Health Resources in Action, Inc. Information and Referral Specialist Position Announcement May 2015

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Health Resources in Action, Inc.

Information and Referral Specialist


About Health Resources in Action:

Health Resources in Action, Inc. (HRiA), a nonprofit public health and medical research funding organization based in Boston, Massachusetts has a mission to help people live healthier lives and build healthier communities through prevention, health promotion, policy, and research. HRiA works with a diverse group of clients across the country to address some of the most critical public health issues using innovative and evidence-based approaches to improve population health. Our clients/funders include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, state and local public health departments, hospitals, and private/corporate philanthropic entities.

Since its founding in 1957, HRiA has been at the forefront of public health, leading the way to promote healthier and more vibrant communities. Our work recognizes the impact of social, economic, and racial factors on health outcomes.

The Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline provides free and confidential information and referrals for alcohol and other drug abuse problems and related concerns. The Helpline is committed to linking consumers with comprehensive, accurate, and current information about treatment and prevention services throughout Massachusetts.



We are searching for an Information and Referral Specialist for the Massachusetts Substance Abuse Helpline who can build rapport with callers, elicit relevant information, effectively communicate via phone, gather and record data, accurately assess callers’ needs and appropriately motivate callers to follow through with referrals. Hours for this position are flexible.

Position Description:

The Helpline Information and Referral Specialist is responsible for screening callers to determine their needs and characteristics, and to refer and link them to available resources within the community. The Information and Referral Specialist provides accurate information, education, support and referrals in a non-judgmental and respectful manner. This is a temporary full time, non-exempt position that will run for around 3 months.

Duties and Responsibilities:

 Reliably staff the Helpline as scheduled.

 Work in a fast paced, high stress environment.

 Establish rapport with callers.

 Gather and record data from callers.

 Screen for intoxication, withdrawal symptoms, social, medical, psychological problems.

 Assist callers in identifying impact of substance use on current and potential problems.

 Assess callers’ readiness for change and treatment.

 Engage and assist callers using motivational interviewing techniques.

 Determine with caller appropriate treatment and related options.

 Verify caller’s insurance status, as applicable.

 Provide appropriate information and referrals to callers, based on their needs, including insurance status.

 Support and motivate callers to follow through on referrals.

 Complete initial training and participate in periodic in-service trainings.


Candidate Qualifications:

 Certified Information and Referral Specialist or preferred or willingness to obtain certification

 BS in Psychology or related field with at least two years of experience; in lieu of BS, at least six years of professional experience. .

 Experience working in information and referral, customer service, counseling, substance abuse, and/or human services required.

 Ability to work in a fast paced, high stress environment.

 Customer/client focused with good computer skills and excellent interpersonal skills.

 Openness to information that may be different from personal views.

 Willingness to work with callers who may be ambivalent, resistant, impaired or have psychological disorders.

 Ability to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

 High ethical standard and ability to comply with all professional expectations.

 Ability to communicate clearly and effectively on the phone.

 Previous experience with or willingness to learn to use computer for data recording and database searching.

 Demonstrated history of dependability.

 Bilingual (Spanish/English) preferred.

 One year of sobriety requested for people in recovery.


Procedure for Candidacy:

Diversity in organizational practices is a core value of HRiA resulting in culturally competent services, materials, resources, and programs. Our hiring and business practices appreciate the strengths offered through different backgrounds.

To apply, submit your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements online at



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