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What's in the Job of Vital Statistics Registrar?

Posted by on in Legislation Massachusetts
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On April 16, 2013, published a help wanted notice for a Registrar of Vital Records and Statistics Administrator VIII for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was a day shift job with a salary range from $48,478.04 to $118,278.12 per year at a facility at 150 Mt. Vernon Street, Dorchester. Yes, the job at the top of the Department of Vital Records and Statistics was vacant. Early in June our previous registrar, Stan Nyberg, was awarded a lifetime membership in the National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems to recognize his retirement.

Quoting from the posting, here are the job requirements:

1. Seven - ten years of managerial experience, at least three - five years of which is in health care administration, public health, public administration or business operations.
2. Masters or doctoral level education in a relevant discipline, i.e., Public Health, Public Administration, Health Care Administration or Business Administration.

3. Demonstrated ability to lead a team and build consensus.
4. Demonstrated experience in program management; specifically, communicating goals to stakeholders and staff, developing and implementing operational plans, establishing project timelines and project budget.
5. Demonstrated experience in leading, motivating, managing and evaluating the performance of professional, technical and administrative staff.
6. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing; experience presenting to large and diverse groups, including technical trainings.
7. Experience in data analysis, presentation and report writing. Understanding of descriptive statistics a plus.
8. Experience in managing operations and analyzing systems reliant upon large databases and large volumes of records. Knowledge of records management, medical record keeping or business reengineering a plus.
9. Understanding public policy related to any of the following is a plus: vital records, public health issues, the health care delivery system. Experience using data to explain major public health and health policy issues a plus.
10. Extensive knowledge of the principles of management and managerial experience.

The job applications are in and the notice has been removed. The week of June 10th is when the interviews took place in Boston.

Perhaps your eyes caught what types of experience might be a "plus" for this Information Technology-rich job, "any of the following is a plus: vital records, public health issues, the health care delivery system." Just what are the functions that the Vital Statistics Registrar performs?

There are two functions: civil registration and public health statistics. Once upon a time, the job reported to the Commonwealth's Secretary of State and focused on civil registration (births, marriages and deaths). Several dozen years ago, the job was transferred to report to the Department of Public Health, where it as fully integrated into the health statistics reporting system.

When we learn of the identity of our new registrar, we'll let you all know.



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Barbara serves as the Federal Records Director. She is a Board-certified genealogist who works for the Massachusetts Society of the Colonial Dames of America as a Verifying Genealogist and for the Welles Family Association as a Genealogist. Her volunteer service includes a stint as President of MGC. She holds a master’s degree in the management of non-profits from the Florence Heller School at Brandeis University. You can read her own blog, The Demanding Genealogist, at


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