Hep C Navigator
Reports to: NYHRE Director of Syringe Access and Program Innovation and HCV Project Director
Status: Full time (100%)
Location: 104 E 126th St, New York, NY 10035, USA
Work Environment: This position operates both in the office and in the field and links people to the NYHRE Hub Clinic for HCV care in real time. NYHRE’s work environment entails syringe services, a drop-in center, a drug user clinic, as well as administrative/office space.
From its activist beginnings as an underground needle exchange, New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE) is now New York’s largest syringe exchange program, serving over 4,000 low-income drug users and street-based sex workers each year in the Bronx and East Harlem using a unique street-side, low-threshold model. Rooted in social and economic justice, NYHRE provides integrated educational, supportive, and substance use services in a non-coercive, grass roots manner that helps participants empower themselves, improve the quality of their lives, and have a positive impact on our communities. All activities are designed to advance NYHRE’s service model, which is based on educating and empowering individuals to advocate for themselves and make self-identified changes in their lives.
This position is for Hep C Navigation and is responsible for providing Hep C testing, along with navigation and linking to services and treatment, consistent with a new innovative HCV care and treatment model. The Navigator position will work both in-house and on mobile vans, conducting outreach, providing HCV testing, counseling, linkage to medical care and providing assistance with educational interventions. All activities are designed to be consistent with NYHRE’s service model, which is based on educating and empowering individuals to advocate for themselves and make self-identified changes in their lives.
· Perform outreach activities and HCV prevention education, and recruit high-risk, hard to reach injection drug users, other drug users, and sex workers.
· Conduct HCV rapid testing, counseling, a needs assessment and linkage to a HCV initial medical visit. Provide HCV education and targeted reinfection prevention efforts on a one to one basis with participants, as well as in a group setting.
· Connect participants to HCV primary medical care and supportive services at the NYHRE Health Hub to facilitate the treatment of HCV and assist participants in achieving an “undetectable” viral load by encouraging medication adherence.
· Assist with health insurance enrollment, changes and support.
· The position will have a key data collection role. The HCV Navigator will keep accurate, consistent, complete and intelligible records and data on all the project activities and/ or participants.
· Assist the Hep C Project Director and Team with paperwork and patient tracking efforts to reduce lost to follow up individuals.
· In a manner consistent with Harm Reduction principles, conduct sexual risk assessments and discuss individualized risk reduction and harm reduction strategies (including HCV, sexually transmitted infections, safer sex practices, PrEP and PEP, overdose prevention, and other topics relevant to people who use drugs.)
· Maintain a friendly, welcoming atmosphere at all testing sites, including crisis intervention and conflict resolution between participants.
· Solicit and track feedback from participants to ensure that the agencies to which we refer are effective and treat participants with respect and in a manner appropriate to harm reduction programs.
· Maintain a professional working relationship with the health care providers and community agencies providing services to participants, include Health Hub clinic providers.
· Engage in dialogue with participants and other stakeholders to continually improve our services and ensure that NYHRE is providing the high quality, culturally aware services at all times.
· Conduct community outreach to foster good community relations, educate about program services and assess need.
· Advocate for NYHRE participants and our communities and empower participants to advocate for themselves.
· Other duties as assigned by the HCV Project Director and NYHRE Program Director.
Requirements and Experience:
· The Peer Navigator is a compassionate person with an active interest in harm reduction, HCV testing, syringe exchange, and/ or social justice as it pertains to individuals who use drugs or who engage in sex work.
· Significant life experience in the areas of substance use, sex work, HIV and HCV prevention preferred. Extensive knowledge and experience in the areas of safer injection techniques and overdose prevention, HCV prevention and treatment a must. Knowledge of the Bronx and East Harlem IDU/ substance use communities preferred.
· Must be dedicated to advancing an agenda of equal rights and social justice for low-income people who use drugs, especially women of color through activism and political participation.
· Must be committed to advancing an anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic agenda.
· Must be an organized, self-motivated team-player, with strong interpersonal and communication skills, basic computer skills and the ability and willingness to be hands-on and solve problems as they arise.
· Must be committed to the principles of Harm Reduction and to working with low-income people who use drugs and who are sex workers.
· Must be willing to work outdoors at our street sites (sometimes in inclement weather) and conduct intensive outreach. Hours may include nights (Friday and/or Saturday).
· Bilingual (Spanish) preferred.