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CONNECTICUT ORAL HEALTH INITIATIVE, INC.
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT:  POLICY AND ADVOCACY DIRECTOR 

The Connecticut Oral Health Initiative, Inc. (COHI) seeks a dynamic community- and equity-focused professional to help lead policy and advocacy efforts to improve the quality of care and expand access to oral health services among the medically underserved in Connecticut. The Policy and Advocacy Director will provide a compelling voice in statewide oral health policy, coalition-building, and grassroots advocacy.

COHI welcomes applications from people of all identities, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. We are committed to fostering an inclusive, equitable, and diverse environment within our organization and in partnership with the communities we serve and work with.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone seeking to make a significant positive impact on shaping statewide public policies that improve equity and promote better oral health for all.

About COHI:

COHI’s vision is for all Connecticut residents to have equal opportunity to obtain the services needed to maintain good oral health.

 

Our strategies include:

 

  • Leading and collaborating in statewide oral health advocacy efforts.

 

  • Serving as an expert resource on oral health policy.

 

  • Analyzing and disseminating oral health policy recommendations.

 

  • Communicating the impact of structural and social factors on oral health.

 

  • Promoting the necessity of good oral health to overall health and well-being.

 

Too often, oral health is overlooked in the halls of the Capitol in the State of Connecticut and Washington DC. Oral health often lacks government support in both policies and budgets, resulting in some of the most significant racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequities and disparities in health care in our state and country. 

Position Summary:

This position is an exciting opportunity for a person with strong advocacy skills, communication (oral and written), research skills, and a background in policy to elevate the focus of Connecticut policymakers on oral health. 

 

Through a broad-based, community-based approach, the Policy and Advocacy Director will conduct advocacy and coalition-building to support the passage of new laws, increase oral health funding, and amend regulations on both the state and federal levels. They will build relationships with grassroots and community partners and engage with community groups to elevate and include the voices of underserved communities and other impacted stakeholders in key policy discussions.

COHI’s current policy agenda is focused on advancing equity in oral health in four main areas: 

 

1. Increasing utilization and access to oral health Medicaid services, especially for adults with the highest impact of inequities.

 

2. Improving access to preventative oral health services and eliminating inequalities in the prevalence of tooth decay in children.

 

3. Expanding and diversifying the oral health workforce.


4. Expanding oral health care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Duties/Responsibilities:

 

  • Speak effectively and advocate, with impact, in halls of government for policies that promote oral health and reduce disparities.
     

  • Build relationships with policymakers, government agencies, community organizations, and other stakeholders such as funders and state-wide health equity organizations to promote our policy agenda.
     

  • Monitor legislative and regulatory developments, assessing their potential impact on oral health access and equity initiatives.
     

  • Research and analyze local, state, and federal policies related to oral health equity, access, and social determinants of health.
     

  • Collaborate with COHI’s Board of Directors Policy and Advocacy Committee and contract lobbyist to develop and implement an annual policy and advocacy agenda.
     

  • Organize and mobilize community partner organizations, coalitions, and residents for state and occasionally federal legislative advocacy.
     

  • Represent COHI in external meetings, committees, and conferences to advance shared goals and mission.
     

  • Participate in community events that are targeted to medically underserved populations.
     

  • Develop and disseminate advocacy materials, including policy briefs, fact sheets, press releases, e-newsletters, and social media content.
     

  • Assist with grant writing and expanding COHI’s donor base
     

  • Perform other duties as directed by the Executive Director.

* A portion of this position will be funded by a State of Connecticut grant to develop, organize, and facilitate participant forums for Connecticut Medical Assistance Program (“CMAP”) enrolled Dental Providers, and Target Residents, as defined below, to elicit information regarding the participants’ knowledge of and experiences with the CT Dental Health Partnership. The goal is to gather information and data to inform policy and programmatic efforts to improve the delivery of services.

Desired Skills, Characteristics, and Qualifications:

We seek candidates with as many of the following skills and experiences as possible:

  • A bachelor’s degree and at least three years of experience are required. Preferred:  a postgraduate degree in a relevant field (e.g. social work, social sciences, public health, oral health) with community experience.
     

  • Have a passion for equity and justice.
     

  • Demonstrate strategic thinking, innovation, vision, and action.
     

  • Experience interacting, communicating, and collaborating with individuals from various racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds.
     

  • Experience in grassroots community organizing and advocacy or community development.
     

  • Exceptional ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
     

  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to effectively manage multiple, complex projects simultaneously, prioritizing tasks and ensuring timely implementation.
     

  • Demonstrate knowledge of health equity, social determinants of health, healthcare affordability, and Medicaid.
     

  • Be knowledgeable about oral health, public health, and public policy.
     

  • Bilingual or bi-cultural

Other Requirements:

  • Our office is in Hartford. The position is in-person, with some remote work opportunities. The position requires some travel around Connecticut from time to time. 
     

  • The Policy and Advocacy Director must become a registered lobbyist with the State of Connecticut’s Office of State Ethics soon after employment.

Compensation Package:

 

  • Salary: $50,000 - $70,000, commensurate with experience and qualifications.
     

  • Benefits: Retirement contributions, health coverage, and generous paid leave.

 

How to Apply for the Position:
 

Candidates must provide:
 

  • A cover letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position
     

  • A résumé/CV
     

  • A writing sample (i.e. legislative testimony, op-ed, position paper)
     

  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting in July 2024. 

Submit your cover letter, resume/CV, and a writing sample to info@ctoralhealth.org with the subject line: Materials for COHI Policy and Advocacy Director.

 

For additional information about COHI, please visit www.CTOralHealth.org.

 

The Connecticut Oral Health Initiative welcomes applications from people of all identities and backgrounds.  We work to build diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization, throughout our work, and in partnership and allyship with the communities we serve.

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