COMMUNITY HEALTH COUNSELOR
The work involves responsibility for providing education and
counseling pertinent to a variety of community health issues
including, but not limited to, physical activity and nutrition,
HIV/AIDS, infant mortality
, and sexually
transmitted diseases in a variety of settings, which may include
clinics, schools and community agencies. The incumbent will also
assess social and environmental factors relating to specific health
issues and identify opportunities to improve health. This work will
be conducted primarily with populations that experience health
disparities based on race, ethnicity, age, sex and/or disability
status, as identified by the Onondaga County Community Health
Assessment. An employee in this class presents factual information
to the populations or peoples at risk for poor health outcomes, in
order to educate them about the relationship between social,
environmental and behavioral factors that increase the risk of
health issues and create inequity. Small group presentations may
also be conducted by the incumbent based on requests for information
or needs of community groups. Supervision is received from an
administrative superior depending on the unit or the location to
which assigned. Training will be provided based on specific job
duties, and topics may include education and outreach, risk factors
for disease, infection control measures or clinical skills, such as
phlebotomy. Depending on assignment, an employee in this class may
oversee the work of paraprofessional employees involved in program
activities. Certain assignments made to employees in this class
will require reasonable access to transportation to meet field work
requirements made in the ordinary course of business in a timely and
efficient manner. Does related work as required.
Elicits information through discussion with
clients related to health problems, which may include physical
activity and nutrition, HIV/AIDS, infant mortality, sexually
transmitted diseases and mental health or substance use disorders.
Information may also be obtained on specific health behaviors, such
as sexual history, drug or alcohol use, and nutrition and exercise
habits, as well as social determinants of health, such as access to
care, housing, transportation, violence, trauma, education and
Provides education in one-to-one settings or to groups of persons at risk of poor health outcomes.
Educates and counsels clients, based on information gathered about personal risk behaviors.
Educates and counsels clients and community partners in regard to cultural-specific attitudes and beliefs which may influence health behavior.
Educates and counsels clients and community partners on best practices for achieving optimal health.
Conducts visits in home, community or school settings in primarily underserved areas.
Utilizes cultural-specific knowledge to assess social and environmental determinants of health, including risks associated with substance use, coping ability, domestic violence and hardship.
Works with agencies and individuals to provide
assessment and evaluation leading to the development of policies and
plans that support healthy environments.
Uses cultural-specific clues to assess a client's social, emotional and mental well-being, and makes referrals as appropriate to social support agencies.
Works cooperatively with community agencies to identify at-risk populations and provide needed services.
Creates educational materials, utilizing principles of health literacy.
Performs outreach to underserved areas, including community centers, churches, recreation facilities and other locations to educate people on a variety of health-related issues.
Performs venipuncture, after training on this procedure, to draw blood for necessary testing.
Attends meetings, workshops and training courses to keep abreast of new information and developments, to exchange information on programs and cultural-specific approaches to successful health improvement efforts.
Participates on committees that support specific health topics.
Prepares written reports and documentation as necessary.
Works cooperatively with media to promote services and health education messages.
Identifies opportunity for quality improvement and participates in department efforts to improve programs and services.
Utilizes appropriate methods for interacting effectively and professionally with persons of all ages and from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, educational, racial and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, lifestyles and physical abilities.
Participates in public health preparedness activities as trained and assigned.
Good knowledge of the techniques and practices of education, counseling and support services.
Good knowledge of cultural norms associated with the diverse population of Onondaga County.
Good knowledge of the techniques and practices of risk reduction education related to specific health behaviors.
Good knowledge of interviewing techniques.
Good knowledge of health issues and the ability to make presentations to groups to discuss these health issues.
Good knowledge of factors associated with health inequity, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, substance abuse history, family violence, poverty or disability status.
Working knowledge of the social, medical, public health and human services agencies and resources available in the community.
Working knowledge of the techniques and practices for educating persons with a wide variety of formal educational attainment levels.
Working knowledge of behaviors and other risk factors for poor health outcomes.
Working knowledge of techniques and practices of substance abuse identification and preliminary intervention.
Working knowledge of crisis intervention techniques.
Ability to interview persons of diverse ethnic backgrounds and to establish friendly and cooperative relationships.
Ability to form cooperative relationships with community agencies that serve department clients.
Ability to prepare written material, such as case reports and correspondence.
Ability to understand and interpret written material.
Ability to provide effective advocacy.
A Four (4) years of paraprofessional or professional human services* work experience, or its part time equivalent, in a public or private human service agency providing services to clients from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds; or,
B Three (3) years of outreach work in a public or private human service agency, providing services to clients from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, which must have included home visits, referrals for support services and educating participants concerning program policies and goals.
* Human Services comprise those career fields in which practitioners help others to solve their physical or emotional problems or to meet their physical, emotional or mental needs, or to enhance their cultural, social, spiritual or physical conditions. Practitioners in this class are typically characterized by working with people on an individual or group basis. Responsibility for the custody or detention of individuals or for determining program eligibility is not considered qualifying experience.
EDUCATIONAL SUBSTITUTION: Successful completion of post-secondary education from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents to grant degrees with a concentration in sociology, social work, psychology, health education, nursing, counseling, human services or a closely related field may be substituted on a year for year basis for up to three (3) years of the required work experience. Thirty (30) semester credit hours is equivalent to one (1) year of work experience. In all cases, candidates must have at least a minimum of one (1) year of work experience as defined in (A).