Community Health Counselor

SUMMARY:

The responsibilities of the Community Health Counselor are to provide HIV, Hepatitis and STI Counseling, Testing and Referral.   He/She also provides patient navigation to patients who are prescribed Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and for those who are being treated for Hepatitis C (HCV).  In addition, He/She provides Syringe Access services.    He/She provides services to clients, within an integrated team model, at all LCHC medical sites/teams, at identified testing sites and in the community.   The Community Health Counselor provides educational outreach in the community regarding HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and STIs and participates in all appropriate DPH and LCHC trainings and meetings to assure that client and community encounters occur in a culturally sensitive, clinically accurate and bias neutral manner.  

SPECIFIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Counseling and Testing:

  • Provide testing and pre and post HIV/Hepatitis and STI risk assessment.   
  • Document accurately and in a timely manner all pre, post and comprehensive counseling therapy sessions.
  • Refer all clients with HIV positive status, and all patients with Hepatitis positive screening results to medical and social case management services.
  • Work in conjunction with all Community Programs team members and medical providers to facilitate a team approach to care and support of LCHC clients.
  • Maintain accurate counseling records to facilitate data and tracking requirements necessary for scheduled reporting to funding sources.
  • Work with C&T team members to help facilitate an 85% return rate.
  • Attend monthly Community Programs staff meetings and monthly counseling and testing supervision.
  • Participate at outreach events providing HIV, hepatitis and/or STI counseling, testing and/or referrals.
  • Attend related trainings.

PrEP/HCV Navigation

  • Support the provision of coordinated medical and integrated behavioral services for patients who are prescribed PrEP or who are being treated for HCV.
  • Utilize program criteria to foster timely patient access, clinical assessment and lab testing.
  • Promote patient understanding and utilization of LCHC services.
  • Facilitate patient care by scheduling appointments, tracking appointments and following up on no-shows.
  • Keep logs and data on patients as required by funding source.
  • Assist with health insurance requirements such as completion of prior authorization forms.
  • Facilitate linkage to care for patient’s medical and diagnostic appointments
  • Facilitate access to the LCHC Enrollment department to obtain insurance and continuation of coverage.
  • Follow up with patients and pharmacy when necessary to coordinate and support medication adherence.
  • Accompany patient to the Lab on their first draw and track subsequent appointments.

Syringe Services

  • Exchange and distribute syringes and supplies related to drug injection following LCHC protocols for handling biohazardous materials.
  • Offer and provide counseling and testing services.
  • Offer and provide referral to substance use programming including warm hand off to LCHC complex addiction team.
  • Facilitate access to LCHC Enrollment Department when indicated or requested by the patient.

Family Planning:

  • Provide family planning counseling options using LCHC protocols.
  • Provide HIV & STI prevention information to all family planning patients.
  • Complete FPER for all family planning visits.
  • Perform pregnancy tests and other POCT and record results accurately.
  • Answer and triage family planning phone calls, seeking advice from nurse or provider as necessary.
  • Book initial and follow up appointments for family planning clients.
  • Participate in pre-visit planning per team protocol.

Other:

  • Attend department meetings, LCHC meetings as well as BID meetings as required by funding source(s).
  • Other duties as necessary related to the support and care of HIV/HCV/PrEP clients.

Grant Supported Responsibilities:

This position is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Infectious Diseases, Office of HIV/AIDS.

  • Deliver HIV/Hepatitis/STI behavioral risk assessment and risk reduction planning.
  • Assist patient to develop a risk reduction plan.
  • Assess client’s readiness, confidence and priority to make behavior change.
  • Provide risk reduction options and assess how realistic they are for client.
  • Offer demonstrations of condom use and bleach cleaning, as appropriate.
  • Provide supplies as needed.
  • Make and facilitate appropriate referrals, if needed.
  • Provide PrEP and HCV patient navigation.
  • Provide Syringe Access Services and substance use referrals when needed.

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE:

  • Demonstrates an understanding of customer service principles by successfully completing on line training.
  • Utilizes the principles of customer service when interacting with patients/clients, team members and staff from other departments.
  • Appropriately handles or seeks support when customer service breakdowns occur.

CULTURAL COMPETENCE:

 

  • Demonstrates awareness of culture by successfully completing the on-line training on Cultural Competence.
  • Utilizes an appreciation of and respect for diversity when interacting with patients/clients, team members and staff from other departments.
  • Responds appropriately or seeks support when confronted with cultural biases or conflicts.

EMERGENCY SITUATIONS:

  • Is aware that in order to respond promptly and appropriately to emergency situations, any staff member may be assigned to duties which differ from those in the job description or may be assigned temporarily to a different location.
  • Understands that all staff should have a Personal Emergency Plan in place to best respond to his/her job responsibilities should a health center emergency arise.

Requirements

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • History of good attendance and positive work attitude required.
  • Two years experience with HIV or underserved populations preferred.
  • Medical Assistant Training preferred.
  • Employee must attend assigned HIV/Hepatitis/STI trainings.
  • Phlebotomy skills preferred and required within 12 months of employment.
  • Family Planning skills preferred.
  • Substance Use training preferred.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • The essential duties of this position may present risk of exposure to airborne infection, body fluids, and blood borne pathogens.  Annual BBP Training is required. 
  • Up to date immunization and annual TB testing is required. 
  • Hepatitis B vaccine and annual flu immunization are strongly recommended. 
  • All necessary vaccines are available at no charge at the health center.  A declination form must be signed if Hepatitis B or other recommended vaccines are declined.
  • Results of inquiry to Criminal Offender Record Investigation (CORI) must be acceptable under health center standards

Lynn Community Health Center (LCHC) provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, LCHC complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, and transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training. LCHC expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of LCHC’s employees to perform their job duties may result in discipline up to and including discharge. 

Job Posting ID # 18-013

Hours

Full-Time