Director – Patient Advocacy

14 Sep, 2021


Director – Patient Advocacy

American Kidney Fund
Rockville, MD
  • Description

    About the American Kidney Fund
    The American Kidney Fund (AKF) is the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit fighting kidney disease on all fronts. We are proud to be recognized as one of the top 50 nonprofit employers in the United States by The Nonprofit Times. AKF is one of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, and holds the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. We are able to reach this level of efficiency and effectiveness because of our incredible team.

    About the position
    The Director of Patient Advocacy is responsible for the overall strategic development of AKF’s Ambassador Network. The Director of Patient Advocacy is responsible for developing and implementing strategy as well as recruiting, vetting, managing and regularly communicating with and engaging the nationwide AKF Ambassador Network as well as communicating AKF’s advocacy priorities to our broader audiences. An excellent communicator, the Director of Patient Advocacy translates complex policy issues into useful information for AKF’s key constituents. The Associate Director of Patient Advocacy reports to this position. The Director also works with the Senior Director of Government Relations, Senior Director of State Policy and Advocacy, Associate Directors of State Policy and Advocacy and Government Affairs and the Office of Marketing and Communications (OCM) in implementing overall strategy, including developing outreach strategy, engaging, training and retaining Patient Ambassadors to achieve desired policy outcomes.

    Are you someone who is:
    •    Collaborative: Leads through collaboration and teamwork.
    •    Creative: A thinker who designs communications that audiences can’t stop reading and encourages engagement.
    •    Innovative: Optimizes all media channels.

    Every member of the government affairs team is hands-on and is able to see the direct results of their efforts. Join the team and grow professionally while making a difference in the lives of people living with kidney disease.

    Employee benefits:
    In addition to your competitive salary, paid holidays, vacation, sick and personal days; health, dental and vision coverage; life insurance and disability coverages; and a generous matching 403(b) retirement plan, we’ll shower you with perks, including:
    •    Culture: We make sure our team knows how much they are valued demonstrated through our Quality Work Environment (QWE) Task Force and employee-led recognition and social events throughout the year.
    •    Compressed work week: Start the weekend early with shorter workdays on Fridays – closing at 3 p.m. Labor Day to Memorial Day and 2 p.m. in the summer.
    •    Flexibility: Employees work from home three days a week.
    •    Clear expectations: You’ll know what you need to do to succeed; annual raises and bonuses for all employees are based on your performance.
    •    Location: Convenient location and a short walk to the popular Pike and Rose shopping center
    •    Parking: Arrive and leave work comfortably, thanks to an underground parking garage whose monthly cost is paid for by AKF. Metro subsidies are provided for those who do not drive.
    •    Dress code: Business casual through the week and casual on Fridays.

    At AKF, we embrace diversity and emphasize the importance of working together as a staff to continue making the organization a great place to work.

    Advocacy Functions: 
    •    Develop a two-year strategy to grow, engage, evaluate and maintain a vibrant AKF Advocacy program. Strategy will include metrics of success and tactics to achieve those metrics, including developing a ladder of engagement.
    •    In developing the strategy, work with the Senior Director of State Policy and Advocacy, Associate Director of Patient Advocacy and Senior Director of Government Relations to identify key states and federal and state issue areas where a strong advocate voice and presence would have the greatest impact.
    •    Evaluate other organizations with strong advocate programs and utilize best practices in developing AKF’s Advocacy program.
    •    Working in conjunction/coordination with the Associate Director of Patient Advocacy and identified staff in OCM, develop, use and fine tune online tools aimed at advocate engagement, trainings, webinars, letters to the editor, social media engagement, advocate outreach in their networks, etc. This plan will be monitored to ensure it is meeting goals and objectives and focused on those states where the greatest level of activity is anticipated.
    •    Manage the day-to-day activities of the Advocacy Network. Plan and coordinate advocacy and logistics with Associate Director for Government Relations for such activities as the annual Capitol Hill fly-in and advocates’ participation at AKF Kidney Action Days, state-based fly-ins, The Hope Affair, Patient stories for communication and social media outreach and other identified events.
    •    Identify advocacy challenges and provide creative solutions to support AKF’s mission of fighting kidney disease and helping people live healthier lives.
    •    Recruit, vet, train and manage advocates to: 1) attend state issue related events; 2) contact and visit state and federal elected officials; and, where appropriate, meet with local, state and national officials and patient groups. Develop metrics and provide quarterly reports to the VP of Government Affairs on the Advocacy Network.
    •    Develop and maintain relationships with a broad range of stakeholders outside the kidney community. This will be achieved by meeting with representatives and groups that could support AKF on our public policy priorities.

    •    Work with the Senior Directors of State Policy and Advocacy and Government Relations to pursue opportunities to find common ground and build partnerships other organizations (such as patient groups, minority groups, religious groups, veteran organizations, taxpayer organizations, etc.). Develop metrics and provide quarterly reports to the VP of Government Affairs.
    •    Collaborate with colleagues in the Office of Government Affairs and OCM to develop grassroots action plans that strategically engage AKF patient-advocates to achieve desired policy outcomes.  Work with the Associate Director of Patient Advocacy to train Advocates in advance of in-person meetings.
    •    Serve as the Office of Government Affairs’ point person for advocacy communications, working closely with the Senior Director of Communications, Senior Director of Marketing and other Communications and Marketing staff to ensure TOGA and OCM are collaborating to develop and disseminate advocacy communications in a timely and strategic manner.
    •    Work closely with Senior Director of Communications to establish communications protocols and practices between the two departments that streamline efforts and ensure AKF can rapidly respond to policy issues in the news.
    •    Lead the management and organization of AKF’s online advocacy tools (Luminate Online and Phone2Action) to ensure timely, compelling and engaging content; work closely with OCM to ensure coordination of communications across the organization and to ensure correct and up-to-date content.
    •    Draft advocacy press releases develop blog posts and write social media posts. Manage AKF’s closed Facebook group for Ambassadors.
    •    Develop key communications including action alerts, monthly Ambassador and Hill e-newsletters, webinars, fact sheets and one pagers.
    •    Regularly review the content on the Advocacy section of the AKF website and draft updates as needed.
    •    Build and maintain the State Leaders program of the most engaged advocates.
    •    Assist in identifying key congressional and state districts for in-district meeting and attend meetings.
    Government Relations Functions:
    •    Assist in preparations for all Government Relations efforts and events; including coordinating all logistics and personnel with other relevant AKF offices.
    •    Participate in coalition meetings and policy briefings, representing AKF as needed.
    •    Coordinate participation of elected officials in AKF outreach events at the state and federal levels.
    •    Attend in-district meetings and other meetings on an as-needed basis.
    Organizational Support:
    •    Maintain database of regional legislative contacts for expanded health initiatives and advocacy at grassroots level.
    •    Field calls and emails from stakeholders and patients who contact AKF for advocacy information or assistance.
    •    Local travel – 20% to 30% of position.
    •    Flexibility for out of town travel, some of it unplanned.   25%-40% of position for AKF or partner events.
    •    Other duties as assigned.

  • Requirements

    7-10 years relevant experience in a similar role. College degree required. Advocacy and health policy experience, with specific knowledge of end-stage renal disease preferred. 5 years of strong supervisory experience. Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite – Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel. Understanding of leveraging online tools like Phone2Action, closed Facebook Groups, Twitter and other social media tools. Demonstrated experience in advocacy communications. Must have excellent writing, interpersonal, presentation and communication skills. Excellent online research skills. Must be strategic thinker and well-organized, with strong attention to detail; excellent proofreading skills; a proactive problem solver; able to work independently and within a team framework. Ability to proactively track and coordinate multiple projects and complete work in a timely manner. Ability to handle confidential matters with a high level of integrity. Demonstrated ability to be highly flexible. Ability to work some weekends or evenings as required. Bilingual English/Spanish a plus. Ability to lift materials and boxes up to 35 lbs.

    AKF will be returning to the office on November 1, 2021, with employees working two days in the office and three days of telework. AKF requires employees to be fully vaccinated and the 14 day waiting period completed by November 1 or their first day of hire, whichever is later. A request for medical or religious accommodation may be provided and will be considered confidentially by HR on a case-by-case basis.

    Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-09-14