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Data Specialist

Company: Texas Health & Human Services Commission
Location: Austin
Posted on: March 19, 2023

Job Description:

Are you passionate about improving communities to create equitable behavioral health for all? Does the idea of addressing social determinants of health in communities across Texas excite you? Do you have experience addressing complex issues through training and systems-level approaches?

The Program Specialist VI (PSVI) will report directly to the Manager of the Public Awareness team and is part of the Prevention and Behavioral Health Promotion (PBHP) unit in the Substance Use Prevention Planning and Policy department of Behavioral Health Services. The PS VI, functionally known as the Data Specialist , performs highly advanced consultative and technical assistance work related to research methods and design, and data collection, analysis (both methodological and statistical) to transforms data into meaningful intelligence that will guide strategy, program development, and help convey impact of the PBHP unit. This position provides advanced technical assistance and research training to the state's local prevention data coordinators for needs assessments that determine regional, county and local community trends related to substance misuse, behavioral health, and underlying risk/protective factors.

This position monitors available data sources related to prevention and behavioral health promotion and incorporates SAMHSA's Strategic Prevention Framework into daily operations, in particular when working with PBHP projects. Data-related work may also include data and evaluation tasks for grants, initiatives and projects under PBHP Unit. Stays abreast of best-practice strategies to evaluate the effectiveness of prevention and identify performance measures/tools that should be utilized to measure program effectiveness.

Represents the PBHP Unit on committees, workgroups and projects with key stakeholders across Texas to meet evaluation and data needs; and may represent the state at the national level on prevention evaluation issues. Excellent communication skills and statistical analysis experience required. Works under limited supervision, with considerable latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment.

Essential Job Functions:

Attends work on a regular and predictable schedule in accordance with agency leave policy and performs other duties as assigned.

EJF 1. Develops and implements a multi-stage and multi-year plan for collecting, analyzing, and utilizing data at local, regional, and statewide levels, including but not limited to designing/supporting Needs Assessment processes. Identifies data variables that are required and provides guidance and support to Prevention Resource Centers (PRCs) across the state to ensure high-quality data collection, analysis and utilization. Develops and delivers data, research-, and evaluation-related training where necessary. Holds (minimum of) monthly technical assistance calls with providers to provide oversight and support. Provides training to the field on collecting qualitative and quantitative data for the purposes of program planning and sustainability. Assists HHSC grantees with collecting information and developing materials to demonstrate community impact, such infographics or success stories. Manages, plans, and provides technical assistance for the Prevention Activity Tracking Tool (PATT). Provides highly advanced consultation, training, and technical assistance to other funded programs on specific evaluation initiatives or projects, and related activities. Develops tools and/or data systems that grantees can utilize to input data on work conducted. Provides technical assistance to any evaluation or data-related PBHP contracts. (30%)

EJF 2. Researches and identifies performance measures that can be used to assess the effectiveness of Prevention and Behavioral Health Promotion strategies. Stays abreast of national best practices and literature to identify the most appropriate measures. Conducts comprehensive literature reviews and data analysis to identify and recommend best-practices for the team. This position monitors available data sources related to prevention and behavioral health promotion and incorporates SAMHSA's Strategic Prevention Framework into daily operations, in particular when working with PBHP projects. Data-related work may also include data analysis (qualitative and quantitative), data visualization, and evaluation tasks for grants, initiatives, and projects under PBHP Unit. Assists in developing program logic models. Consolidates localized needs assessments to create a state needs assessment for leadership, funders, and other key stakeholders. Works with data experts across Texas and nation-wide to ensure data informed decision making, develop state epidemiological profiles, track trends, and create data visualization strategies. Participates in team meetings, unit meetings, conference calls, and workgroups as assigned by the Public Awareness Manager. (30%)

EJF 3. Oversees the completion of and monitors required performance reports and recommends appropriate changes. Organizes and facilitates meetings and conference calls, related to implementation of projects, tasks, project evaluations, and performance monitoring. Designs/implements surveys, focus groups, or other tools to gather input from stakeholders. Performs ongoing qualitative and quantitative analyses of data and information related to evidence-based practices. Collects, organizes, analyzes, and prepares material or presentations in response to requests for information. (25%)

EJF 4. Performs tasks associated to the SAMHSA Block Grant, the Legislative Budget Board, the legislative process, external funding organizations, and other priorities and strategies of the BHS section and HHSC that promotes the goals, mission and vision of HHSC. (10%)

EJF 5. Represents the PBHP Unit on committees, workgroups, and projects related to substance misuse prevention and the grant and attends the national Grantee meetings as required by the grant. Performs Other Duties as Assigned. (5%)

Knowledge Skills Abilities:

Knowledge of:

a. Primary and secondary data collection in behavioral/mental health or a related area;

b. Statistical analysis approaches and developing/utilizing epidemiological profiles;

c. Conducting a needs assessment;

d. Individual and community risk/protective factors related to behavioral health and wellness including the social determinants of health; and,

e. Local, state, and federal laws/rules related to the provision of substance misuse prevention services, public health and behavioral health.

Skills in:

a. Facilitating large workgroups;

b. Managing and supervising new, complex projects;

c. Conducting comprehensive peer-reviewed literature reviews;

d. Survey design;

e. Statistical testing, Data analysis and experience using statistical software programs such as STATA, R, SPSS, SAS;

f. Data reporting and visualization software such as GIS mapping, Tableau and Power BI; and,

g. Identifying problems, evaluating alternatives, and implementing solutions to complex policy and implementation issues.

Ability to:

a. Conduct statistical analysis and use data visualization to communicate data in easily digestible ways for a variety of audiences;

b. Conduct needs assessments;

c. Build and maintain strong interpersonal relationships with diverse professionals and stakeholders;

d. Manage multiple projects, competitive priorities and complete deliverables by deadline;

e. Support the development and oversight of contracts;

f. Create and lead training, technical assistance, and cross-functional workgroups;

g. Manage and supervise external partners as they execute new and complex project requests;

h. Write clear and concise reports, grants, logic models, and briefing documents;

i. Think strategically and holistically while simultaneously being detail-oriented; and,

j. Be solution-focused and work well in a team environment.

Registration or Licensure Requirements:

None Initial Selection Criteria:

A minimum of a Master's degree required. Degree in prevention science, public health, epidemiology, statistics, social work, sociology, psychology, health education, or related field from an accredited college or university or foreign degree determined to be equivalent by an acceptable education evaluator.

At least one year of experience working with data analysis and/or program evaluation in a related field. Preferred at least one year of experience working in substance use prevention or in a related field. Preferred experience with statistical analysis and data visualization

Additional Information:

MOS Code:

There may be no military occupation(s) that directly relate to this position. For more information see the Texas State Auditor's Military Crosswalk at

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HHS agencies use E-Verify. You must bring your I-9 documentation with you on your first day of work.

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In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), HHS agencies will provide reasonable accommodation during the hiring and selection process for qualified individuals with a disability. If you need assistance completing the on-line application, contact the HHS Employee Service Center at 1-888-894-4747. If you are contacted for an interview and need accommodation to participate in the interview process, please notify the person scheduling the interview.

Keywords: Texas Health & Human Services Commission, Austin , Data Specialist, Other , Austin, Texas

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