Virginia Department of Health Reviews

Updated March 24, 2015
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  1. Depends on your Supervisor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in Richmond, VA

    I worked at Virginia Department of Health part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Had a great supervisor, he communicated with me clearly and frequently. He gave me increasingly challenging and independent work as I learned.

    Cons

    State organization, so paperwork and bureaucracy got tiresome. As a part time employee I was limited to 1500 hours of work per year, which was not so bad considering I only worked there 9 months on a temporary assignment, but would be frustrating otherwise.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put some time into communicating with those directly under you, and suggest that they do the same.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2. At best a compromise... a very frustrating compromise.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Virginia Department of Health full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits are typically very above average in totality (vacation, holidays, personal time, retirement, etc...). Few private party positions provide the amount of work/life balance in terms of time off.
    Pay can be hit or miss. Your initial salary negotiation is VERY important. It is common to see people who come in making more than those in the organization for decades (with similar accomplishments).
    The ability to positively affect your community and the lives of others. The possibility of the mission involved is huge and COULD be fulfilling.

    Cons

    Leadership is a rare part of the organization. Micro-management on the part of some supervisor level positions bottlenecks, or outright kills, the ability to serve the community. Local areas are completely dependent on the competence of a single Health Director, and those Directors are rarely held accountable for the poor performance of their Departments. Private healthcare organizations are quickly replacing VDH as a health partner for communities in many locations. Inefficiency and lack of demonstrated return on investment is very disheartening in light of what good could be achieved with this organization.
    Pay can quickly become anti-competitive with the private market, but if you leave you lose your time off and retirement... so it is a compromise.
    There is not a positive culture overall. Recognition for excellent work does not happen (in my experience) and morale is typically low (sometimes when it shouldn't be even). This aspect can be tied to District Level or a specific supervisor however.
    There is very little room for advancement as well, many stay in the same or similar position for an entire career. However, turn over is more recently the issue for dynamic talent...
    Very little trust or delegation is placed in employees to do jobs. Prepare to be managed to death.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your employees. Delegate. Recognize excellence.
    Hold ineffective and bad leaders accountable.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  3. OK employer, just don't stay there.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Web Developer in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Web Developer in Richmond, VA

    I worked at Virginia Department of Health

    Pros

    They have a great starting salary and you are guaranteed annual increases. Same goes for vacation time.

    Cons

    You will lose not just your drive to excel, but your soul if you stay too long. Dealing with the buracracy on a daily basis can drive you mad. Seeing the people that have been there for 15+ years that seemed void of emotions or expressions at times really puts things in perspective.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5. decent pay, all depends on who your working under

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richmond, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richmond, VA

    I have been working at Virginia Department of Health full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    decent pay, decent benefits, depending on who you work for and how much they like you- good life/work balance.

    Cons

    Lots of office politics, some of the managers micro-manage like crazy. When one manager doesn't like someone for a personal reason I have seen them basically harass and bully them to try and make them quit. Once you come in at a certain salary, your promotion is based on your current salary not on the new position. Not a ton of room for growth or advancement.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6. It's a challenge focusing on correct info and send it out.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Office Service Specialist in Richmond, VA
    Former Contractor - Office Service Specialist in Richmond, VA

    I worked at Virginia Department of Health as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Every holiday you would have the day off.i

    Cons

    Working on searches that are accurate

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7. Managers seem to have their own agendas.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrative
    Current Employee - Administrative

    I have been working at Virginia Department of Health part-time

    Pros

    Great place to work for those that can make things happen in public health.

    Cons

    There are no growth opportunities, difficult political environment, and disorganized leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get on the same page, communicate with your staff, and earn the trust of your staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  8. Poor management & supervisors play favorites - frequent turnover at all levels

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Epidemiologist in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Epidemiologist in Richmond, VA

    I worked at Virginia Department of Health full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Working for VDH will give you a chance to work for the greater good. There seems to be fair amount of collegiality in some parts

    Cons

    Supervisors in the Office of Epi play favorites, and overall management seems to encourage competition to see who can report information first, vice finding out actual, verifiable details. Budget constraints limit valuable professional training opportunities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I find it ironic that the Department of Health does not encourage healthy lifestyles. The chief tool utilized seemed to be potluck with little or no emphasis on healthy eating. Additionally, it is absolutely unacceptable for a report of bullying to be swept under the carpet & ignored.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9. Great mission and coworkers, but poor management

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Virginia Department of Health

    Pros

    With over 4700 staff across the state and $500M in budget, there is much potential to do a lot of good for the public. This is especially true in our 119 local health departments, where staff work directly with community members on a daily basis.

    Cons

    The central office is bloated. There are over 600 staff there and many of them are not needed. Many poor managers have been placed in key positions, including many if the deputy commissioners and office directors. This has led many good employees to become jaded and quit. Managers tend to micromanage, with few exceptions to this rule. And what they manage has more to do with bureaucratic nonsense than actual business operations like program performance and even financial performance (staff have been laid off due to managers not monitoring their spending)! These practices are incentivized by the most senior levels of management, who equally do not focus on the real aims of public health.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not micromanage. Delegate much more responsibility. You need to trust your people to do the work. If they can't handle it, fine, fire them and get someone who you CAN trust. Monitor your finances. Start holding your staff accountable for public health goals. It is your job to take obstacles away from your staff so that they are free to do their work; do not be a roadblock.

  10. Just okay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Consultant in Richmond, VA

    I worked at Virginia Department of Health full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexibility in terms of work balance. Didn't have to go back to the office after out of the office site visits.

    Cons

    Same thing as with every government job. NO way to break out of the standard routine. Not willing to take any recommendations for improvement or increase efficiency.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    break the red tape.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  11. Learning a lot, paying the price!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Virginia Department of Health full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Learn an exorbitant amount about Public Health, Policy, Finance, Stakeholder/Consumer relations, anything you can get your hands on is here!

    Cons

    Be careful about your negotiations of your initial salary. Once you are in, do not expect to see jumps in your salary even with promotions (competitive or otherwise). It is the nature of business here and other businesses as HR is strict with what it can/cannot do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand that people with degrees have gone to school for that field... this is why they have something to offer and are truly looking forward to performing the work with their skills. This does not mean that they want your job!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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