Associate Service Fellowship in the Division of Health Care Statistics

Position and organization

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Division of Health Care Statistics, Ambulatory and Hospital Care Statistics Branch, located in Hyattsville, Maryland, is seeking a full-time Associate Service Fellow. As the nation’s principal health statistics agency, NCHS’ mission is to provide statistical information to guide actions and policies to improve the health of the American people. The Ambulatory and Hospital Care Statistics Branch conducts nationally representative surveys of hospital inpatient, emergency, and outpatient departments; ambulatory surgery centers; and office-based physicians. For more information, visit the National Health Care Surveys website.

Fellowship overview

NCHS and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have partnered to conduct the National Hospital Care Survey (NHCS). NHCS integrates three long-standing surveys, the National Hospital Discharge Survey and the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (both conducted by NCHS) and the Drug Abuse Warning Network (previously conducted by SAMHSA). The goal of NHCS is to provide reliable and timely health care utilization data for hospital-based settings. NHCS collects administrative claims data or electronic health record data for all inpatient discharges, emergency department (ED) visits, and outpatient department visits including ambulatory surgery from a sampled hospital.

The Fellow will analyze survey data and prepare statistical files and related documentation in support of the development and refinement of algorithms to identify substance- and mental illness-involved ED visits from NHCS data. The Fellow will plan a validation study with SAMHSA of the algorithms created. The Fellow will use natural language processing to identify and flag substance- and mental illness-involved ED visits documented in clinical notes and other text fields. The Fellow will also prepare written reports and publications.


This fellowship is open to all citizens of the United States or legal permanent residents with a work authorization. (Applicants are responsible for obtaining the necessary work authorization.) Applicants should have a master’s degree with 2 years of experience or a doctoral degree in health services research, statistics, survey methods, epidemiology, or a related social science or health field. Experience using SAS with large complex data sets and familiarity with natural language processing is required. In addition, applicants should have experience working with national surveys, especially surveys of health care providers, and understand survey design and weighting. Familiarity with electronic health record data and with medical coding (e.g., ICD–10–CM) is desirable. Strong analytical, writing, and interpersonal skills are essential.

Terms of appointment

The successful candidate will be offered an initial 24-month, full-time appointment, which may be extended by mutual agreement. An initial salary of $79,720–$123,234 will be offered, based on education and experience. Salary increases will be commensurate with performance. Fellows are eligible for annual and sick leave, Thrift Savings 401(k)-equivalent, and health and life insurance apply. A flexible work schedule may be arranged. Free onsite parking or a public transportation subsidy is available. The local subway station is within walking distance, and a free shuttle is available to and from the station.

Application process

Applications will be accepted through December 22, 2017. Interested applicants should submit a complete packet including a cover letter, curriculum vitae, official transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate credits (in sealed and signed envelopes), two reference letters (on official letterhead with original signatures), and a published or unpublished publication with the applicant as the sole author to Dr. Carol DeFrances at the mailing address below. Email submissions will be not accepted.  Inquiries or questions regarding this fellowship can be directed to cdefrances@cdc.govSelections will be made in January 2018.

Mailing address

Carol DeFrances, Ph.D.
Chief, Ambulatory and Hospital Care Statistics Branch
National Center for Health Statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
3311 Toledo Road, Cubicle Number 3482
Hyattsville, MD 20782

**CDC/NCHS is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, creed, color, age, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.**