Title: Tribal and Indigenous Communities Health Equity Strategist
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Summary of Position
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) is seeking to hire a dynamic and self-motivated community engagement professional to join the Office of Health Equity as part of the Vaccine Equity Initiative Team. The incoming Tribal Communities Health Equity Strategist will provide strategic input and implementation support for population health initiatives meant to engage Tribal and Indigenous Peoples’ Communities through a racial and disability justice and intersectional lens. The Strategist will establish effective communication channels with regional stakeholders and community leaders within the priority population and coordinate initiatives that increase access to resources needed. They will seek solutions to barriers that prevent the priority population from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and meeting other health-related social needs. The incumbent will bring strong expertise in community-centered engagement with experience partnering with community members, community-based organizations, and faith-based organizations to inform program design, implementation, and prioritization.
The Vaccine Equity Initiative (VEI) is committed to improving the quality of life for all Commonwealth residents while eliminating the inequities that threaten the lives of communities of color and other priority communities who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and its risk factors. The Office of Health Equity (OHE) works to address social determinants so everyone can attain their full health potential. We acknowledge the history of structural racism and its impact on health. All efforts are centered on dismantling ableist systems, ensuring equitable access, and supporting the needs of people with disabilities, in partnership with the OHE’s Health and Disability Program. People with lived experience in these communities and/or in protected classes are strongly encouraged to apply.
The Tribal Communities Health Equity Strategist is an essential part of the Office of Health Equity and the Vaccine Equity Initiative, reporting to the Health Equity Integration Manager, Office of Health Equity. The Strategist will provide community-based technical assistance initiative addressing the needs of Tribal and Indigenous Peoples’ Communities in the COVID response and other pressing health equity priorities alongside other community engagement staff.
- Provide strategic thinking, lead, and support action on priority population health initiatives, with a high degree of emotional intelligence that explicitly addresses the complexity of anti-discrimination work.
- Conduct technical assistance for local and regional stakeholders, including community-based and faith-based groups, local boards of health, community health centers, etc., to support priority population’s ability to strengthen community safety nets and advance community recovery
- Review and analyze data to evaluate progress, make recommendations, and facilitate more effective strategies for accomplishing initiative objectives and leveraging assets of each community.
- Serve as a liaison for MDPH to Tribal and Indigenous Peoples’ Communities, and for these communities back to MDPH.
- Facilitate communication channels between stakeholders and efforts.
- Listen to residents to identify needs and levels of support to increase access for members of Tribal and Indigenous Peoples’ Communities that may experience significant barriers to getting the COVID-19 vaccine, COVID-19 mitigation, and to meeting their health-related social needs and goals.
- Coordinate community engagement efforts with a state-wide scope, meeting the needs of members of Tribal and Indigenous Peoples’ Communities wherever they work, play, and live in an accessible manner
- Build internal capacity for community engagement work across Department-wide initiatives.
- Inform Tribal and Indigenous Peoples’ Communities-specific engagement strategies and other community engagement approaches with OLRH and VEI leadership.
- Contribute actively to the work of MDPH and VEI’s health and racial equity portfolio and proactively support incorporation of equity in team operations and processes.
- Lead with a health equity approach that considers the history, context and culture of populations being served, support racial, health, and disability justice reframing in stakeholder work and processes.
- Model transparent and open communication that centers discussions around the experience of residents; demonstrate relationship building skills and ability to listen to and take direction from Tribal and Indigenous Peoples’ Communities.
- Ability to establish and maintain harmonious working relationships with others.
- Talent for adjusting to varying or changing situations to meet emergency or changing program requirements.
- Capacity to exercise sound judgment, discretion and handle confidential information.
- Experience in supervision, including planning and assigning work according to the nature of the job to be accomplished, the capabilities of subordinates and available resources; controlling work through periodic reviews and/or evaluations; determining subordinates, training needs, and providing or attaining for such training; motivating subordinates to work effectively; determining the need for disciplinary action and either recommending or initiating disciplinary action.
- Ability to analyze and determine the applicability of data, to draw conclusions and make appropriate recommendations.
- Demonstrated understanding of and ability to apply and articulate a racial and health equity approach to their work, including the ability to identify interventions upstream, midstream, and downstream
- Knowledge of community resources, key stakeholders, and community-based efforts in Massachusetts with regard to Tribal and Indigenous Peoples’ Communities. Experience with coalition/partnership development and stakeholder and community engagement
- Minimum of 2 years’ experience, knowledge and demonstrated ability, including lived experience, with organizations serving Tribal and Indigenous Peoples’ Communities in Massachusetts
- Demonstrated experience with cultural competence in a professional setting as well as experience in planning, organizing, and facilitating meetings
- Knowledge of community engagement theories and best practices and social determinants of health
- Proven ability to communicate and build relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders, including health equity and community-based stakeholders, with a commitment to health equity, particularly racial equity; ability to listen to and take direction from the community
- Experience coordinating community engagement efforts in public health settings
- Ability to work collaboratively alongside diverse colleagues across race, gender, sexual orientation, and other dimensions of diversity
- Comfort in a relatively high-profile role with political context; ability to take ownership over tasks and actions with sound judgement
- Self-motivated and able to work independently as well as collaboratively with colleagues and external stakeholders
- Effective communication with a wide range of people, one-on-one and/or groups. Modes of communication may include written correspondence (emails, memos), phone and video calls, proposals, reports, and in-person presentations.
- Critical thinking skills, using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems
- Ability to travel to various locations throughout the state.
Salary range: 66,682.98 – 96,585.32 Yearly
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