Staff Health Unit Manager

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Médecins sans Frontières Suisse


Context & Mission

We are currently seeking a Staff Health Unit (SHU) Manager to join our team at MSF Operational Centre Geneva (OCG). In this role, you will have the crucial responsibility of overseeing the health and well-being of all OCG staff. This encompasses various aspects, including preparing staff members before deployment, delivering preventive and curative physical and mental health care, and effectively managing health risks associated with field assignments.

Your leadership will be instrumental in ensuring that our diverse team of medical professionals and psychologists consistently provide high-quality and holistic services to MSF staff.


  • Ensure that all MSF staff are adequately prepared before going on field assignments
  • Ensure that the health and well-being of MSF staff are adequately supported whilst on mission
  • Provide technical support to the field and to the different OCG entities in the development, implementation, and regular update of health policies
  • Manage the SHU team, consisting of 2 psychologists, 2 medical doctors, and an intern
  • Ensure high standards of quality, medical ethics, and professional integrity are maintained

Team leadership and management:

  • Build and develop a diverse and inclusive team through recruitment, orientation, guidance, and support.
  • Define and manage the unit's multi-year workplan and budget.
  • Set objectives for team members, evaluate their performance, and ensure mission delivery.
  • Support team members in accessing resources for professional growth.
  • Maintain a flexible setup of the SHU to adapt to operational changes and emergencies.
  • Foster a culture of genuine collaboration, respecting medical ethics and confidentiality within the multidisciplinary health team.

Unit Management and Delivery:

  • Ensure the unit provides high-quality, timely, and comprehensive services.
  • Oversee the 24/7 provision of physical and mental health/psychosocial support to field emergencies.
  • Identify and escalate individual cases while maintaining medical confidentiality, ensuring necessary care and attention.
  • Collaborate with the SHU team and relevant stakeholders to update and communicate OCG staff health policies, including field deployment requirements and guidance for health management during missions and evacuations.
  • Support missions and entities in implementing health policies, finding alternative solutions for challenging locations.
  • Ensure adequate response and support for critical incidents based on OCG CI response guidelines.
  • Coordinate collaboration and support to the ABU unit.
  • Analyze and address issues related to staff health management, integrating lessons learned and corrective measures into the unit's processes.
  • Establish and maintain a customized database for documenting and monitoring unit activities, ensuring team members are proficient in its use.
  • Coordinate and oversee regular activity reporting to relevant stakeholders.
  • Develop and maintain a network of external experts in travel and tropical medicine, occupational health, mental health, and psychosocial support to provide ongoing support.

Direct Responsibilities:

  • Chair the MSST committee (health and safety at work) at OCG HQs.
  • Collaborate with relevant stakeholders in all OCG entities to ensure effective SH management.
  • Contribute to the OCG Duty of Care (DoC) working group and participate in initiatives related to SHU's role in the broader scope of DoC.
  • Provide direct support for critical incident (CI) management or specific case management when required.
  • Validate exceptions and address complex cases in collaboration with Operations and Medical directorate.
  • If necessary and as a last resort, participate in the on-call roster system, engage in daily team activities, and temporarily replace team members during absences to ensure service delivery.

Representation Responsibilities:

  • Represent OCG SHU at the intersectional SHU platform and other relevant platforms within OCG, partner sections, or other MSF offices as necessary.
  • Collaborate with the SHU intersectional platform to represent and advocate for OCG's interests with private health insurance and external providers for medical assistance and evacuations, ensuring the provision of quality and effective services to OCG and MSF staff.
  • Participate in regular meetings as a member of the HR Managers team in the OCG HR department, representing SHU and contributing to relevant topics.
  • Represent OCG at forums of staff health units in other international organizations and UN agencies.
  • Collaborate with the OCG Zurich liaison person to represent OCG at the Federal Office of Public Health and other relevant Swiss authorities.
  • Represent OCG at the Office of the Cantonal Physician of Geneva and the Geneva University Hospitals, alongside other senior managers in the HR department or other relevant departments.

Your Profile


  • Essential: Medical Doctor or Paramedical (nurse) qualification.
  • Desired: Diploma in Tropical and Travel Medicine.


  • Minimum of 7 years of professional experience.
  • Field experience with MSF or another international medical/humanitarian organization is required.
  • Previous experience as a Medical Coordinator is advantageous.
  • Strong team management experience is essential.
  • Experience or basic knowledge of mental health and psychology is necessary.
  • Experience in travel medicine and occupational health is beneficial.
  • Experience in supporting or managing critical incidents (CI) is advantageous.


  • Working knowledge in French and English is required.
  • Proficiency in a third language (Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese) is considered advantageous.

Personal Abilities:

  • Exceptional ability to thrive in a multicultural environment and demonstrate dedication and support for diversity, gender responsiveness, inclusivity, and non-discriminatory behavior and attitudes
  • Flexibility and approachability, with excellent communication skills.
  • Proficiency in building and developing a diverse and inclusive team, as well as the ability to lead and represent a team effectively.
  • Strong stress management skills.

Skills/Technical Competencies:

  • Strong organizational and staff management skills.
  • Ability to work autonomously and make effective decisions.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and adaptability to respond to emergencies and prioritize organizational needs.
  • Ongoing commitment to staying updated on techniques and tools related to emergency and occupational health.
  • Proven ability to maintain confidentiality.

Terms of Employment

  • Full-time position 100% (40h/week)
  • Open-ended contract
  • Working place : Geneva
  • Ideal start date: early July 2023
  • Gross annual salary: from CHF 109’560.- to CHF 124’980.- (salary commensurate with equivalent experience and internal salary grid).

How to apply

Candidates submit their application following the requirements:  CV 2 p. max. – letter of motivation 1p. max. – in English or French. We reserve the right to close the position early if we receive a sufficient number of high-quality applications.

Deadline for application is June 18th, 2023.


The applications will be treated confidentially.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

At MSF, we are committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our staff members. We strive to create workplaces where teams of people with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, perspectives, ideas and experiences work together for the social mission of MSF to create better outcomes for our patients and the communities we work with.

We welcome applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, ethnicities, background, religions, beliefs, ability status, and all other diversity characteristics.

MSF does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo reference checks.