FAQs: Hiring, Process Behind PIH's Efforts in MA COVID Response

PIH teams respond to questions about job eligibility, the hiring process, contact tracing, and more, regarding the new Community Tracing Collaborative.  

Posted on Apr 16, 2020

Dr. Joia Mukherjee announces partnership at the State House
Dr. Joia Mukherjee, Partners In Health’s chief medical officer, speaks at the State House launch of the Community Tracing Collaborative, with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker looking on. Photo courtesy of MA Governor's Office

Interest from the public has boomed since Partners In Health announced last week that it is joining the state of Massachusetts’ COVID-19 response, by implementing a contact tracing initiative in collaboration with the office of Gov. Charlie Baker that will require hiring nearly 1,000 additional staff.

The Massachusetts COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) is designed to not just flatten the curve, but bend the curve downward to more rapidly reduce the number of cases in Massachusetts.

The CTC is a partnership of four groups: MA COVID-19 Command Center, Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority (CCA), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and PIH.

PIH is hiring contact tracers, resource coordinators, and case investigators to reach out to those individuals who have been in touch with COVID-19 patients, counsel them on testing and quarantine, refer them for testing, and connect them to necessary resources throughout their quarantine. This is in tandem with statewide efforts to increase testing, improve communication, and implement isolation and quarantine.

As that hiring process begins this week, PIH teams are doing all they can to answer questions and provide additional information. As part of that effort, here are some of the most common inquiries related to hiring and contact tracing, with responses from PIH’s human resources department, Community Tracing Collaborative leaders, and more.

PIH will update this list frequently to provide the most current information. Job descriptions and hiring links are available online. 

Hiring/Job Details 

Are these full-time or part-time positions?

Full-time is preferred.

How much do they pay?

Compensation will depend on the position. Contact tracers, for example, will receive $27 per hour.

When will interviewing start?

Interviews are starting this week, which began Monday, April 6.

I submitted an application, but I didn't get any kind of confirmation email. Was my application received?

Someone will follow up as soon as possible. We've seen very strong interest, and have received several thousand applications.

Are you eligible for this position if you're from out of state?

Everyone can apply. However, Massachusetts residents with knowledge of state communities and geography are preferred.

Will there be limited volunteer positions available for those that want to help out in their spare time?

Not at this time.

Is an iPad sufficient for new employees to use?

Unfortunately, no. The job description includes specific requirements for computer technology, including: PC with Windows 10, Antivirus Protection: Windows Defender and Windows Firewall; or Mac with Apple OS X 10.13, Antivirus Protection: Sophos; and a personal mobile device to use for this job. A headset also is preferred.

What is a good email address for Contact Tracers to reach out to if they have questions about their position?

Contact Tracers can email HRHelp@pih.org with their questions. 

Can an international student, in the U.S. on an F1 visa, apply for a position?

They would need to consult with an immigration attorney. Unfortunately, PIH cannot give legal advice.

COVID-19 Information

When should people expect to start receiving notifications or phone calls about possible contact with COVID-19?

The MA COVID Team started making calls to individuals and contacts on April 11, and will continue to grow its staff to meet the needs of the state.

I tested positive for COVID-19 or recently exhibited symptoms. What additional resources are there, if I have not yet heard from a contact tracer on the MA COVID Team? 

Local boards of health across Massachusetts are responsible for contact tracing in their areas.

People who believe they might have COVID-19 can reach out to their local boards of health, or call 211, the state's non-emergency assistance line. If there is an immediate medical concern, please call your health care provider, if you have one. In emergencies, call 911.

What kinds of social support will be provided to people who need to quarantine?

The MA COVID Team will work to assess the needs of individuals and families and connect them to community, local, and state services.   

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