The Harm Reduction Unit (HRU) provides fiscal, technical, and programmatic support to all 15 New York City’s syringe services programs (SSPs). This includes managing over $15M in funding, providing core harm reduction interventions, promoting best practices and innovative strategies to support people who use drugs, and funding and monitoring outreach and syringe litter teams and increased access drop-in centers. The HRU also educates both internal and external community partners about harm reduction theories, concepts, and practices, and produces harm reduction educational and training materials.
The Harm Reduction Director will oversee the growing work of the HRU, building, supporting, promoting, evaluating and monitoring internal and contracted harm reduction activities across the city.
Reporting to the Senior Director of Programs and Planning, the Director of the Harm Reduction Unit will, under general direction, with very wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgement and initiative:
• Study and evaluate literature on evidence-based syringe service programs and harm reduction interventions, maintain records and prepare reports on implementation of goals, and provide overall direction for the unit, ensuring alignment with Bureau and DOHMH goals.
• Supervise staff conducting investigations into and direct response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SSPs by monitoring and assessing data regarding SSP capacity to provide services, identifying and disseminating COVID-related resources, and use these research findings to advocate on behalf of SSPs at the bureau, divisional and agency level as well as with other city and state agencies. Write papers on research results.
• Collaborate with evaluation team on needs assessment and evaluation of unit activities including but not limited to, contracted activities, outreach and syringe litter (OSL), training and drop-in center (DIC) initiatives.
• Evaluate methods, procedures and data obtained by these investigations and produce reports on program success, gaps, and future directions for NYC.
• Collaborate with evaluation team to streamline and support data reporting procedures for contracted programs through eSHARE specification refinement, collaboration on indicators, and data collection tools and technical assistance.
• Supervise HRU staff of seven, providing oversight and programmatic support for training, OSL and DIC activities, and contract management and provision of technical assistance to SSPs in coordination with fiscal partner, Public Health Solutions.
• Assist in coordinating harm reduction research efforts with research projects lead by internal and external partners such as city and state viral hepatitis programs and the bureau’s Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Unit and the Rapid Assessment and Response team.
• Oversee and monitor expansion of syringe access services and programs for the substance using population and impacted communities, contract compliance issues and conceptualize and implement quality improvements projects with SSPs