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Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board

Behavioral Health Epidemiologist

GPTEC – RAPID CITY, South Dakota
Department GPTEC
Employment Type Full-Time

The GPTEC Behavioral Health Epidemiologist will provide epidemiologic expertise on a broad range of activities concerned with the assessment, analysis, investigation and dissemination of behavioral health data from tribal and non-tribal sources. This position will oversee GPTCHB efforts to improve the quality of behavioral health data exchanged between various entities across the Great Plains region. This goal will be met through collaborative efforts with representatives from organizations within various sectors to evaluate AI/AN behavioral health data in existing surveillance systems. A major focus of this position will be to strengthen the existing infrastructure pertaining to opioid overdose surveillance. The Behavioral Health Epidemiologist reports directly to the Director of Science and Applied Informatics.

Essential Functions:

  • Use existing surveillance systems to collect, interpret and summarize behavioral health risk factor and health outcome data
  • Collaborate with Great Plains Area tribes, tribal organizations, Indian Health Service, criminal justice, and other groups to identify and prioritize needs in regional opioid surveillance
  • Identify data gaps related to the surveillance of opioid overdose and other drugs of abuse in the Great Plains Area
  • Develop data summaries and surveillance templates in support of monitoring and reporting AI/AN overdoses in Great Plains
  • Assist the Data Products Manager with the preparation of data products, issue briefs and technical reports on the use of data to reduce substance misuse and abuse in tribal communities
  • Participate in task forces, workgroups or committees to reduce substance use in the Great
  • Plains
  •  Provide technical support to GPTCHB staff, programs, partners, and IHS behavioral health
  • initiatives (for example, MSPI/DVPI grantees)
  • Support GPTEC efforts to evaluate the strengths and limitations of behavioral health
  • information systems used by tribal chemical dependency programs and other organizations
  • serving AI/AN clients and their families
  • Prepare program reports to funding agencies

Secondary Functions:

  • Perform quality assessments of behavioral health data sources as needed
  • Contribute subject matter expertise to the development of training and education materials
  • in behavioral health epidemiology for diverse audiences
  • Participate in data-driven public health response activities to behavioral health crises in the
  • Great Plains region
  • Promote the secure use and integration of administrative, clinical and public health data by
  • tribes and tribal organizations

Professional Behavior

  • Effectively plan, organize workload and schedule time to meet the demands of the position.
  • Work in a cooperative and professional manner with GPTCHB staff.
  • Treat Great Plains tribes and collaborators with dignity and respect.
  • Utilize effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Abide by the GPTCHB policies, procedures, and structure.
  • Advance personal educational development by attending training sessions and seminars as
  • appropriate.


  • Exemplify excellent customer service with tribal stakeholders, health board colleagues, program partners, service recipients, visitors, and guests.
  • Foster a work environment of wellness, courtesy, friendliness, helpfulness, and respect.
  • Relate well and work collaboratively with co-workers and all levels of staff in a professional manner.
  • Familiarity and/or experience working with the American Indian populations; respect for and knowledge of traditional, cultural and spiritual practices of diverse American Indian communities, as well as an ability to work with other racially, culturally and ethnically diverse populations.
  • Consistently demonstrate respect and acceptance toward differing capabilities, race, cultures, gender, age, sexual orientation and/or personalities.
  • Maintain and ensure organizational privacy and confidentiality.
  • Must be able to handle crisis and tolerate stress professionally.
  • Must be self-directed and take a proactive initiative to assist others.
  • Possess the ability to resolve problems with other departments and co-workers without direct supervision.
  • Able to exercise flexibility to alter plans/routines when situations require and continue to perform without projecting stress/frustration that would adversely affect the work environment.
  • Ability to maintain a flexible work schedule, including evenings, weekends and overnight or extended travel as necessary.
  • Ability to effectively present information in one-on-one and small group situations to community members, clients and other employees of the organization.
  • Proficiency with computer programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and other Internet technologies.
  • Valid driver’s license must be kept current; certificates, credentials or licenses must be kept current and consistent with regulations required by applicable Federal, State and/or grant regulations.
  • Ability to promote an alcohol, tobacco, and drug-free lifestyle.
  • Embrace modes appearance and attire which reflects a professional presence.
  • Adhere to GPTCHB policies and procedures.


  • Minimum education is a Master’s Degree in Public Health. One to three years of relevant experience preferred in mental health, chemical dependency, or behavioral health services
  • Must possess strong critical thinking skills
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and apply statistical procedures using software to answer critical questions using quantitative data
  • Familiarity with best practices and federal regulations for safeguarding individual privacy rights related to sharing health information (e.g., Data Sharing/Use agreements, HIPAA, 42 CFR 2)
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, and experience indicative of the ability to interact with a variety of tribal and other stakeholders
  • Computer and technical skills (including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, etc.)

Work Environment/Physical Demands

The characteristic demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, walk, sit and use hands to finger, handle or feel. The employee is often required to stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 25 pounds and frequently lift and/or move up to 50

pounds. The employee is occasionally exposed to outside weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Travel: Local and moderate out-of-town travel is required.


Employment is contingent upon the outcome of all required criminal background checks.

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  • Location
    RAPID CITY, South Dakota
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