Title: Community Health Planning and Engagement Specialist
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Brief Summary of Position:
The Community Health Planning and Engagement Specialist is an essential member of the prevention and wellness team in the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention. The specialist will work with community coalitions, local/regional health departments, health care systems and other stakeholders (such as regional planning agencies) to foster healthy communities. The specialist will support two primary and aligned efforts: the Determination of Need, Community Health Initiative (DoN-CHI) Program and the Bureau’s Healthy Community Design Program. The specialist will accomplish this through the provision of technical assistance focused on community engagement principles and practices, providing access to and supporting the use of health data, researching and supporting best practices on strategies that impact social determinants and forming relationships with stakeholders.
In doing this type of work, the prevention and wellness team acknowledges the history of structural racism and its impact on health. We are committed to improving the quality of life for all Commonwealth residents while eliminating the inequities that threaten the lives of communities of color who are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases and their risk factors. The Community Health Planning and Engagement Specialist will utilize this frame in their work. They will also be responsible for assisting with overseeing internal MDPH processes related to monitoring and approving DoN/CHI projects and assisting with the CHI Statewide Fund. The specialist will be responsible for providing support for community coalitions and health care systems in the development and implementation of community health assessments and community health improvement plans including use of the Population Health Information Tool (PHIT), to include annual updates to the community health determinant reports in PHIT. The incumbent may also be responsible for providing guidance to projects through the Healthy Community Design Program such as Health Impact Assessments and supporting built environment and health related activities through Mass in Motion and other MDPH initiatives. This position is responsible for helping build the evidence base for measuring the impact of investments addressing the social determinants of health, and will provide leadership on all these activities through the direct provision of technical assistance in community settings and will require interaction with stakeholders of all kinds.
Duties & Responsibilities:
- Provides assistance to community stakeholders in the development of community health assessments, community health improvement plans.
- Provides assistance to community stakeholders in best practices related to coalition development and functioning.
- Provides assistance to community stakeholders on access to and use of health data.
- Provides assistance to community stakeholders in strategy and initiative development to address the social determinants of health.
- May provides assistance to community stakeholders in the practice of Health Impact Assessment.
- Assists in building mechanisms for sharing best practices among community stakeholders for Determination of Need related community health initiatives.
- Maintains regular communication with MDPH Determination of Need program staff and the PHIT core team.
- Maintains contact, including regular in-person visits, with coalitions and other community stakeholders.
Evaluation and Assessment
- Works with the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention and other MDPH stakeholders to create process and outcome measures that will provide measures for the Determination of Need, Community Health Initiative Program.
- Works with community stakeholders to develop appropriate evaluation plans for
- Determination of Need, Community Health Initiatives.
- Works with MDPH and community stakeholders on advancing the practice of
- Health Impact Assessment through evaluation of completed and ongoing HIAs.
- General understanding of and commitment to health equity, including racial equity, and addressing social determinants of health.
- Ability to provide leadership to change policies and systems to address health inequities and racial justice and ensure the inclusion of a social determinants of health framework.
- Participates in program planning, and report writing.
- Strong understanding of the social determinants of health and health and racial equity to address health concerns across disease categories and conditions.
- Experience conducting literature reviews and compiling best practices related to community health strategies.
- Knowledge of, and familiarity with, the use of health data to inform decision-making.
- Experience working with community stakeholders to advance community health, and comfortable with giving presentations and facilitating discussions as this person will be representing MDPH in multiple types of community settings.
- Graduate degree in public health, community health or related field.
- Experience in the development and implementation of policy, systems and change concepts to prevent and reduce chronic disease and associated risk factors and impact healthy communities.
- Direct experience in developing strategies that include the monitoring of health outcome data for program improvement and decision-making.
- Highly experienced facilitator who can drive large, diverse groups to consensus.
- Knowledge and experience working with community health stakeholders from multiple backgrounds.
- Ability to translate quantitative and qualitative data into meaningful, actionable recommendations.
- Experience developing partnerships, teams and coordinated activities.
- Skilled presenter, comfortable presenting to large groups on a regular basis.
- Experience and significant competence working with vulnerable and diverse populations.
- Experience in planning and evaluating community/public health programs and implementing population-level health promotion interventions.
- Knowledge of the epidemiologic roots of health problems affecting family/group systems.
- Knowledge of the Affordable Care Act, Chapter 224, and other major health policies that shape the healthcare system in Massachusetts.
- Knowledge of the practice of Health Impact Assessment.
- Understanding of the complex interactions between health and the social determinants of health to maintain or improve health.
- Valid driver’s license.
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