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Program Officer - Empowering Health Care Consumers

Category: Program Staff
Foundation/Organization: New York State Health Foundation
Location: New York
Date Posted: 10/18/2017
Closing Date: 01/31/2018

With an exceptional ten-year grantmaking history and mission of improving the health of all New Yorkers, the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) is seeking applications and nominations for a new Program Officer – Empowering Health Care Consumers. As New York’s only statewide health foundation, NYSHealth offers a unique platform for change and impact spanning urban, suburban, and rural health challenges. In 2015, NYSHealth launched the Empowering Health Care Consumers program area. The new Program Officer will support the Vice President for Programs and work with the Empowering Health Care Consumers team to further develop the Foundation’s newest program area. With a unique focus on catalyzing change in the health care system through an informed, empowered, and engaged consumer, NYSHealth aims to amplify the voice of health care consumers and increase the information and tools available so that patients are active participants in their own health and health care and have a seat at the table to help drive and inform decisions that affect health care.

The new Program Officer will play a unique role in further developing this new portfolio of work and will be responsible for grantmaking recommendations and grantee oversight across the two core strategies of this area: 1) Promoting Information Transparency and 2) Engaging Patients as Partners. S/he will develop external relationships that advance the portfolio’s work with thought leaders, key stakeholders, and policymakers, leveraging the Foundation’s ability to convene a broad array of partners to develop shared solutions that improve the health of all New Yorkers. The ideal candidate will bring deep content knowledge in consumer empowerment and patient engagement, expert project management skills, strong interpersonal skills and a collegial style, and the ability to effectively communicate the Foundation’s mission and goals to grantees and other stakeholders. An advanced degree in health, public health, public policy, or a relevant discipline is required.

This search is being conducted by Carolyn Ho and Cara Pearsall of NPAG. Please find more information and application instructions at the end of this document.

The New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) was established in 2006 from the conversion of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield from nonprofit to for-profit ownership. When Empire’s conversion was announced, New York’s health community recognized the opportunity for a strategic, private foundation to foster systemic change and have a statewide impact on New Yorkers’ health. Since its inception, the Foundation has focused on improving the health of all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable. With approximately $290 million in assets, a $15 million annual grants and operations budget, and a staff of 23, the Foundation is committed to making a difference beyond its dollars, informing health care policy and practice, spreading effective programs to improve New Yorkers’ health and the health care system, serving as a convener of health leaders across the state, and providing technical assistance to its grantees and partners. Nine Board members, with three members appointed by each branch of the New York State government, work together to govern the Foundation. NYSHealth also receives guidance from a Community Advisory Committee whose members provide advice to the staff and act as ambassadors for the Foundation across the state.

With an emphasis on statewide grantmaking, approximately half of the Foundation’s grantees are New York City organizations and half are organizations outside of New York City, a strategy that is driven by an understanding that most of the public health and health care service delivery problems in the state have common roots and often common potential solutions both upstate and downstate. In 2016, after evaluation and careful reflection, the Foundation decided to focus on two core areas of programming: Empowering Health Care Consumers and Building Healthy Communities. These initiatives are grounded in the Foundation’s earlier work and represent exciting opportunities in the field, positioning NYSHealth to continue to be a leader and innovator in the health and health care arena.

NYSHealth also maintains a special commitment to two areas of focus outside of its primary programmatic areas. The Special Projects Fund is a responsive grantmaking program supporting projects that are aligned with the Foundation’s overall mission but outside of the current priority areas. Finally, the Foundation also pays special attention to the health and wellbeing of returning veterans and their families.

Empowering Health Care Consumers
Launched in 2016, the Empowering Health Care Consumers priority area was developed to focus on amplifying the voice of health care consumers and increasing the information and tools available so that patients are active participants in their own health and health care and have a seat at the table to help drive and inform decisions that affect health care. The Foundation is focused on two core strategies: (1) promoting information transparency and (2) engaging patients as partners in health care decision-making.

Promoting Information Transparency in Price, Quality, and Patient Experience The Foundation is committed to supporting consumers in accessing clear, actionable information on health care prices, quality, and patient experience. This information will help New Yorkers make educated, savvy decisions about their health care. Projects in this area include:
• “You Can Plan For This,” a website to help New Yorkers find and compare price information;
• Maternity metrics scorecard to help women in selecting hospitals for giving birth;
• Out-of-pocket cost calculator tool by health plan for high-cost conditions; and
• Promoting patient-friendly data-sharing exemplars at hospitals.

Engaging Patients as Partners in Clinical and Health Policy Decision-Making
The Foundation is also working to ensure that New Yorkers have a meaningful role as partners both in their own health care and at the policy level. At the clinical level, patients should have access to their own health information so they can actively participate in their own care. At the policy level, patients and consumers should have a seat at the table to help drive and inform decisions that affect health care. Projects in this area include:

• Giving patients access to their health care visit notes;
• Understanding the landscape and role of Patient and Family Advisory Councils at hospitals across New York State; and
• Integrating the consumer voice into the certificate of need planning process.

Reporting to the Vice President for Programs, the new Program Officer will support the further development and implementation of this new portfolio of work in the Empowering Health Care Consumers priority area. This is an exciting opportunity to refine a new program area for the Foundation, test innovation, and improve health for all New Yorkers. The new Program Officer can expect to engage in the following areas:

Managing the Foundation’s Grantmaking Portfolio for Empowering Health Care Consumers
The new Program Officer will contribute to the design and implementation of the portfolio’s strategic direction, generating and executing on project ideas and initiatives that advance the Foundation’s two core strategies in partnership with other program staff. S/he will shape the portfolio’s annual program goals, and support and engage with grantees throughout the life cycle of their grant, including leading and facilitating meetings with grantees, conducting site visits, reviewing grantee submissions, tracking grantee performance, and supporting capacity building and technical assistance that leads to both the grantees’ and the Foundation’s overall success. The Program Officer will prepare and present written proposal summaries and other documentation for the grant review process and will provide recommendations to senior staff and review panels.

Cultivating Relationships with Foundation Stakeholders and Peer Organizations
The Program Officer will develop and maintain working relationships with stakeholders, policymakers, community members, researchers, and others to support program development and implementation. S/he will seek partnerships with peer funders and other stakeholders that elevate and advance the Foundation’s goals in Empowering Health Care Consumers. S/he will identify and lead opportunities to convene grantees, policymakers, and other key stakeholders to share ideas, develop innovative solutions, and advance policies supportive of the program area. Additionally, the Program Officer will participate in conferences, seminars, and other thought leadership and professional development activities to engage in the broader conversation and gain new perspectives that advance the Foundation’s goals and foster innovative approaches.

Contributing to the Foundation’s Communications Efforts, Policy Research Products, Advocacy Efforts, and Internal Operations
The Program Officer will disseminate and communicate the Foundation’s goals, objectives, and grantmaking results in partnership with the Foundation’s communications team and will contribute to quality improvement of the Foundation’s operations, including facilitating internal communications and evaluation, specifically as it informs future program development and grantmaking in his or her portfolio. S/he will collaborate with the Policy and Research team to help develop content and produce NYSHealth policy/research products. Additionally, s/he will contribute to the NYSHealth website and social media platforms by identifying
relevant grantee materials to be posted to the Empowering Health Care Consumers area of the site. Finally, s/he will coordinate and collaborate across the Foundation both in support of the Empowering Health Care Consumers portfolio and the Foundation’s broader goals to achieve better health for all New Yorkers.


Reporting to the Vice President for Programs, the Program Officer will work collaboratively with the Empowering Health Care Consumers team as well as across the Foundation’s other program areas to advance shared goals, and will play a key role in strategic thinking, generating project ideas/initiatives and helping to shape and refine this new priority area. While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

▪ At least five years of experience in the consumer empowerment arena, either in a health care, health policy, health research, or consumer advocacy setting; advanced degree in health, public health, public policy, or a relevant discipline required.
▪ Deep knowledge of patient/consumer engagement and person-centered care frameworks and interventions; solid understanding of policies and best practices regarding issues such as price and quality transparency, patient activation, and shared decision-making, and the best in class organizations leading those efforts; familiarity with the New York health care landscape helpful, but not required.
▪ Excellent interpersonal skills and a collegial and energetic style with the ability to develop productive relationships with colleagues, grantees, consultants, and others who contribute to program development and management.
▪ Superb project management and organizational skills with the ability to successfully move from concept to execution; fine attention to detail and follow-through, and diligence in documentation and processes required in managing grantees.
▪ Analytic ability to connect evidence-based approaches to new program and policy initiatives.
▪ Strong written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively with a wide variety of grantees, stakeholders, partners, and policymakers.
▪ Demonstrated maturity and seasoned judgment; ability to make decisions, justify recommendations, and be responsive and clear with Foundation applicants.
▪ Experience collaborating with and engaging business and community leaders and other partners in program work that magnifies impact.
▪ Foundation/grantmaking experience is highly desirable, but not required.
▪ Ability and willingness to travel for site visits throughout New York State and to represent the Foundation at outside meetings.
▪ Passion and dedication required for mission driven work and a commitment to working across diverse cultures and geographies; healthy sense of humor and collaborative approach that leads to success in a team oriented environment.

How to Apply:

More information about the New York State Health Foundation may be found at:

Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), salary expectations and where you learned of the position should be sent to:

In order to expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.

The New York State Health Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and values having a diverse staff. Employment opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic as established under law.

For more information, contact:

Carolyn Ho


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