Substance Abuse Prevention

Specialist VISTA

Position Description:

The Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist will be an essential member of the Washoe County Health District (WCHD) Chronic Disease Prevention Program (CDPP) team. This person will assist with developing and building program knowledge and infrastructure in areas of substance abuse. The primary duties and activities will be related to researching, and helping develop and implement a community-wide marketing outreach and education plan. Implementation of the plan will include outreach and education through a variety of platforms including in-person meetings, letters, social media, website content, and presentations. The VISTA member will receive guidance from the Health Educator at the WCHD and the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP) Project Coordinator at the Reno Police Department while engaging with a variety of community partners, leaders and decision makers.


The mission of the WCHD is to protect and enhance the well-being and quality of life for all in Washoe County. The CDPP focuses on empowering the community to live healthy lives through education, collaboration, policy and evaluation. CHD CDPP is part of the Reno Police Department’s COAP Action Group which strives to improve the health of the Truckee Meadows community by reducing the burden of opioid abuse.


Service Location: Reno, NV


Timeline for Service: March 18, 2019 to March 17, 2020


Primary Responsibilities

  • Research and compile a list of successful opioid-related media campaigns and prevention activities, with an emphasis on policies/systems/environmental change, that other communities have implemented 

  • Implement opioid related outreach with PSE focus

  • Serve on Reno Police Department’s COAP Action Group, focusing on helping plan and implement community-wide opioid prevention outreach and education

  • Research and write a brief report documenting assets and gaps in Washoe County related to Medication-Assisted Treatment and access to Naloxone

  • Assist Health Educator in initial tasks with insurances to promote alternative pain management therapies, when appropriate, for those experiencing chronic pain impacting their quality of life



  • Commitment to the mission and vision of the WCHD CDPP;

  • Bachelor’s degree;

  • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment;

  • Exceptional writing skills;

  • Strong communication skills;

  • Strong organizational skills;

  • High degree of initiative;

  • Ability to be productive, both independently and as part of a team;

  • Preferred: marketing, outreach and education experience; and

  • Preferred: Reading, writing, and speaking competency in Spanish language.


Other requirements of the WCHD if accepted into the position:

  • A valid driver’s license;

  • Fingerprints and background check;

  • TB test; and

  • Proof of immunizations.


AmeriCorps VISTA

The WCHD’s Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist VISTA is funded by the Corporations for National and Community Service and will serve within the AmeriCorps VISTA program. AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Each VISTA member makes a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. To learn more about the AmeriCorps programs visit



In return for their service, AmeriCorps VISTA members receive a modest living allowance of $1,026/month, 10 sick days, 10 personal days, and health benefits during their service. VISTA members also have the option of receiving a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $5,920 or post-service stipend of $1,800.00 after completing their service. A relocation travel allowance of no less than $550 may also apply if they are moving.  


To Apply

Send a cover letter and resume to

Applications are also accepted through Deadline for applications is February 8, 2019.

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