Director of Communications and Public Affairs

18 Sep, 2020


Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Redwood Community Health Coalition
Petaluma, CA

About Redwood Community Health Coalition (RCHC)

Redwood Community Health Coalition (RCHC) is a member agency with 15 community health centers and a wellness education agency spread across 73 sites in Marin, Napa, Sonoma and Yolo Counties. Formed in 1994, our mission is to improve access to and the quality of care for under-served and uninsured people in our four counties. RCHC’s major focus is to strengthen the capacity of member health centers (members) to act together as a coalition that provides access to consistently high quality clinical care, effective care coordination and reduce health disparities. RCHC has about 20 staff who support our members’ work with programs in Policy, Populations Health, Informatics, and Access and Equity.

Position Summary

RCHC seeks a talented, experienced, and strategic senior leader to join our agency as the Director of Communications and Public Affairs, This role that will be central to increasing the voice of both the organization and our members while also communicating key messages to our broad stakeholder group. The primary responsibility of the Director of Communications and Public Affairs, is to manage health policy, advocacy, and communication issues related to community health centers in our four county region. This position works with the executive team to lead efforts of RCHC’s federal, state, and local legislative priorities. This is a highly collaborative and visible position that benefits from existing relationships as it requires the incumbent to build alliances with staff, partners, and stakeholders.

The Director of Communications and Public Affairs is responsible for strategic communications, external relationships, and policy directives that support and elevate RCHC’s mission and strategic objectives. This position will develop, manage, and execute all activities related to communications and public affairs, which includes helping members develop and meet policy goals, cultivate key relationships with elected officials at the local, state and federal levels, and tracking, interpreting, and making recommendations to the coalition about relevant policy. This team member will coordinate activities with policymakers, coalition members, community partners and other stakeholders, providing overall direction to RCHC communications, ensuring consistency, best practices, and increased visibility for RCHC.

Essential Duties

Below are typical examples of work performed by this position, not a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Employees may perform other duties as assigned.


  • Member of the executive team who works with the CEO to provide guidance, education, and leadership in advocacy, public policy, legislative strategy, and initiatives related to RCHC’s mission and strategic plan.
  • Develop and manage RCHC’s legislative, regulatory, and advocacy priorities with the CEO and Executive Team.
  • Develop, implement, and manage integrated communications strategy for agency, including website, newsletter, and social media channels.
  • Participate, initiate, and lead internal and external meetings relevant to job duties.


  • Monitor current events, relevant publications, and other forms of media related to policy and its political and economic implications for RCHC members.
  • Research, analyze, and communicate key legislative issues impacting members and the health care safety net; propose and develop a strategic response with the CEO, and implement with RCHC Board and membership.
  • Compile and disseminate briefs and/or newsletters, and policy education materials on behalf of RCHC to members and stakeholders.
  • Analyze demographic, service, and geographic data to help determine areas of unmet need.

Public Affairs

  • Facilitate relationships between elected officials and members through frequent communication, messaging, and site visits. Arrange for community participation at meetings and hearings, as needed.
  • Cultivate relationships with public officials and their staff, policy and regulatory entities, media outlets, and community organizations to raise awareness, educate, and facilitate collaboration.
  • Coordinate local, state and federal advocacy efforts with members and other partner organizations (e.g., NACHC, CPCA, and California Health+ Advocates).
  • Collaborate with other community health centers, regional and state consortia, local healthcare collaboratives, funders, and other partners to enhance the capacity of clinics and their partners to implement programs to improve patient care.
  • Represent RCHC to coalition partners and at legislative hearings and other policy-related meetings and events.
  • Serve a contact person between safety‐net community health centers, state and regional associations, as well as funders in all matters related to the rural CHC or rural health initiatives.
  • Manage policy education projects and events (e.g. RCHC committee, National Health Center Week events, voter registration drives, media advocacy campaigns, etc.).


  • Engage membership and stakeholders to present relevant issues and generate consensus on policy strategy and positions.
  • Develop content and materials for public relations including press releases, op-eds, talking points, and public testimony to advance RCHC’s advocacy and to support the position of RCHC.
  • Work with staff and workgroups to utilize agency data and stories that highlight our work with members and their patients and providers for public audiences (e.g., elected officials, funders, community partners, & media).
  • Develop and implement media strategies to enhance branding and public relations goals of RCHC, including the maintenance of the RCHC website, newsletter, and social media platforms.
  • Manage agency media relations through relationships with key media outlets and reporters, prepare leadership team members for media interviews, and create content for national, state and local news outlets.
  • Write reports, publications, blogs, stakeholder communications, press releases, and position papers.
  • Coordinate the creation, dissemination, and production of presentations, webinars, podcasts, and short videos.
  • Evaluate and improve effectiveness of internal and external communication efforts.
  • Serve as the primary spokesperson for RCHC and the principal advisor to the CEO and senior management on communication about public affairs.
  • Manage communication of RCHC’s mission, program activities, objectives, priorities, and accomplishments.


  • Oversee contractor and consultant activities as required.
  • Work with executive and program teams on grant applications and compliance.
  • Manage financial aspects of related projects, including budgets, expense tracking, and grants compliance.
  • Create reports to communicate to staff, board, and members.
  • Participate as RCHC Director on teams, projects, organization-wide meetings, committees and initiatives
  • Special projects or additional duties as assigned


  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Public Health, Political Science, Communications or related field. Master’s degree preferred in one of the following: Public Health, Social Work, Communications, Public Administration, Public Policy, or Nonprofit Administration.
  • Minimum of three years work experience in policy or communications with demonstrated success in performing the duties similar to those outlined in this job description.
  • Minimum two years’ experience in related project management, preferably in a related field.
  • One year preferred leading or implementing communications strategies for an agency. Preferred: Strategic communications experience including website management and use of common social media/media platforms.
  • Minimum one year experience tracking and developing strategy for legislative policy and regulatory changes in a non-profit or health care setting.
  • Demonstrated experience in government relations with at least three years of experience in policy, advocacy, and external affairs in a non-profit or healthcare setting.
  • Demonstrated policy experience at the County level in Marin, Yolo, Napa or Sonoma and/or at the state level in Sacramento, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) or other health care policy experience highly desired.
  • Professional experience designing and implementing integrated communications strategies across a range of platforms including traditional and digital media.
  • Proven ability to manage, lead and mentor, with the ability to earn the trust of a diverse team.
  • Experience building communications capacity of staff and local partners.
  • Commitment to advancing public health and health equity.
  • Experience with funders and grants, including writing, compliance, and reporting.
  • Experience coalition-building, ideally have some experience of working with a membership body.


  • Demonstrated knowledge about the health care safety-net system, health access, government health programs, public benefit programs, and related policies. Preferred knowledge of FQHCs.
  • Advanced knowledge in presentation development, including best practices in persuasive speaking and creating effective slides and materials.
  • Strong knowledge of the legislative processes at the federal, state, regional, and local levels.
  • Knowledge of California’s health care policy environment, and local knowledge of legislative context of at least one county in RCHC’s membership region.
  • Knowledge of a field such as health, psychology, licensed field or special field of interest that directly pertains to current work/project.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of community organization, development, marketing and public relations
  • Understanding of fiscal monitoring, budget techniques, and the grants cycle.

Skills & Abilities

  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple complex initiatives, including the ability to synthesize complex or diverse information, and use for tactical and strategic planning.
  • Excellent editing and writing skill in multiple styles, including technical, policy, persuasive, grant-writing, and outreach.
  • Excellent organization, detail and follow through skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with a demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships with government and community partnerships.
  • Communication skills adaptable to multiple audiences, both written and verbal. English/Spanish bilingual preferred.
  • Skilled in presentation development, slide design, and public speaking.
  • Computer literacy and proficiency in Office 365 and related apps such as Teams, SharePoint, and Planner.
  • Ability to prioritize and plan diverse work activities, set goals and meet deadlines, and independently and proactively manage workload.
  • Flexibility to meet changing needs and demands.


  • Problem Solver — Intelligent, results-oriented, analytical, persuasive and influential, energetic and motivating
  • Emotional Intelligence – transparent, empathetic, respectful, inclusionary, conscientious
  • Project Management – Completes projects on time and within budget
  • Active listener – reflective, relationship-focused, open to divergent options
  • Collaborative – Ability to effectively manage relationships, consensus builder, strong facilitator, listen and respond effectively to members and Board, as well as internal staff
  • Innovative, open to new ideas, systems thinker


  • Travel to member centers, events, and local and state legislative meetings is required. Frequency depends on current events. Normally regular travel is expected throughout RCHC four-county region, monthly or quarterly travel to Sacramento, and annual travel to Washington D.C.
  • Ownership of a car in good working condition and maintenance of a valid California driver’s license and insurance.
  • Must be able to pass background check.

 Working Conditions

  • Work is normally performed in a typical office environment as well as outside locations including member health centers, government buildings and community venues.
  • Currently due to the COVID-19 environment all staff are working remotely and limited staff work at the office intermittently.
  • Currently all conferences and meetings are being done remotely.

Physical Requirements

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, stand, carry, drive, see, speak, keyboard and hear. The employee is occasionally required to walk, use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 30 pounds (box of paper). Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision and ability to adjust focus.

We encourage application for those whose experience meets the requirements with an emphasis on local experience with the counties of Marin, Napa, Yolo, Sonoma or state level experience in Sacramento. No out of area responses, please.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2020-09-18