Position Title: Navajo Nation Contact Tracing Caller
Reports to: Site Case Manager / Contact Tracing Program Supervisor
Position Type: Temporary Part-time; includes weekends and/or evenings.
In order to achieve full suppression of COVID-19 in Navajo Nation, one of the objectives of the Navajo Nation Public Health Operations is to contact every person with COVID-19 to notify them of their diagnosis and help them self-isolate, gather their contacts, and proceed to call every contact in Navajo Nation. Contact tracing is a critical pillar for controlling any communicable disease. In the context of COVID-19, contact tracing is a means of virtual accompaniment that achieves three important goals: stopping the spread of COVID by isolating cases and contacts; improving health outcomes by monitoring symptoms and connecting to care; and supporting wellbeing through social and emotional support. Contact Tracers are responsible for conducting initial case investigations, identifying and calling close contacts, and doing follow-up calls for both cases and contacts. All contact tracing staff will use an online App to help with caller assignments, data entry, and tracking patients over time.
The Navajo Nation Department of Health Public Health Operations has established the Navajo Nation Contact Tracing Center (NNCTC). This centralized team of contact tracers consists of a flexible workforce including part- and full-time workers, who play a critical role in supporting Navajo Site Teams (at health care facilities) by responding to requests for assistance from local “site teams” at health care facilities. NNCTC contact tracers are assigned to a site team, working under the daily supervision of the local site team’s COVID case managers. The Site Team Providers (e.g. Case Managers, Public Health Nurses) will be in charge of callers’ daily supervision and work assignments. Once the site team no longer needs extra help, NNCTC contact tracers may be assigned to another site.
The Caller will join a fast paced and dynamic team at COPE to expand contact tracing for COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation. COPE (Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment) is a Native-led non-profit entity 501(c)3 based in Gallup NM. COPE’s Vision is to eliminate health disparities and improve the wellbeing of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The three areas of strategic focus for COPE’s work are:
- Improve health care delivery to Native families through community-based outreach and health systems strengthening;
- Increasing access to healthy foods and promoting food sovereignty in tribal communities;
- Strengthening local capacity and partnerships to bring about system-level change.
Callers will report to local Case Managers and receive joint supervision from Case Managers (for clinical aspects) and Supervisors. The local Case Managers will be in charge of callers’ daily supervision and work assignments. Supervisors will be responsible for time sheets and scheduling, performance evaluation and quality assurance, and training and non-clinical supervision.
The Caller will use a web-based App (CommCare) to call all individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 and their contacts. The Caller will ask about symptoms, immediate needs (like food, masks, etc), refer them for testing according to established protocols, and provide them with instructions for quarantine. Callers are required to follow all scripts, policies and procedures provided by Navajo Nation, and comply with Navajo Nation Department of Health training regarding confidential information related to personal information. Callers must record all data accurately in the CommCare system. Callers may not provide any clinical or medical advice, even if they have medical training. The CommCare system and team support will allow the caller to report any issues that require immediate or non-urgent follow-up.
Callers must attend virtual team huddles with the site case manager on their shift days, frequent meetings with their Supervisors, and weekly refresher training sessions by the NNCTC.
All team members who are not already credentialed through Navajo Area Indian Health Services or Navajo Department of Health must register as a Contact Tracing volunteer and complete training requirements, before they can be activated.
Contact Tracing positions will be hired on a temporary basis for 3 months with the possibility for contract renewal contingent upon funding, staffing needs, and individual performance.
- Carry out case investigation, contact tracing, and follow-up calls.
- Communicate with contacts in a professional and empathetic manner.
- Collect and record information on symptoms into CommCare.
- Provide contacts with approved information about Navajo quarantine procedures, and if appropriate, refer them to testing according to protocol and/or to a Community Connector for social resources.
- Callers will follow the script to inform contacts about the importance of quarantine and what to do if symptoms develop. They are not permitted to deviate from the script or provide information that is not included in the script.
- May carry out other caller tasks and assignments, as directed.
- Maintain frequent communication with the Case Manager during shifts
- Ability to work remotely.
- Maintain HIPAA and data security compliance at all times
- Callers may be required to use their own telephone, computer and electronic equipment.
- Callers must have access to reliable internet and reliable cell phone reception. They will also need to have a private area to work where they can maintain confidentiality when making calls.
- Ability to exhibit a professional, positive attitude and work ethic
- Excellent interpersonal skills required and ability to interact professionally during a time of crisis and distress
- Ability to show empathy to distressed individuals
- High school diploma, or equivalent required
- Excellent organizational and communication skills
- Ability to speak, read, and write English
- Navajo language a plus
- Critical thinking and sound judgment required
- Ability to handle confidential information with discretion and professionalism
- Proficiency with computers
- Technology requirements:
- Laptop or Tablet with reliable high-speed internet connection
- Cell phone with reliable cell phone reception.
- Headset is preferred.
- Affiliation with Navajo Nation and/or familiarity with Navajo’s Chapters strongly preferred