Student Zoonotic Disease Investigator - Washington State Department of Health - Office Of communicable Disease Epidemiology

LOCATION: Shoreline, WA

Part-time position, 10-20 hours per week

CLOSING DATE: January 18, 2019


JOB #: 13473

POSTED: January 2, 2019


Hours: 10-20 hours/week, including minimum of two evening or weekend shifts per week

Start date: January or February 2019

Pay: $18.30 to $21.69 per hour, plus $0.65 extra per hour for work after 6:00 p.m.

Benefits: Pro-rated vacation, holiday, and sick leave (no health or tuition benefits)

Application deadline: Open until filled; first review will occur Wednesday January 9, 2019

Eligibility: Current MPH/MS students; preference given to first-year students who anticipate continued availability in their second year of graduate school.

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH)’s Office of Communicable Disease Epidemiology (OCDE) is currently recruiting one public health graduate student to join our zoonotic disease investigation team. Students on this exciting team assist DOH and local public health partners in state-wide zoonotic disease surveillance activities. Duties will mainly consist of interviewing Washington State residents who have been reported to the state as having a notifiable zoonotic condition, obtaining laboratory and clinical data for these cases, as well as data entry for these interviews. As opportunities arise, additional tasks could include case interviews for other diseases, assistance with outbreak investigations, data management, special projects relating to zoonotic disease and providing surge capacity in other OCDE program areas.

 Primary goals for the graduate students who join the team are to support local public health and to improve the efficiency, completeness, and timeliness of zoonotic disease surveillance. For the student, this position will provide rich real-world experience in public health practice and the valuable opportunity to directly contribute to and learn about local, state, and national approaches to zoonotic disease surveillance. At OCDE’s discretion, especially engaged students may be able to analyze zoonotic disease surveillance data for a master’s project/thesis or practicum.


  • Conduct routine telephone interviews of persons (or their proxies) reported to public health as having Lyme disease, coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) or other notifiable zoonotic diseases using standardized questionnaires
  • Complete investigations of zoonotic disease cases including gathering clinical and laboratory information, and entering data into the Washington Disease Reporting System
  • Assist in outbreak investigations as needed
  • Maintain confidentiality/privacy of protected health information
  • Provide health education to cases
  • Data entry
  • As time, resources, or needs permit:
  • Data analysis, interpretation, and presentation (graphs, tables)
  • Assist with zoonotic disease guideline and case management form revisions
  • Oral presentations relating to zoonotic disease surveillance
  • Possibilities for other opportunities/tasks within OCDE (e.g., interviewing cases of other notifiable diseases, performing miscellaneous zoonotic disease activities, or shadowing environmental health staff or local public health partners)


  • Worksite: Shoreline, WA (Public Health Laboratories building). At OCDE’s discretion, potential for occasional off-site work after student gains experience.
  • Hours: 10-20 hours week on average; flexible to accommodate course schedules. After initial training, we anticipate requiring at least two evening or weekend shifts per week (e.g., 5-8 pm weekdays or Sat/Sunday afternoons). Because of increased workload in summer months, additional hours in summer may be possible, depending on funding levels.


  • Currently enrolled in an public health graduate program (MPH or MS) in Epidemiology or Environmental & Occupational Health
    • Other public health-related programs or doctoral candidates may also be considered
  • Knowledge or current training in epidemiology of communicable diseases, basic biostatistics, and concepts of disease surveillance
  • Keen and demonstrable interest in surveillance for communicable diseases, especially enteric
  • Experience or current training in data cleaning, analysis, and presentation
  • Excellent ability to communicate in clear, professional, and friendly manner over the phone, including adeptness in speaking with people of diverse backgrounds
    • Desired: experience in interviewing, patient interaction, or other customer service
    • Fluency in Spanish or other languages desirable but not required
  • Willingness to adjust to sometimes fast-paced work environment, changing priorities, and evolving work expectations

 NOTE: This is a temporary, nonpermanent Health Services Consultant 1 position funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This position does not provide health insurance or tuition reimbursement.

How to Apply:


Interested students should submit cover letter and resume to Hanna Oltean, MPH, at

Apply by Wednesday January 9, 2019 for best consideration

 Please feel free to contact Hanna Oltean via email or phone (206-418-5428)

with any questions about this position.