departments that will participate in the enhancements to ESSENCE surveillance


Serve as lead GIS user for the epidemiology section and as a resource to other BCHD sections as needed. Develop GIS mapping based on opioid surveillance data.


Communication--Participate in teleconferences, EpiCom, and various meetings where regional and state information is shared.  will visit and consult with community health care providers giving information to the current reporting requirements for communicable disease.


As a member of the Florida Department of Health and part of the epidemiology team, this position will be required to be available on weekends and holidays in support of disaster relief and in support of an epidemiologic investigation.  May be called upon to be a team leader on an Epi Strike Team.


Will be an information custodian for the communicable disease database as  well as paper copies of reports submitted.  Will be the key custodian to the epidemiology work area as well as individual’s workspace.


May, on occasion, act as a preceptor to students rotating through epidemiology from the local colleges and universities.  

Perform other duties as required.    



  • Master Degree or higher in Public Health from an accredited college or university.



  • A minimum of two years experience working in Epidemiology and Disease surveillance.
  • Concentration in Epidemiology / Surveillance.
  • Knowledge of (ESSENCE) Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics.
  • Experience in hospital infection control activity.



Incumbent may be required to work before, during and/or beyond normal work hours or days in the event of an emergency.  Emergency duty required of the incumbent includes working in special needs or Red Cross shelters, or performing other emergency duties including, but not limited to, responses to or threats involving any disaster or threat of disaster, man-made or natural.


This position requires a security background check and/or drug screening and participation in direct deposit. Any misrepresentations or omissions will disqualify you from employment consideration. Note: You will be required to provide your Social Security Number (SSN) in order to conduct this background check.


You will be required to provide proof of education in the form of a degree or transcript.


The successful candidate will be required to complete the Form I-9 and that information will be verified using the E-Verify system. E-Verify is operated by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration to verify employment eligibility.  

The State of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer, and does not tolerate discrimination or violence in the workplace.

Candidates requiring a reasonable accommodation, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must notify the agency hiring authority and/or People First Service Center (1-866-663-4735). Notification to the hiring authority must be made in advance to allow sufficient time to provide the accommodation.

The State of Florida supports a Drug-Free workplace. All employees are subject to reasonable suspicion drug testing in accordance with Section 112.0455, F.S., Drug-Free Workplace Act.

Nearest Major Market: Fort Lauderdale
Nearest Secondary Market: Miami