Community Outreach and Engagement Associate, MA Substance Use Helpline

Brief Overview:

We are seeking a Community Outreach and Engagement Associate for the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline

Position Description:

As part of our CBA services, HRiA manages an extensive portfolio of behavioral health initiatives, including statewide substance use helplines in Vermont and substance use and problem gambling helplines in Massachusetts and Illinois. The Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances (Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery) was launched in 2017, building upon our experience operating the MA Substance Use Helpline (Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services) for over 23 years. HRiA launched the Vermont Helplink (Vermont Department of Health, Division of Substance in 2019. HRiA began operating the MA Problem Gambling Helpline (Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Problem Gambling Services) in 2020 and the Illinois Problem Gambling Helpline (Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery) in 2022.   

The helplines comprise state-specific websites and online portals, as well as a single, centralized contact center that manages calls and chats from residents of all three states, as well as live SMS texting for Illinois. The helplines connect consumers with comprehensive, accurate, and current information about and referrals to treatment, harm reduction, prevention, and recovery services available in their states.   

To learn more about HRiA and our helplines, visit the following:  

To learn more about our health equity framework and approach, go to hria.org/about/equityframework.  

The Community Outreach and Engagement Associate will help build awareness and increase use of Helpline services by engaging communities and conducting outreach throughout Massachusetts to service providers, coalition members, people using substances and in recovery, allies, family and loved ones, young adults, and other constituents and priority populations. The position provides an opportunity to be a champion and partner in implementing Helpline marketing campaigns and efforts, and to engage with members of the community through in-person and online meetings and events. 

The Community Outreach and Engagement Associate will be responsible for seeing that all outreach and community engagement activities in MA help to increase the visibility and use of the Helpline. They will be expected to engage in outreach activities such as building relationships with local community partners, participating in and/or presenting at diverse meetings and events, coordinating the volunteer Helpline Champion Program, gathering providers in conversation and mutual learning, and maintaining open communication for sharing of information and learnings with the Helpline staff. The Community Outreach and Engagement Associate will report to the Senior Communities and Partners Manager, Behavioral Health and will be an integral member of the larger Helpline team. This position will require travel throughout Massachusetts and that the candidate be Massachusetts-based. 

This is an exempt, full-time position with a salary that ranges from mid-50k to mid-60k, based on skills and experience. The Community Outreach and Engagement Associate may work remotely or in our Boston-based office. All HRiA staff who work in the Boston office and/or conduct in-person work activities must be up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations. The candidate will be required to show proof of vaccination upon hire (unless eligible for a religious or medical exemption).

Duties and Responsibilities:

Project Work 

  • Identify and conduct in-person and online outreach to priority populations with substance use disorder (SUD) statewide. 
  • Work with HRiA staff to cross promote the MA Problem Gambling Helpline throughout Massachusetts. 
  • Develop and maintain relationships with providers and community members engaged in all levels and methods of SUD and Problem Gambling (PG) work across MA. 
  • Cultivate existing and establish new strategic partnerships within the SUD and PG communities on behalf of the SUD and PG Helplines. 
  • Develop appropriate content for presentations and promotional materials for use with a variety of audiences.  
  • Identify, coordinate, and participate monthly in 8-10 virtual or in-person meetings, gatherings, and events (conferences, meetings and gatherings with service providers, task force meetings, health fairs, and/or other networking opportunities, etc.) to build relationships and market the Helplines. 
  • Coordinate and grow the Helpline Champions statewide volunteer engagement program by organizing and implementing virtual workshops in the Spring and Fall and virtual monthly learning community meetings. 
  • Communicate regularly with the Helpline Screening and Information Specialists, clinicians, and outreach staff in IL, sharing outreach connections and learnings. 
  • Contribute to the content development and implementation of MA SUD Helpline marketing campaigns including print materials, video development, websites, and more. 
  • Contribute to content development for MA SUD Helpline and PG Helplines social media and websites, ensuring brand integrity through all promotional efforts. 

Thought Leadership 

  • Continue to build and develop knowledge and expertise in substance use disorders, recovery pathways, harm reduction approaches, problem gambling, etc. particularly with the lens of health and racial equity. 
  • Suggest ideas/improvements through participation in teams and committees. 
  • Consistently attend and actively participate in Helpline meetings and other activities to develop skills and make suggestions for project enhancements. 

Management  

  • Support and deepen existing Champion involvement while growing volunteer engagement for the Helplines. 
  • Participate in hiring processes for new Helpline staff as needed. 
  • Assist in the training and mentoring of new Helpline staff and volunteers as needed. 

New Business Development 

  • Maintain updated resume and bio for use in new business proposals. 
  • Assist with subject matter guidance and technical components of new business proposals as needed.  

Candidate Qualifications:

  • BS or BA with at least three years of relevant experience, or five years of experience in the field of substance use disorders/gambling disorders.  
  • Strong commitment to health and racial equity.  
  • Lived experience with substance use disorder strongly preferred. 
  • Openness to Harm Reduction principles and approaches; respect for those who use substances; appreciation for the many ways people enter into and sustain recovery from substance use disorders and process disorders. 
  • Relationships within the SUD and/or PG communities in Massachusetts preferred. 
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills. 
  • Skilled and comfortable with public speaking. 
  • Commitment to building and maintaining trusted relationships with community members across MA, including service providers and general public. 
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and coordinate multiple tasks simultaneously. 
  • High level of self-motivation, with a demonstrated ability to commit to and complete high-quality products and projects. 
  • Respectful of cultural differences and value diversity of thought, backgrounds, and perspectives. 
  • Ability to work independently and as a part of a team. 
  • Two years of recovery from a substance use or gambling disorder.  
  • Bilingual (primarily in English/Spanish) preferred. 
  • A valid driver’s license and access to an automobile or access to ride sharing program. 
  • Ability to work virtually with a strong and stable internet connection.  
  • MS Office proficiency; strong PowerPoint (or other presentation software) skills preferred. 
  • Flexibility and a sense of humor. 

How to Apply:

HRiA is actively seeking to build a diverse and experienced staff. The organization encourages multiple perspectives and experiences, supports a multicultural environment, and strives to hire and retain a diverse work force that reflects the populations we work with and the communities where we work. Diversity is a core value of HRiA resulting in culturally competent services, materials, resources, and programs. Our hiring and business practices appreciate the strengths offered through different backgrounds.   

HRiA is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information.   

Health Resources in Action offers an attractive benefits package including medical, dental and life insurance, retirement plan, tax-deferred annuity, and generous starting vacation of four weeks.  

To apply, submit your resume and cover letter online. 

Health Resources in Action (HRiA):

Health Resources in Action offers exciting, engaging, and challenging employment opportunities for researchers, facilitators, analysts, trainers, policy specialists, and more. People come to HRiA because of our commitment to social justice and health equity, our wonderful clients and partners, and our dedicated and dynamic staff. People stay at HRIA because of our collaborative approach to problem solving, our friendly work environment, and our commitment to providing employees with challenging and exciting professional opportunities.

Equity & Inclusion are core values of our organization. Our hiring and business practices appreciate the strengths offered through varied backgrounds. As public health practitioners with a social justice focus, we are committed to better understanding and learning from the institutional structures that create disparities among us and our work. We are actively seeking to build a diverse and experienced staff. We provide an energizing and supportive environment in which to work and to build a career.



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