SFS creates transformative study abroad experiences through field-based learning and research. Our educational programs explore the human and ecological dimensions of the complex environmental problems faced by our local partners, contributing to sustainable solutions in the places where we live and work. The SFS community is part of a growing network of individuals and institutions committed to environmental stewardship.
The health and safety of our students is of utmost importance to us. While safety can never be guaranteed, SFS has robust safety systems in place and is known in the industry for having a diligent approach to risk assessment, mitigation, and management to protect and enhance the student experience.
The Director of Student Health and Wellness (DSHW) oversees the physical and mental health and wellness of SFS’s student body and advises on safety and risk mitigation to support program delivery. The DSHW will work directly with Center Directors at SFS’s field stations, assist in emergency situations, and deliver training on SFS policies and risk management best practices.
Reports To: Vice President of Global Operations & Risk Management
Key responsibilities include:
Health & Wellness Oversight
Maintain regular communication with international staff regarding student health issues – including physical, mental, and emotional support – and make recommendations to improve outcomes.
Oversee and manage SFS’s internal incident reporting system and follow up on reports as appropriate, and coordinate follow-up with appropriate departments.
Serve as the primary point of contact during medical emergencies and, when necessary, liaise directly with SFS’s emergency evacuation provider to coordinate care or evacuation. Assist with the annual review, adjustment of benefits, and renewal of the SFS emergency evacuation insurance program.
Manage SFS’s 24-hour emergency hotline. Participate in a rotating 24/7 response team that responds to critical medical incidents and be available to assist in the event of health emergencies.
In coordination with the Office of Institutional Relations, communicate with sending schools and emergency contacts, parents/guardians, regarding medical events, as appropriate.
As a participant in the enrollment process, the DSHW will oversee the medical review process for students applying to SFS programs. Liaise with the Office of Academic Affairs regarding reasonable accommodation requests.
Regularly review and provide updates for admissions materials, program descriptions, packing lists, pre-departure materials, the SFS Policies & Procedures Manual, and specific Center Field Guides to ensure students have the most accurate information.
Serve as primary liaison between SFS and its remote mental health service provider. Make field staff and students aware of this program and take initiative to increase utilization.
In coordination with Center Directors and the VP of Global Operations and Risk Management, regularly review and assist with updating SFS’s Risk Assessment and Management Plans (RAMPs) for each center. Maintain intimate familiarity with all center contingency plans as outlined in the RAMPs. Periodically review Risk Management Plans (RMPs) prior to field trips and excursions and advise on areas for improvement.
Conduct periodic site visits to SFS centers to review health, and wellness policies and procedures and conduct trainings. Visit and review local, national, and international medical facilities to understand local treatment options and capabilities.
Maintain inventory of safety equipment, supplies, satellite phones, and GPS units at each center. Ensure all items are functioning and service plans turned on. Verify status of medicines maintained at centers and assist with restocking supplies and procurement, as necessary.
Global Risk Monitoring
Continuously review and monitor global events from a variety of sources and assess potential impacts to SFS programming. Keep SFS senior leadership and center staff updated on unfolding events and participate in formulating and implementing response plans.
Monitor CDC, State Department, OSAC, and WHO country advisories and advise on adjustments to SFS policies and procedures accordingly. Communicate with sending institutions regarding SFS’s response to global events in coordination with the Office of Institutional Relations.
Join professional organizations, network with peer risk management professionals, and periodically attend risk management conferences to ensure SFS policies and procedures are in alignment with the norms and best practices of international education & study abroad, FORUM Standards of Good Practice, US higher education, and the outdoor experiential education industry.
Education, Training, and Training of Trainers
Assist with recruitment, hiring, and training of field staff serving in health and wellness positions.
Work collaboratively with the Institutional Relations and Admissions team to develop and assist with delivery of pre-departure orientations to new students.
Develop and facilitate workshops and internal trainings for SFS staff related to SFS policies, health and wellness, safety and risk management, and best practices in study abroad.
Review SFS policies and procedures with Center Directors and co-develop a culture and institutional philosophy around safety, health and wellness, and risk management. Support Center Directors in their efforts to train local staff and identify training and professional development opportunities for them.
As needed, contract with third-party trainers to deliver risk management and safety programs to SFS staff. Specialized trainings might include: Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA), Wilderness First Responder (WFR), First Aid Certification courses, food handling and kitchen safety courses, mental health support, harassment and assault trainings, etc.
At the conclusion of each program, participate in a review of student evaluations with the Vice President of Global Operations and Risk Management to identify areas for program & operational improvement.
Assist with review and updating of institutional policies. Proactively draft new policies for review as needed.
Serve on SFS’s Diversity and Inclusion working group. Coordinate regular meetings, bring forth proposals for consideration. Assist with implementation.
Master's degree in international education, public health, risk management, higher education, student affairs, or a closely related field
Valid and up to date Wilderness First Responder certification
Experience working internationally, preferably in the field of student affairs working with US undergraduate students in the context of international education or study abroad. Or, similar work experience supporting student affairs in a field-based experiential learning context.
Experience with training on policies and procedures, and leading/facilitating with groups
Available to travel several times yearly and thrive in remote and urban environments
Excellent and proactive communicator
Background Check: A criminal background check is required for all SFS employees
Motor Vehicle Record: Applicant must have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.
Primary Work Location: Beverly, Massachusetts
Start Date: Negotiable, preferred early to mid-August 2021
Salary: Competitive annual salary depending on experience and qualifications, plus competitive benefits package.
SFS was founded with the belief that stewardship of our planet is the responsibility of people all around the world. Addressing complex global issues requires the active inclusion of stakeholders with varying perspectives and identities. We recognize that to successfully address threats to our natural world, we must look beyond social constructs that divide us. Just as we value biodiversity in all of its forms, we value and engage with a multitude of diverse perspectives and people in the countries where we work and the students and staff we serve.
SFS is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, creed, caste, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetics, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, national origin or ancestry, ethnic origin, or veteran status.