PUBLIC HEALTH ASSISTANT LABORATORIES DIRECTOR

PHALD-Clinical Labs & PHALD-Environmental Labs

Recruitment #2011-5419-002

Introduction

Located on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is an urban hub bursting with energy. Milwaukee provides a casual sophistication – big city appeal without the big-city hassles. We are accessible and affordable, and our residents are welcoming. Milwaukee has evolved through the years, bringing together its unsurpassed old world charm with a breathtaking Art Museum, top-flight arts and cultural attractions, professional sports, lakefront festivals, recreational opportunities, and great restaurants.

The City of Milwaukee is proud to employ a diverse workforce that is committed to providing exemplary service to the City’s residents. If you have a passion for being a part of an inclusive team of public servants, please consider the following opportunity.

The Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) Public Health Laboratories offers a dynamic, innovative work environment where each employee contributes to making the City of Milwaukee a safe place to live, work, recreate and grow!

Purpose

The MHD Public Health Laboratories currently has two vacancies for Public Health Assistant Laboratories Director (PHALD): PHALD-Clinical Laboratories and PHALD-Environmental Laboratories. Applicants may apply for one or both of these positions, as two distinct eligible lists will be produced from this Civil Service selection process. Eligible Lists may also be used to fill similar vacancies. Both roles serve in a leadership capacity. PHALDs are considered essential staff during the current public health emergency.

  • Under the direction of the Public Health Laboratories Director, the Public Health Assistant Laboratories Director-Clinical Laboratories assists with the clinical laboratories’ new program development; administrative, budgetary, and strategic planning; and overall operational support for managing the Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) laboratory quality services and regulatory compliances. The incumbent serves as the technical director for the clinical laboratory assays and manages daily operations in the microbiology, virology, and molecular sections.

 ~ AND/OR ~

  • Under the direction of the Public Health Laboratories Director, the Public Health Assistant Laboratories Director-Environmental Laboratories assists with the environmental laboratories’ new program development; administrative, budgetary, and strategic planning; and overall operational support for managing the Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) laboratory quality services and regulatory compliances. The incumbent provides technical leadership, daily environmental laboratory oversight, and new test development, as well as manages chemistry and environmental microbiology laboratory sections’ staffing.

Essential Functions

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSISTANT LABORATORIES DIRECTOR-CLINICAL LABORATORIES – ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

Administrative:

  • Assist the Laboratory Director in the support, maintenance and enhancement of the laboratory testing services of MHD Medical branch programs.
  • Coordinate the activities of the clinical laboratory sections, MHD medical branch and external agencies.
  • Ensure compliance with the requirements of laboratory regulatory agencies and professional accrediting organizations relevant to clinical testing.
  • Assist in financial oversight by monitoring and reporting monthly revenue and expenditures for each laboratory area.
  • Serve as the technical adviser to the Laboratory Operations Manager, MHD communicable and sexually-transmitted disease programs, and community partners. 

Technical/Operational:

  • Supervise and manage scientific sections of the MHD laboratory, including coordination of testing staff, quality assurance and control, safety activities, hiring, training and competency, continuing education and personnel-related matters.
  • Provide technological leadership in the evaluation, analysis and validation of test results of routine and emerging methods for microbial testing.
  • Explore and adopt new technologies in the detection of microbial pathogens in clinical samples to enhance laboratory diagnostic capabilities.
  • Explore possibilities for expanding laboratory operations in clinical and disease surveillance testing areas, per state and federal guidelines.
  • Develop policies and procedures and document laboratory standard operating procedures.
  • Collaborate with IT support services to upgrade the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and to improve laboratory proficiency and efficiency in providing state-of-the-art services.
  • Ensure all regulatory compliance obligations are met such as Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) regulations, the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC)’s Select Agent Program responsibilities and deliverables for Laboratory Response Network (LRN), for continuing education and relevant proficiency testing programs.

Collaboration/Development:

  • Provide oversight of specialty programs such as public health preparedness and response as well as to emerging pathogens laboratory.
  • Pursue grant opportunities with the MHD programs, community partners and academic collaborators.
  • Liaise with external agencies including the CDC, FBI, state public health laboratory, local hospitals/clinics, and Police, Fire, and Emergency Management, to ensure MHD Laboratory preparedness expectations are met during public health emergency.
  • Maintain academic relationships by serving as a guest lecturer, mentoring students and holding teaching affiliations with local colleges, research institutes and universities, including the UW- Milwaukee School of Biomedical Science and the Zilber School of Public Health.
  • Explore revenue generating options for the City of Milwaukee with internal and external clients and collaborators.

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSISTANT LABORATORIES DIRECTOR-ENVIONMENTAL LABORATORIES – ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

Environmental Laboratory Branch Management:

  • Manage testing services related to heavy metals, like lead, and other toxic chemicals, waterborne and food microbiology in order to maintain and improve public health laboratory (PHL) testing services to support MHD’s environmental branches, including chemistry, biological toxins and waterborne pathogen laboratory testing programs.
  • Coordinate the activities of the environmental laboratory sections, relevant MHD branches and external agencies.
  • Ensure compliance with the requirements of laboratory regulatory agencies and professional accrediting organizations in reference to environmental testing areas.
  • Assist in financial oversight by monitoring and reporting monthly revenue and grant expenditures for environmental laboratory areas.
  • Serve as technical advisor to the MHD-Environmental Health Division and programs, Laboratory Operations Manager and PHL systems partners.
  • Assist PHL Director, Assistant Director and MHD managers to recruit, retain and develop professional and technical staff.
  • Maintain memberships and working relationships with professional organizations, e.g., the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Water Works association (AWWA), and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) for improved laboratory management skills and leadership at the local, state and national levels.

Supervisory:

  • Provide supervisory/managerial oversight for the Chemistry, Environmental, Microbiology, and Molecular Science sections of the MHD laboratory, including coordination of staff for environmental testing, quality assurance, quality control and safety activities, training, continuing education, and personnel-related matters.
  • Provide technological leadership in the evaluation, analysis and validation of test results of routine and emerging methods for chemical and microbial testing.
  • Areas include dust wipes, water, soil for lead, indicator microbes and pathogens, foodborne, bio-threat agents, emerging infectious agents, chemicals and toxins of public health importance in environmental and food samples.
  • Explore and adopt the latest technologies to improve analytical capabilities and enhance PHL surveillance. Those techniques may include ICP/MS, Flame Atomic Absorption by flame and/or graphite furnace, GC/LC-MS or other chemical techniques as well as molecular techniques including quantitative Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR), digital-droplet PCR, nucleotide sequencing used in the detection of microbial indicators, harmful chemicals and toxins.
  • Explore possibilities for expanding laboratory operations in environmental testing, including wastewater surveillance testing areas, per state and federal guidelines including the CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Maintain environmental laboratory updates on Federal Regulations in water testing areas, e.g., Clean Water Act (CWA), Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and related test methods.
  • Contribute to defining the project direction for Source Control and Source Tracking investigations; develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) or other moderately sophisticated projects; develop new projects and applications across domains of chemistry, environmental microbiology and molecular biology.
  • Work closely with IT support team to improve the PHL's efficiency in providing state-of-the-art laboratory services and data analysis.
  • Assure accurate and timely records, maintenance of procedure manuals, and  reporting (annual, monthly, and weekly) for respective areas of responsibility.
  • Ensure all relevant accreditation and regulatory compliance obligations are met, such as American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and International Organization of Standardization (ISO), National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP), EPA, FDA regulations, Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) responsibilities and deliverables for Laboratory Response Network (LRN- Biological and Chemical), for continuing education and proficiency testing programs.

Collaboration/Development:

  • Assist in microbial and chemical agents surveillance, environmental epidemiological studies and outbreak investigations in response to public health emergencies.
  • Address environmental test-related issues, including result interpretation, sample collection and storage, recommendations to clients, and MHD program staff for best laboratory testing practices.
  • Mentor students and interns in public health laboratory and conduct applied research activities.  

BOTH POSITIONS: ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • Participate in departmental and community activities to support the mission of the Milwaukee Health Department-PHL.
  • Coordinate the activities across laboratory sections, MHD medical, environmental, policy branches and external partnering agencies.
  • Develop policies and procedures and document laboratory standard operating procedures (SOPs); adhere to research and technology standards and the governance framework set by MHD programs and laboratory leadership.
  • Provide day-to-day management of staff, prioritization of work, staff time approvals, coordination of supply orders, maintenance of equipment and laboratory spaces, prompt and accurate processing of specimens and timely reporting of quality lab results.
  • Schedule and coordinate bench level laboratory activities.
  • Pursue grant opportunities with internal and external community partners, including academic and private sector collaborators.
  • Liaise with external agencies including CDC, FBI, FDA, EPA, USPS, local hazmat and state agencies, including WI Department of Health Services (DHS) and the state public health laboratory, local hospitals/clinics, and Police, Fire, and Emergency Management to ensure that the PHL is prepared to respond to public health emergencies.
  • Maintain academic relationships with local colleges, universities and research institutes.
  • Explore revenue generating options for the City of Milwaukee Health Department while working with internal and external clients and collaborators.
  • Present MHD Laboratory activities and outcomes at local, state, national, and international platforms, meetings and conferences.

We welcome qualified individuals with disabilities who are interested in employment and will make reasonable accommodations during the hiring process in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.

Conditions of Employment

BOTH POSITIONS: CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT  

  • Work outside standard business hours to respond to public health and security emergencies.
  • Occasionally lift and move objects weighing up to 10 lbs.
  • Wear a particulate respirator (e.g., N95, PAPR); have a respirator fit test and TB skin test annually.
  • Participate in the Federal Select Agent Program (Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002).
  • Obtain DOJ/FBI background clearance to comply with federal program requirements.
  • Travel outside of the City of Milwaukee; occasional overnight travel may be required.
  • Based upon each department’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the needs of each department, employees may be expected to work from home intermittently or continuously.

Minimum Requirements

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSISTANT LABORATORIES DIRECTOR-CLINICAL LABORATORIES – MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

  1. Ph.D. in microbiology, immunology, or molecular biology from an accredited college or university.
  2. Two years of experience serving in a managerial capacity beyond postdoctoral training within a clinical or public health laboratory setting performing functions related to molecular biology, microbiology, immunology and/or virology; analytical and biochemical testing; and related advanced molecular diagnostic techniques.
  3. Board certification for Laboratory Directors of High Complexity Testing per CLIA guidelines at the time of application. For more information on the CLIA certification, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/CLIA/Certification_Boards_Laboratory_Directors.
  4. Valid driver’s license at time of appointment and throughout employment.

Equivalent combinations of education and experience may be considered.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Graduate school transcripts and copy of CLIA certificate are required and must be EITHER attached to the online application or emailed to: staffinginfo@milwaukee.gov by the application close date and time. (Undergraduate transcripts are optional but accepted.) Applications without graduate school transcripts attached will be considered incomplete and will be rejected. Student/unofficial copies are acceptable; however, your transcripts must be legible and include your college/university name, your name, the degree completed, and the date completed.  

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSISTANT LABORATORIES DIRECTOR-ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORIES – MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

  1. Ph.D. or Doctorate Public Health (DrPH) in analytical chemistry, environmental microbiology, or a related field from an accredited college or university.
  2. Two years of experience serving in a managerial capacity beyond postdoctoral training within an environmental, private or public health laboratory setting performing functions related to analytical chemistry, environmental microbiology testing and advanced molecular techniques.
  3. Valid driver’s license at time of appointment and throughout employment.

Equivalent combinations of education and experience may be considered.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Graduate school transcripts are required and must be EITHER attached to the online application or emailed to: staffinginfo@milwaukee.gov by the application close date and time. (Undergraduate transcripts are optional but accepted.) Applications without graduate school transcripts attached will be considered incomplete and will be rejected. Student/unofficial copies are acceptable; however, your transcripts must be legible and include your college/university name, your name, the degree completed, and the date completed.

Desirable Qualifications

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSISTANT LABORATORIES DIRECTOR-CLINICAL LABORATORIES – DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS

  • Experience working in a public health laboratory environment.
  • Experience related to advanced molecular diagnostic applications.
  • Experience working in a high containment laboratory.

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSISTANT LABORATORIES DIRECTOR-ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORIES – DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS

  • Experience working in an environmental, food or public health laboratory and related regulations.
  • Experience related to analytical chemistry techniques and advanced molecular applications in complex environmental matrices including methods from CDC and EPA.
  • Knowledge of ISO 14000 series, NELAC or related environmental laboratory certification standards and experience working in a high containment laboratory.

BOTH POSITIONS – DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS

  • Excellent technical skills in the respective subject matter areas with a proven track record of accomplishments.
  • Relevant supervisory experience, including staff oversight, teamwork, and handling personnel issues.
  • Knowledge of regulatory standards and accreditation agencies relevant to assigned work areas to assure laboratory certifications and standards are maintained.
  • Knowledge and experience in applied research as exemplified by the public-private partnerships, active participation in professional organizations and journal publications.

Knowledges, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSISTANT LABORATORIES DIRECTOR-CLINICAL LABORATORIES – KSAs

  • Knowledge of clinical and public health microbiology on issues related to communicable and sexually transmitted diseases, including quality control and laboratory safety.
  • Knowledge of laws, rules and regulations governing the operation of a public health laboratory.
  • Knowledge of common causes and modes of transmission of communicable diseases and emerging pathogens of public health importance.
  • Knowledge of health and safety precautions and procedures required in a laboratory setting.
  • Knowledge of the standards and practice of Level 2 and 3 biosafety, applied research, program development and evaluation.

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSISTANT LABORATORIES DIRECTOR-ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORIES – KSAs

  • Knowledge of environmental and public health laboratory testing on issues related to analytical chemistry or environmental microbiology, including quality control and laboratory safety.
  • Knowledge of laws, rules and regulations governing the operation of an environmental, food and public health laboratory.
  • Knowledge of common causes and modes of transmission of illness and diseases related to heavy metals (e.g., lead), toxic chemicals, toxins, waterborne pathogens and food microbiology.
  • Knowledge of health and safety precautions and procedures required in a laboratory setting, including standards and practice of biosafety levels 2 and 3 in test method development, practice, evaluation and applied research.

BOTH POSITIONS – KSAs

  • Knowledge of laboratory management, including continuous process improvement methods.
  • Knowledge of and ability to work effectively with computer applications, including the LIMS, Specimen Management, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, and database.
  • Ability to apply mathematical operations to tasks.
  • Ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to practical problems.
  • Ability to provide leadership and direction to laboratory staff pertaining to administrative, quality assurance and public relations functions.
  • Critical thinking skills, including analytical and problem-solving skills, decision-making skills and sound judgment.
  • Ability to read, analyze, interpret and communicate the most complex technical, administrative and educational documents.
  • Ability to respond effectively to sensitive inquiries or complaints.
  • Ability to author effective, persuasive speeches, presentations and articles on complex scientific, regulatory and policy topics.
  • Ability to use original or innovative techniques to present complex topics, deliver persuasive speeches, write scientific articles, and present to varied audiences.
  • Ability to build and maintain good working relationships with a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary team, City officials and managers, community partners, academics, other agencies and institutions and the public.
  • Ability to foster an environment of diversity and inclusion wherein all employees are treated respectfully, are valued for their strengths, and feel that they can safely express themselves.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced team environment, remaining positive and poised under pressure and to handle sensitive situations diplomatically and professionally.
  • Planning and organizational skills to be able to handle multiple assignments simultaneously, adjust to changing priorities and complete assignments in a timely manner.
  • Professionalism, honesty, and integrity, as well as the ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Commitment to professional development and staying apprised of best practices in laboratory operations.
  • Commitment to the promotion of health and the prevention of disease.

Current Salary

BOTH POSITIONS

The current salary range (1JX) is $80,442-$112,627 annually, and the resident incentive salary range for City of Milwaukee residents is $82,855-$116,006 annually. Appointment above the minimum is possible based upon level of experience and other qualifications and is subject to approval.

The City of Milwaukee provides a comprehensive benefit program that includes the following:

  • Defined Benefit Pension Plan
  • 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Health and Dental Insurance
  • Comprehensive Wellness Program
  • Onsite Clinic Services
  • Onsite Employee Assistance Program
  • Alternative Work Schedules
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Tuition Benefits
  • Paid Vacation
  • 11 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick Leave and other paid leaves
  • Flexible Spending Arrangement
  • Commuter Value Pass

For full details of the benefits offered by the City of Milwaukee, please visit http://city.milwaukee.gov/Benefits

Selection Process

THE SELECTION PROCESS will be job related and will consist of one or more of the following: education and experience evaluation; written, oral, or performance tests, or other assessment methods. The Department of Employee Relations reserves the right to call only the most qualified candidates to oral and performance examinations. Oral examinations may include written exercises. Selection process component weights will be determined by further analysis of the job.

INITIAL FILING DATE - The examination will be held as soon as practical after Monday, December 7, 2020. Receipt of applications may be discontinued at any time after this date without prior notice. However, recruitment may continue until the needs of the City have been met. Qualified applicants will be notified of the date, time, and place of the examination. Unless otherwise required by law, the City of Milwaukee will not provide alternative test administration. The applicant is responsible for attending all phases of the job selection process at the time and place designated by the City of Milwaukee.

Additional Information

  • APPLICATIONS and further information may be accessed by visiting, http://city.milwaukee.gov/jobs.
  • If you would like assistance completing an application, please contact the Department of Employee Relations at (414) 286-3751 or staffinginfo@milwaukee.gov.
  • The Department of Employee Relations is located at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St., Room 706, Milwaukee, WI 53202.

Conclusion

EEO 102  

The City of Milwaukee values and encourages diversity and is an equal opportunity employer.