California Health Care Foundation


Remote, California

Date Posted

December 24, 2021

Job Category

The senior program officer (SPO) will build on their knowledge and clinical expertise to help catalyze change across California’s behavioral health system. They will build, manage, and monitor a portfolio of grant programs aligned with the foundation’s strategy around behavioral health transformation, which focuses on the delivery of mental health and substance use disorder services in California’s Medi-Cal and safety-net systems.

This is a full-time exempt position and reports to the director of the Advancing People-Centered Care team. We especially welcome candidates who have professional or lived experience in one of our regions of special focus — Central Valley, Inland Empire, and Los Angeles. This position may work remotely with monthly travel to CHCF offices.

Advancing People-Centered Care Team Overview

All Californians deserve care that addresses the fullness of their health needs and allows them to live healthier lives. Too many Californians receive care from multiple systems that are fragmented, uncoordinated, and disconnected from the experiences of the people they serve.

The Advancing People-Centered Care (APCC) team helps catalyze care systems to work collaboratively to ensure people receive responsive, comprehensive, and coordinated services that support their health and well-being, and prevent and reduce inequities in care.

See examples of work in this area generally, in behavioral health, in Black health equity, and on the topic of care for people with complex needs.

Salary and Benefits

The full salary range for this position is $156,800 to $235,200 with a starting salary of $185,000, commensurate with training and experience. The foundation provides a generous benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, disability, life, and long-term care insurance; a cafeteria plan; commuter checks or paid parking; EAP and wellness programs; educational assistance; paid time off; and retirement benefits.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The California Health Care Foundation is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff and will honor your experiences, perspectives, and unique identity. We believe the power of diversity enriches all of us by exposing us to a range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design, and deliver solutions. Read more about CHCF’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion vision.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy 

The California Health Care Foundation has a duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards. The foundation is adopting a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy to safeguard the health of its employees and their families; our grantees and visitors; and the community at large from exposure to COVID-19. This policy will comply with all applicable laws and is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health authorities.

As of December 1, 2021, all employees will be required to show evidence that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved accommodations request on file with human resources by that date.

CHCF will consider requests for accommodations, as required by law. Employees requesting accommodations due to a medical reason, or because of a sincerely held religious belief, must submit a completed Request for Accommodation application form to the human resources.


Primary Responsibilities

  • In collaboration with the APCC team and other partners, the senior program officer will lead work on behavioral health transformation, with a particular focus on the specialty behavioral health delivery system, including both mental health and substance use disorder care. Specifically, they will:
    • Develop strategy. Support the development of program goals and the iterative execution of strategy to meet those goals, including recommending topics and projects to pursue.
    • Network with others. Build and manage relationships with key stakeholders in the delivery system, including consumer advocacy groups.
      • Build a strong network of potential partners in the behavioral health delivery system – understand what their priorities  are, and co-create opportunities.
      • Engage in listening work to help identify pain points and opportunities.
      • Identify people and organizations who could be grantees, consultants, and contractors.
    • Monitor key trends, innovations, and best practices in California and other states, specifically as they pertain to behavioral health innovation in the safety-net delivery system and Medicaid, behavioral health integration, and behavioral health care equity.
    • Convene people. Bring together stakeholders (e.g., philanthropic funders, behavioral health providers) to discuss, learn, and strategize together, and to improve behavioral health care delivery in California.
    • Be a grantmaker. Develop and manage a portfolio of projects (e.g., studies, environmental scans, learning collaboratives) and grants that support CHCF strategies, providing guidance and feedback as needed. This includes:
      • Identify high-impact opportunities to improve California’s behavioral health delivery system at scale.
      • Bringing written summaries, analyses, and recommendations for proposed projects forward for foundation peer review and board of directors approval.
      • Working closely with grantee partners to construct and implement work plans and products.
      • Engaging with key stakeholders to obtain input on ideas and projects, to guide project development, and as needed, to support project activities. Planning and facilitating meetings to encourage collaboration.
      • Working with grantees and CHCF communication colleagues to create and disseminate compelling externally facing products like fact sheets, explainers, white papers, research papers, and webinars
    • Share expertise. Represent CHCF at conferences, briefings, and external meetings to inform and collaborate with a range of state and local policymakers, leaders in the health care delivery system, consumer advocates, academics, and the media.
  • Contribute to the overall success of CHCF through participation in organization-wide activities and cross-cutting improvement teams. Work collaboratively with colleagues to support grantmaking, monitoring, and learning.
  • Respond to requests for information and assistance, troubleshoot, and connect people to resources.
  • Based on the needs of the organization, lead new or existing work on other topics within Advancing People-Centered Care.

The following examples from the Advancing People-Centered Care portfolio illustrate the type of work the program officer would develop and oversee:

  • Support the Transitions Clinic Network to improve care for people leaving incarceration: technical assistance, training, and coaching to help 25 California clinics implement a program centered on the needs of people at reentry and using community health workers with lived experience of incarceration as part of care teams.
  • Fund development of an online post-masters certificate curriculum for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners at the University of California.
  • Design and launch a learning collaborative with health plans and palliative care providers to develop mechanisms to grow and support outpatient palliative care.
  • Build and disseminate the Opioid Safety Toolkit for Health Plans.
  • Convene managed care plans, health care providers, and health care associations in a California Health Care and Homelessness Learning Community, with the goal of improving care for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Commission papers like the one about mental health disparities by race and ethnicity for adults in Medi-Cal written by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network.
  • Work with the CHCF Innovation Fund team to invest in companies like Concert Health, a company working to make the Collaborative Care Model more accessible and scalable by offering primary care practices a network of remote behavioral health managers and psychiatrists that can manage patients’ mental health needs by phone or video.


Minimum Qualifications

The ideal candidate will possess most of the following:

  • Professional clinical degree in psychology, social work, nursing, counseling, psychiatry, or other clinical field with strong behavioral health component. Must have patient care experience.
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial and economic equity; experience in health care safety-net settings preferred.
  • Six or more years of relevant work experience in behavioral health care delivery systems. Additional experience in clinical leadership, behavioral health care administration, or behavioral health research will be considered.
  • Demonstrated commitment to CHCF’s mission and to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Skills and Competencies

  • Conscientious and consultative approach to problem identification and resolution, with an ability to anticipate needs, recommend options, and implement solutions
  • Strong analytic, strategic, and critical thinking skills
  • Demonstrated ability to learn new fields and concepts quickly
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to work in teams and build productive relationships with colleagues (internal and external)
  • Creative, enthusiastic, independent, and results-oriented, with a high degree of initiative
  • Strong project management skills, with demonstrated experience managing multiple, complex projects that involve a variety of stakeholders
  • Excellent written and communication skills, with an ability to translate complex ideas into clear, easy-to-understand concepts and products
  • Comfort with ambiguity and demonstrated ability to remain flexible and nimble in a quickly changing environment

Other Qualifications

  • A passion for CHCF’s mission and values
  • Curiosity, humility, open-mindedness, and an eagerness to listen to and learn from CHCF’s grantees and other partners in the field
  • A professional and personal commitment to the ongoing work of becoming an anti-racist leader and to participating in CHCF’s organizational DEI programs as a staff member
  • Master’s degree in public health, any of the social sciences, or related area preferred
  • Ability to give, seek, and incorporate feedback in a healthy and productive manner
  • Prior experience working with or in the health care field and/or philanthropy a plus


How to Apply

Click here to apply and learn more

To apply for a position at CHCF, please submit your interest via our online application system. Unless otherwise noted, we will accept resumes until a position is filled, and we will try to let you know the status of your application in a timely manner.

The California Health Care Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Employment offers will be contingent on a background check that is limited in scope and compliant with best practices for Fair Chance Hiring. We welcome formerly incarcerated people to apply for this role.


Date Posted


Closing Date


Foundation Overview

The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford. CHCF’s work is oriented around three goals, each staffed by a team at the foundation:

  1. Improving access to coverage and care for low-income Californians
  2. Advancing people-centered care
  3. Laying the foundation


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