Program Officer, Healthy & Equitable Communities

Brief Overview:

We are seeking highly talented and experienced Program Officers to support the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Prize program (the Prize) through recruitment of applicants, expanding Prize engagement, co-creating and implementing capacity building and training programs for Prize winners, and building and sustaining coalitions and alliances for Prize communities.

Position Description:

Health Resources in Action, Inc. (HRiA), a national nonprofit public health consulting organization with headquarters based in Boston, Massachusetts, has a mission to help people live healthier lives and build healthier communities through prevention, health promotion, policy, and research. HRiA works with a diverse group of clients across the country to address some of the most critical public health issues using innovative and evidence-based approaches to improve population health. Our clients include philanthropic entities, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state and local health departments, and hospitals.

Since its founding in 1957, HRiA has been at the forefront of public health, leading the way to promote healthier and more vibrant communities. Our work recognizes the impact of social, economic, and racial factors on health outcomes. HRiA is also an affiliate member of the National Network of Public Health Institutes with over 40 affiliates located across the country.

This is an exciting opportunity to become part of a vibrant and growing public health organization and contribute to initiatives focused on addressing racial equity and narrative change for a national initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation known as the Culture of Health Prize.

The Prize program is at a pivotal juncture after seven years of annual awards to nearly 50 communities across the country.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has selected HRiA to increase the program’s reach to a range of communities; visibility with important audiences including policymakers, media, health equity-focused networks; and impact on changing narratives on what constitutes a healthy equitable community. The Prize program honors and elevates communities working at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity for all.  A culture of health, as defined by this program, recognizes that where one lives – including access to affordable homes, quality schools, good jobs, and reliable transportation – affects their length and quality of life. The Prize elevates the compelling stories of places where residents are working together to transform education, jobs, transportation, and housing so better health flourishes for all.  The program honors whole communities for work that they have already accomplished and affirms their direction, which enables them to deepen and expand their local collaborations, leverage their Prize win for additional support and resources, and connect with other communities.

The Program Officer will report to the Managing Director for Healthy and Equitable Communities and will work collaboratively with a team of regionally based Program Officers strategically situated throughout the country.

Duties and Responsibilities:

HRiA will be responsible for:

  • Redesigning and managing a national competitive process for the forthcoming applicant pool of the program;
  • Spearheading program activities to accelerate narrative change, which is the main emphasis of the Prize program and is recognized as key in shaping our collective understanding about what healthy, equitable communities are.  The Prize program seeks to change the dominant narrative, which emphasizes that opportunities for health are defined by individual choices or chance, to the structural conditions and policies that create those opportunities; and
  • Developing selection and post-selection activities that recognize and celebrate existing and past Prize winners, foster peer fellowship across the cohort, and elevate accomplishments with key audiences including through, but not limited to, strategic communications tactics.

HRiA is looking to fill Program Officer positions which will focus their activities on the re-launch of the new Prize program in the coming year, support for alumni of the program, and responsibility of a broad range of programmatic and operational supports for the program. 

The Program Officers will focus their activities on their perspective regions/communities and within discrete categories of the initiative’s overall workplan including:

Re-Launch of the Prize program

  • Actively recruit applicants for the Prize, through outreach, individual conversations, follow up with previous Prize winners, and promotion of the program through national and local networks on the program’s shift to a focus on racial equity with community organizations and leaders.
  • Develop deep relationships with Prize applicants, identifying strengths and motivations for applying to the program
  • Support broader promotion and communications efforts by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and partner Spitfire Strategies to release and promote the Call for Applications and other related content
  • With broader HRiA team, facilitate interviews with RWJF to identify and select forthcoming cohorts of Prize
  • With Spitfire and RWJF, promote narrative changes in regions and elevate regional stories and voices in national media and other venues

Support for Alumni Communities & Ongoing Capacity Building for Prize Winners

  • Implement capacity building and training model for Prize winners and alumni and with partners YW Boston and Community Catalyst, as well as other subject-matter experts
  • Support Prize winners and alumni to explore and collectively test and influence narrative change approaches, as supported by coaching and technical assistance, and recognized as key in shaping our collective understanding about what healthy, equitable communities are
  • Actively support post-selection activities that recognize and celebrate existing and past Prize winners, foster peer fellowship across the cohort, and elevate accomplishments with key audiences by hosting regional convenings with Prize winners and alumni

Additional Programmatic & Operational Supports

  • Collaborate with Co-Directors to provide client and partnership engagement with RWJF and partner organizations Spitfire Strategies, Community Catalyst, and YW Boston
  • Provide continuous insight to inform RWJF, HRiA, Spitfire, and members of the National Advisory Committee on behalf of the regions or populations represented by Program Officers, to identify where policy change and community impact are taking place to inform broader national narrative change work
  • Support overall operations of the Prize program

This is a full-time, exempt position. The salary range for this position starts at $62,000 and is commensurate with experience. Health Resources in Action offers an attractive benefits package including employer-funded medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance, and employer contributions to a tax-deferred annuity.  Additionally, employees enjoy flexible work schedules and other policies that promote work/life balance, vacation starting at 4 weeks, 13 paid holidays, plus office closure time for the last week of December.

Candidate Qualifications:

  • A commitment to structural racism and other systemic drivers of health equity​
  • Diversity of thought, backgrounds, and perspectives​
  • At least two years of experience in foundation or philanthropic work, community organizing or racial equity non-profit work
  • Deep historical knowledge of region of the United States that the candidate lives in, and issues affecting communities within that region
  • Familiarity with grantmaking processes, including engagement in and/or management of application or selection processes​
  • Ability to develop and foster networks of groups and community leaders, mobilizing relationship building and brokering between different groups​
  • Lead and contribute to narrative change and movement building work for program​
  • Practicing and leading with cultural humility​
  • Organized, detail-oriented and able to meet deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and coordinate multiple tasks and events simultaneously.
  • High level of professionalism and self-motivation, with a demonstrated ability to commit to and follow through on projects.
  • Strong written, verbal and interpersonal skills, including communicating by videoconference, phone, and/or in person (when needed) with community members and organizational partners.
  • Able to work independently and as a part of a team.
  • Experience in event and meeting planning, coordination, and logistical support.
  • Excellent problem solving, organizational, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills.
  • Resourceful self-starter with a proven ability to perform under tight deadlines.
  • Flexibility and a sense of humor.
  • Experience working in diverse and multi-cultural settings.

This description is intended to indicate the kinds of work duties that will be required in this position.  It is not intended to limit, or in any way modify, the ability of any supervisor to assign, direct, and contract work of staff under their supervision. The use of a particular illustration describing duties shall not be held to exclude other duties, not mentioned, that are of a similar level or difficulty.

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.

Resume and application materials will be reviewed on a rolling base.  To apply, submit your cover letter and resume online.

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