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Community Engagement Specialist, US COVID-19 Response Initiative

Posted: September 14, 2020

Forsyth County Department of Public Health, North Carolina (12 Months, Full-time)

Vital Strategies is a US-based international public health organization working in more than 70 countries to address important and challenging health issues. We develop and oversee programs to strengthen public health systems and address leading causes of morbidity and mortality, providing expertise in project implementation and management, strategic communications, epidemiology and surveillance, and other core public health capacities.

Resolve to Save Lives is a global health initiative of Vital Strategies that since 2017 has been working closely with governments, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, academic and other partners in a number of countries to strengthen national capacity to prevent, detect and respond to epidemic threats. For more information about our Prevent Epidemics initiative, visit: and

Vital Strategies has formed a COVID-19 Incident Management System to control and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus in vulnerable low- and middle-income countries and the United States. Our work in the US is focused on strengthening the technical, policy and operational capacity of city and county health departments to effectively control COVID with an emphasis on vulnerable communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. We are working with a small number of model jurisdictions to demonstrate innovation and document and disseminate best practices.

Overall Role:

The Community Engagement Specialist will be a member of the Vital Strategies / Resolve to Save Lives US COVID-19 Response Team and will be embedded in Forsyth County Department of Public Health (Winston-Salem area) to support the health department’s COVID response efforts and ensure an equity and access approach to our jurisdiction engagements and learnings. The focus of the position will be on working through jurisdictions with Black, Latinx, and Native American communities and other groups made vulnerable to the epidemic by systemic factors.

This role will primarily operate as an embedded team member of the local health jurisdiction, reporting to a senior member of the health department while receiving technical guidance from and collaborating with Vital Strategies/Resolve to Save Lives US COVID-19 Response cross-functional team of communications staff, epidemiologists, evaluators, and program consultants for knowledge sharing and to ensure consistency of messaging.

This is a full-time employment contract for a period 12 months with the employee working remotely until on-site work is possible. Once it is possible to work on-site, the Communications Specialist will be expected to be based at or spend considerable time at the appointed jurisdiction. A very strong preference will be given to applicants residing in or near to Forsyth County, North Carolina.

Main responsibilities:

In close collaboration with local health department staff and our US COVID-19 Response Team’s Senior Advisor for Community Engagement, provide support within the health department to:

Required competencies and qualifications:

To Apply: Submit your CV and a cover letter describing your experience and suitability for this role to: Forsyth Community Engagement. Applications accepted until position is filled.

Vital Strategies aims to recruit a consultant who is best suited to work within our US COVID response team and welcomes applications from people of all backgrounds – men and women, people of all ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, religions and beliefs. We particularly encourage applications from Black and Latinx candidates, given COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on these communities.