Texas Health and Human Services - Medical Research Specialist, Austin, TX

Job Description:
Medical Research Specialist

Under the direct supervision of the Branch Director, manages Branch-related vital records data and files; participates in population-based epidemiologic research on birth defects and related conditions; extracts, manages and analyzes data from the Texas Birth Defects Registry (TBDR); assists with data quality analyses projects; assists with data linkages; and performs other duties as assigned.  
Essential Job Functions:
40% Manages vital records data in possession of the TBDR and received for surveillance and related purposes. Requests, receives, and maintains provisional and final (“stat-locked”) live birth, fetal death, and death data with a regular frequency. Carefully examines vital records data for obvious errors, changed field (variable) names or lengths, etc. Works with other staff to maintain/update data use agreements with Center for Health Statistics and the Vital Statistics Section. Manipulates/Manages received vital records data as needed for TBDR purposes. Forwards appropriate records/listings to regional and other staff for the purposes of approved case-finding (identification), surveillance, and research. Assists analytic staff with incorporating appropriate vital records elements into the TBDR. Ensures proper storage/retention of vital records/data in possession of the Branch.

20% Conducts or collaborates with others in the design, conduct, data analysis, interpretation, presentation, and publication of population-based epidemiologic research on birth defects and related conditions, including the areas of prevalence, outcomes, risk factors, impact, and mortality/survival. Works with other scientists within and outside DSHS to answer important questions and share findings.

15% Extracts, manages, and analyzes data from the Texas Birth Defects Registry for a variety of internal and external purposes. Examples of measures include prevalence, relative risk, mortality and survival, relative risk of death, health disparities, etc. Gathers data from a multiple data sources and performs transformation or pre-analytic processing as required. Uses software to carryout analysis according to established routine report criteria or ad hoc/project analysis plans. Develops data dashboards using SAS and Tableau. Prepares summary reports using Word, PowerPoint, and/or Excel. Develops knowledge of methods for analyzing data of birth defects and provides updates to Branch manager and others as needed. Provides technical assistance to internal and external partners related to data analysis using BDES data.

10% Assists with analyses and projects related to data quality. Reviews and evaluates Branch programs and research projects to ensure the highest quality of registry projects. Carries out tasks specifically related to completeness of facility discharge lists, miscoding of birth defects, and correction of errors in historical records.

10% Assists with linkages of the TBDR data with vital records, as well as statewide hospital discharge data and other databases. Maintains approval and the processes needed to carry that out (memoranda of understanding or data use agreements with other entities at DSHS/HHSC; IRB submissions).

5% Performs other duties as assigned, including literature searches and reviews, assistance with data/technical issues that arise in the Branch’s abstraction/data system, and activities related to emergency response and business continuity. May supervise the work of others.
Knowledge Skills Abilities:
Skill in SAS coding language

Skill in using data visualization software, with specific emphasis on Tableau software.

Skill in managing data in a relational database using SQL queries

Strong consultative abilities in identifying and recommending best practices

Prefer a doctoral degree in biostatistics, informatics, epidemiology, public health, or related discipline

Strong background in statistics and extensive experience conducting statistical analyses

Work experience in the public health field

Familiarity with medical terminology

Ability to handle multiple concurrent projects and services

Experience in the design, conduct, data analysis and interpretation and publication of research in the public health arena

Registration or Licensure Requirements:
Initial Selection Criteria:
Require 3+ years of work experience conducting statistical analyses.

Require 3+ years of experience with SAS programming and/or data analyses.

Require a Master’s degree or higher in biostatistics, epidemiology, public health, or a related discipline.
Additional Information:
Requisition # 463250
State-funded position  
MOS Code:
230X, 43BX
230X, 43BX  

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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.

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