Now Hiring: Health and Aging Policy Organizer – Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Now Hiring: Health and Aging Policy Organizer

December 14, 2020

Job Title: Health and Aging Policy Organizer
Supervised by: Director, Center for Public Health Equity
Supervises: N/A
Classification: Exempt, Full-time, Salaried

Organization Summary
Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG) began in 1981 as an independent, non-profit health policy and advocacy center in Chicago working to improve the health of all people in Illinois by promoting health equity. Its Center for Long-Term Care Reform promotes a just system of long-term services and supports that enables people to live according to their own values and goals without exploiting others.

Position Description
The Health and Aging Policy Organizer (“Organizer”) reports to the Director of the Center for Health Equity. The organizer will meet regularly with Health & Medicine’s Long-term Care Committee responsible for providing strategic advice and consultation for this work.

The Organizer will work in collaboration with community-based organizations, advocacy groups, concerned individuals, caregivers, faith-based entities, legislators, board members, and social service, clinical and long-term care providers to identify key issues for inclusion in the strategic action plan for aging in Illinois (“aging plan”), and organize and engage these groups in support of developing the plan.

The Organizer will support these stakeholders to inform and educate public officials, agency leadership and other policy makers to understand and pledge their support to engage in a planning process for the development of an action plan. Strategies for securing public official commitments will be informed by similar plans developed in such states as Colorado and California.

The plan will seek to reduce structural inequities and advance health justice related to supporting an age-friendly state. The aging plan will seek to make supports for older adults and for people across the life-course that are accessible, affordable, comprehensive, and high-quality to make Illinois an age-friendly state.

The plan will advance better supports for those who care for them at home or in communal settings. Broadly, the work to gain public official commitments will include:

• Hosting a series of follow-up virtual meetings with individuals and organizations who are interested
in enhancing public policies, public supports, and health equity for an age-friendly state.
• Providing technical assistance to organizational and community leaders in aging to build consensus
around the need to develop an Illinois Strategic Action Plan on Aging, prioritize key advocacy issues,
and to secure more vigorous support for aging programs and services.
• Developing a social media toolkit to spread the word about this effort informed by the California We
Stand with Seniors campaign
• Support local organizations as they educate and inform their legislators to gain commitments to
address their concerns about policy priorities in support of an aging society
• Developing an advocacy plan for aging-related organizations, their constituents, and stakeholders to
gain support from local elected and appointed officials, hospitals, and housing providers to expand
support for home and community-based services.

Responsibilities
• Partnership development and coalition-building
• Analyzing other state reform efforts and comprehensive plans for addressing healthy aging across the life course and the needs and supports for older adults.
• Conducting one-on-one meetings and engagements to develop relationships, seek new supporters, and gain new perspectives relevant to the aging plan.
• Organizing a grassroots movement for change in Illinois, that will engage individuals and organizations in developing and promoting the aging plan
• Meeting regularly with individual Illinoisans and representatives of organizations who are concerned about aging issues
• Communicating with legislators and the Governor’s Office to ensure that recommended reform care adopted
• Developing recommendations for the design, delivery, and financing of supports for older adults and caregivers, by researching policy issues; developing content for policy briefs and reports, social media, and website content; organizing symposia and roundtables; and supporting and developing a wide range of activities.
• Analyzing state health policy proposed changes (particularly Medicaid rule changes) and developing comments and policy proposals.
• Occasionally precepting interns
• General administrative duties as assigned including editing and contributing to fundraising and grant writing efforts
• Working to advance health equity in cross collaboration with other Health & Medicine programs
• Other duties as needed

This project will utilize a number of important principles:
• Equity, diversity, and inclusion
• Healthy aging across the life course
• Multi-generational focus on aging
• Health equity in all policies
• Multi-regional engagement across Illinois
• Ensuring affordability and accessibility
• Cultural and linguistic humility
• Ensuring quality
• Ensuring choice and person-centered planning
• Trauma informed and person-centered

Qualifications
Knowledge
• Four to six years of experience in community, labor, or issue-based organizing
• Strong competency with organizing principles, concepts, and skills (e.g., conducting power analysis,  coalition building, motivating collective action, targeting appropriate strategies and tactics)
• Knowledge of health policy concepts and Illinois’ public health and health safety net infrastructure
• Familiarity with aging-related issues, public health, and social determinants of health
• Knowledge of local, state, and federal public policies and programs affecting healthcare and social services for underserved populations
• Experience with developing an organizing plan
• Interest in health, aging, and policy issues
• Focus on equitable and inclusive processes that actively include people who have been excluded from policy discussions, experience oppression, and are underserved by public systems
• Experience with mentoring and community work/outreach
• Commitment to Health & Medicine’s mission, vision, and values, including health equity and social
justice
Skills
• Experience with developing an organizing plan
• Excellent written and oral communication skills
• Ability to articulate and attend to big picture issues while managing detailed daily concerns
• Self-starting and self-directed work habits
• Strong interpersonal skills and ability to cultivate and sustain relationships with diverse coalitions
• Advanced proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office
• Strong research and editing skills
• Ability to work on several projects simultaneously in fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment and collaborate and communicate with a team
• Ability to attend meetings/focus groups across the Illinois as the state travel and social distancing restrictions are lifted

Other preferred qualifications
• Master’s Degree preferred in public health, public policy, social work, social policy, disability studies, or related field
• Experience with development of or contributing to health or government agency planning efforts
• Experience in a position that required writing on complex policy issues
• Experience in a position that required support and coordination of a coalition or collaborative

Work Environment
• Work is normally performed in a typical office work environment
• Sitting for extended periods is required
• Local travel to off-site locations throughout Chicago, suburbs and across Illinois occasionally required
• Work day is generally 9am – 5pm, although evening and weekend meetings will be necessary

Note on Modified Work Environment During COVID-19 Pandemic
To protect the health of staff and to align with public health guidance, Health & Medicine staff have been working remotely since March 2020. Employees are required to have access to a working internet connection and phoneline that enable them to conduct their work. Health & Medicine’s modified work environment in response to COVID-19 are considered to be temporary and subject to change. We anticipate the work from home policy to be in place at least until April 2021 and will continue to monitor and be responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compensation
Starting salary range $58,000-63,000 annually depending on qualifications and experience. Excellent benefits package including:
• 100% employer-paid health, vision and dental insurance
• 3 weeks (15 days) paid vacation per year in addition to paid sick time and 10 paid holidays
• 401K retirement plan, with employer contribution after one year
• 3 months fully paid maternity/paternity leave policy
TO APPLY
• Email a cover letter and resume to jobs@hmprg.org. Please write your name (Last, First) then “Organizer” in the subject line of your e-mail. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
• Deadline to apply is February 5, 2021.
• No phone calls. Recruiters please do not contact this job poster.
• Health & Medicine is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome diversity among our board and staff and volunteers. We recruit, hire, train and promote without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or any other protected status.