Lead Substance Use Navigator (Department of Emergency Medicine)

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • May 22, 2024
Full time Health & Medical Services

Job Description


Lead Substance Use Navigator (Department of Emergency Medicine)

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Large Employers in 2023.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Lead Substance Use Navigator (Department of Emergency Medicine)

Job Profile Title
Clinical Research Coordinator C

Job Description Summary
This full-time position is for a lead Substance Use Navigator (SUN) who will be a core member of a collaborative care team. The team includes Penn Medicine on Demand clinicians (PMOD), the PI and CO PI, program manager, and CRS Director. The lead SUN will be part of a partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health project expanding low barrier buprenorphine treatment access via a Warmline. This individual will rapidly connect patients with opioid use disorder to a PMOD clinician, and community follow up care. This individual will be involved in a number of projects and grant-based programming, all relating to expanding and supporting services related to increasing access to substance use disorder treatment and resources within the Penn system and greater community. This person will develop relationships with community groups/agencies in partnership with others in the agency. The lead SUN will be responsible for updating and expanding resources within Penn and with community practices (communities of recovery, educational, vocational, social, cultural, spiritual resources, mutual self- help groups, professional services, etc.). This will involve a collaborative effort including the recovering person, agency staff and other relevant stakeholders. The lead SUN will be responsible for managing their own caseload of patients by providing patients with recovery education and by providing a model for both people in recovery and staff by demonstrating that recovery is possible. This individual will maintain contact either in-person, by phone or e-mail with the recovering person once they are connected with care and throughout the intervention to ensure ongoing success and to provide re-engagement support in partnership with others in the agency if needed. This individual will assist the recovering person to identify their personal interests, goals, strengths and weaknesses regarding recovery and link them to needed resources. This position will also entail liaising closely with substance use navigators and project managers to support the day-to-day tasks of supervising substance use navigators and our buprenorphine telemedicine bridge clinic. The lead SUN will also be tasked with providing on-demand support and technical assistance. The lead SUN will also help patients identify barriers to accessing care to assist in recovery-related activities and develop strategies to overcome those barriers. The target population are individuals with opioid use disorders and in need of buprenorphine access.

Job Description

Job Responsibilities

  • Establish and maintain relationships with targeted organizations and utilize those relationships to strategically implement the continued care model, placing patients into longitudinal treatment within the community.
  • Maintain a vast understanding of multiple pathways to wellness including harm reduction and harm reduction resources i.e. syringe exchange, naloxone, fentanyl test strips etc.
  • Accurate documentation of encounters in data collection system and the electronic medical record.
  • Patient engagement both in person and virtually to ensure navigation to appropriate community resources, support, and follow up i.e. communities of recovery, MOUD, educational, vocational, social, cultural, spiritual resources, mutual self- help groups, professional services, etc. that support the recovering person's goals and interests. This will involve a collaborative effort including the recovering person, agency staff and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Provide recovery education for every phase of the recovery journey from pre-recovery engagement, recovery initiation, recovery stabilization, and sustained recovery maintenance.
  • Understanding of the Philadelphia treatment system, evidence-based care for opiate use disorder (MOUD/buprenorphine) and navigating a patient through the various barrier and options.
  • Virtual support for patient's initial call to engage in substance use care, immediate connection to resources, assessment of patient's needs, support and follow up.
  • Facilitation of appointments for patient's community buprenorphine care.
  • Supporting the onboarding, training, and day-to-day workflow of the SUN team, to include administrative tasks and data management using Redcap
  • Supervising SUNs, which will include mentoring, coaching and leading weekly meetings to maintain proper coverage and in-office support

Position contingent upon funding.


  • Bachelor of Science and 4 to 5 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience is required. Must have prior substance use experience and knowledge of available resources.
  • Ability to work in person in Philadelphia area up to 5 days/week on site.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively in a team setting
  • Ability to quickly assimilate new information in a fast-paced work environment with enthusiasm
  • Well organized and demonstrates skill in prioritizing competing job duties.
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Ability to utilize computer software (Word, Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint, Canva) and website updates in Wordpress
  • Bilingual: English and Spanish preferred
  • Special interest in those who have previous experience working in underserved communities

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Perelman School of Medicine

Pay Range
$51,824.00 - $63,000.00 Annual Rate
Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits

  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

To learn more, please visit: https://www.hr.upenn.edu/PennHR/benefits-pay

To apply, visit https://wd1.myworkdaysite.com/en-US/recruiting/upenn/careers-at-penn/job/Presbyterian-Medical-Center/Lead-Substance-Use-Navigator--Department-of-Emergency-Medicine-_JR00090171-1

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