The Health Advocate builds working relationships, solves problems, and supports clients as they learn to navigate the health care system and self-care. Advocates serve as an entry point into care for clients getting tested for HIV, STIs and hepatitis C. They conduct testing, provide guidance and promote ongoing care according to test status. Health Advocates work a non-traditional schedule, both in and out of the agency, serving the community with education, counseling, testing and programmatic outreach. The position reports to the Director of Community Health and works closely with Allies staff.
To improve health and well-being, Allies provides integrated medical care, supportive human services, and community-based education for individuals living with, or at risk of HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections.
Allies envisions a healthier community whereby people access integrated medical care and supportive human services in a respectful setting, free of stigma and discrimination.
- Testing clients for HIV, STIs and hepatitis C
- Establish and build trust with clients
- Counseling clients about test results, treatment and prevention options, and resources available
- Assisting with options throughout treatment process by serving as an active liaison between clients and care providers
- Facilitates initial client appointments with care and supportive services professionals as well as reminders for follow up testing and care appointments regarding prevention services
- Participates in and assists with outreach efforts to establish and maintain positive relationships with the community and populations at high risk of infection, which would include distributing informational materials, condoms and lube, speaking in public, and offering testing and counseling in outreach settings
- Maintain updated client records with data, plans, notes, appropriate forms or related information
- Maintains paperwork and reports test results to appropriate person and/or agency and ships biological testing samples to appropriate labs
- Improve job knowledge by remaining aware of new regulations and best practices; participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities
Through a combination of experience and education, the Health Advocate will have:
- Extensive understanding of the services and programs offered as part of sexual health and disease prevention
- Strong understanding of HIV, STI, and hepatitis C virology
- Motivational interviewing techniques
- Harm reduction ideology and standards
- HIPAA and Act 148 standards
- Safety protocols associated with blood born pathogens and in handling testing agents including blood, urine and saliva
- Ability to write clearly, accurately and persuasively
- Basic computer knowledge in spreadsheets, word processing, electronic health records and Microsoft Outlook
- Prioritization and management of time-sensitive projects
- Strong customer service orientation and ability to work with diverse groups and special populations
- Ability to work varied schedules with rotating hours in diverse settings
- Ability to travel locally
A bachelor’s degree in health education, public health or a related degree, OR relevant work/life experience with the associated responsibilities is required.
Reliable transportation and ability to travel locally to outreach events is essential.
The Health Advocate will be called upon to engage in physical activity related to general office work including the capacity to lift 35 lbs. and stand or sit for extended periods. Current PA child abuse, PA criminal history, and federal criminal history clearances are required within the first 30 days of employment.