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Policy & Strategy Specialist

Job Description
The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), one of the oldest health departments in the United States, is an independent public agency providing a wide range of health services and programs. It is governed by a seven-member board of health appointed by the Mayor of Boston. The mission of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is to protect, preserve, and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly the most vulnerable. The BPHC envisions a thriving Boston where all residents live healthy, fulfilling lives free of racism, poverty, violence, and other systems of oppression. The BPHC sets an expectation that all staff and leadership commit, individually and as part of the BPHC team, to hold ourselves accountable to establishing a culture of antiracism and advance racial equity and justice through each of our bureaus, programs, and offices. The Commission's more than 40 programs grouped into six bureaus: Child, Adolescent & Family Health; Community Initiatives Bureau; Homeless Services; Infectious Disease; Recovery Services; and Emergency Medical Services.

The Center for Behavioral Health & Wellness was recently created to address the prioritization of a coordinated behavioral health response in the City of Boston led by the BPHC-- driven by findings from the Boston Community Health Needs Assessment (2019) and Community Health Improvement Plan (2020), and more recently, a response to the widespread behavioral and mental health needs emerging from the COVID pandemic. Disparities in behavioral health outcomes are most acute among Boston residents and communities impacted by racism and other systems of oppression. The Center aims to develop evidence-informed, innovative prevention and response models for mental health, substance use, and wellness that address systemic racial inequities through a comprehensive, coordinated citywide response in Boston.

Position Summary
The Policy & Strategy Specialist will support the implementation of behavioral health work plan act in accordance with a behavioral health plan led by BPHC's Chief Behavioral Health Officer. The Policy & Strategy Specialist will work with the Managing Director to implement external initiatives to support Boston residents by working across the BPHC, other City Departments and Offices, and with community partners and residents. Additionally, there will be an initiative to coordinate internal workforce initiatives to strengthen behavioral health and wellness supports and training for BPHC staff.

  • Coordinate with the Chief Behavioral Health Officer, Managing Director, and across BPHC Bureau leadership and staff in the implementation of mental health, substance use, and wellness programs and response in the City of Boston
  • Coordinate and strategize with related BPHC workforce initiatives supporting the public health workforce resilience
  • Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing with internal and external partners to support ongoing project implementation and updates
  • Coordinate with other City Cabinets, Departments, and programs to enhance citywide response to behavioral health needs
  • Coordinate and convene a variety of external partners, including academic institutions, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, healthcare providers, and more
  • Serve in an advisory capacity on evidence-based and emerging policy and program activities and developments in behavioral and mental health response
  • Synthesize program information, research findings, and data to determine program effectiveness and make recommendations
  • Respond to urgent requests for information and products, including communication products
  • Design materials for multiple audiences (e.g., slides, fact sheets, memos, infographics)
  • Conduct short-term and long-term research and analysis of relevant legislation, budgets, and health policies
  • Support development of requests for proposals for behavioral health programs and monitor funded contracts to City partners
  • Develop program summary and evaluation reports to support ongoing report needs, including the collection of program data from implementing partners
  • Support the development of grant proposals and manage the implementation of awarded grants
  • Facilitate internal communications and coordination across BPHC Bureaus related to behavioral health, including an internal advisory committee
  • Work to help BPHC become an antiracist organization by adhering to the BPHC Anti-Racism Policy
  • Perform other duties as required

Minimum Qualifications
  • Master's Degree in Social Work, Psychology, or a related discipline Bachelor's degree and at least two years of relevant experience. Significant work experience may be substituted for the degree requirement.
  • Experience planning meetings and events
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to prepare reports and maintain accurate records
  • Experience with event planning and meeting management
  • Knowledge of public health policies and practices
  • Passionate commitment to health equity and racial/social justice issues
  • Knowledge of or willingness to learn about the role of public health in addressing racism, the social determinants of health, inequities in health outcomes, and strategies to advance racial justice and health equity. Lived experience welcome.
  • Ability to collaborate across multiple team members and stakeholders in developing and implementing program plans
  • Exceptional organizational skills with the ability of developing timelines and meet deadlines
  • Experience with platforms including MSOffice, MSWord/Excel, PowerPoint, and Windows software and design software (such as Canva)
  • Ability to be flexible and prioritize to meet deadlines and accomplish priority work
  • Good facilitation and relational skills
  • Experience working with racially and culturally diverse populations
  • Experience working in programs addressing behavioral health programs, including mental health and substance use disorders
  • Demonstrated cultural competence with diverse ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic groups
  • Familiarity with Boston neighborhoods and community-based organizations is preferred
  • Demonstrated formal or informal social justice advocacy experience and/or community organizing/mobilization experience a plus

Additional Information
City of Boston Residency Required, A Criminal Offenders Records Information request must be completed for this position. However, a record is not an automatic bar to employment but is reviewed in relation to the job applied for., Any position that requires an advanced degree will be subject to education verification, The Boston Public Health Commission is an EEO Employer and all applicants meeting the minimum requirements are eligible to apply

Union Status


Pay Range $55,000 - $65,000/Annually

35 Hours/Week
Hybrid schedule is subject to BPHC's temporary teleworking policy