University Research Co., LLC (URC)
URC is a global company dedicated to improving the quality of health care, social services, and health education worldwide. With a non-profit affiliate, the Center for Human Services (CHS), URC manages projects in over 45 countries, including the United States.
Established in 1965, URC offers a range of technical assistance to strengthen health and social systems and service quality by empowering communities and health workers to identify and scale up locally appropriate solutions to critical problems. Internationally, we expand access to and improve the quality of services addressing maternal, newborn, and child health; infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria; reproductive health and family planning; food and nutrition; and vulnerable children and families. In the US, we focus on improving communication related to issues like substance abuse, with a particular focus on reaching underserved populations.
This cooperative agreement aims to strengthen laboratory capacity and quality to achieve and maintain HIV epidemic control in Malawi. The project activities include strengthening of referral testing and networking of laboratories, point of care testing (POCT), laboratory quality improvement initiatives, laboratory equipment and supply chain management, and laboratory information and data management systems. Support will focus on increasing access to diagnosis and monitoring services through implementation and scale-up of cost-effective technologies and overall quality improvement of services, which will contribute to increased quality and coverage of HIV/AIDS diagnosis and treatment services and increased confidence in the Malawi laboratory system.
Roles and Responsibilities:
The Laboratory Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Advisor will oversee all project activities related to laboratory QA/QI program, processes and materials, including supporting the national EQA programs for HIV/TB and molecular laboratories towards accreditation. Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:
- Provide leadership and technical assistance for quality management systems for laboratory HIV/TB and other related diagnostics and programs
- Develop and implement quality assurance and continuous quality improvement (CQI) initiatives to build laboratory capacity and quality with reference to accepted standards and requirements and provide TA to laboratories as part of overall capacity building and CQI programs
- Support enrollment of laboratories into SLMTA/SLIPTA program and provide technical support for the planning, conduct, and reporting of assessments, audits, and accreditation-ready inspections of molecular laboratories
- Assess molecular laboratories for proper quality infrastructure, equipment, power and proper backups, commodities and supplies
- Oversee project staff and laboratory management to implement and strengthen an intensified mentorship program to laboratory facilities and follow-up on needed corrective and preventive actions following audits
- Conduct onsite monitoring and supportive supervision visits of laboratories participating in EQA programs for HIV and TB testing (including HIV rapid test, VL, EID, TB, etc.) to review participation and performance and develop corrective and remedial plans for identified gaps.
- Identify quality improvement/quality assurance training and mentoring needs and conducting training as appropriate
- Work closely with Strategic Information Director to document and disseminate best practices, lessons learned, and innovations developed
Required and Preferred Qualifications:
- Minimum of a Masters Degree in a relevant field, such as public health, epidemiology, medicine, etc.
- At least 10 years of extensive experience in global health programs, particularly HIV/TB and/or laboratory strengthening programs, with 8 years working in quality improvement.
- Relevant technical experience in laboratory strengthening, quality management, capacity building, with preference for implementing SLMTA/SLIPTA programs and conducting and overseeing EQA programs and activities.
- Knowledge and prior work experience in the Southern African region on laboratory strengthening; experience in Malawi highly desirable.
- Strong critical-thinking, problem solving and decision-making capabilities.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Proven working knowledge and fluency in written and oral English.
For immediate consideration, please visit URC’s Career Opportunities page at www.urc-chs.com/careers.