Job Opportunities

Open positions:

Senior Program Officer, Cost Control and Medicare

Grants Assistant, Grants Management Office

SENIOR PROGRAM OFFICER

COST CONTROL AND MEDICARE

 

THE POSITION

The Commonwealth Fund is looking for an experienced executive with a strong background in health economics and policy, health services financing and delivery and access to care issues to oversee two programs in areas critical to the overall mission of the Commonwealth Fund: cost control and Medicare. The successful candidate will work with many of the best health economists and policy thought leaders in the country, and will be responsible for a combined budget of approximately $2 million.

THE ORGANIZATION

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for two groups of people: High-need and high-cost individuals – the sickest 5 percent of Americans who account for 50 percent of health care costs, and America’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, ethnic and racial minorities, and the elderly. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. In so doing, the Fund has become a national leader in investigation and policy development related to tracking the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, reforming the health care delivery system, international health policy and practice, cost control and Medicare. The Fund has an endowment of $750 million, and an annual budget of $32 million, approximately 60 percent if which is spent extramurally on grants and 40 percent intramurally on developing programs, conducting research, and communicating results to influential audiences.

THE INITIATIVE ON CONTROLLING HEALTH COSTS

The U.S. health care system is by far the most expensive in the world, consuming 18 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. That’s 50 percent higher than the share of GDP devoted to health care in the second-most-expensive country and double that in many other high-income countries.

Despite all that spending, health outcomes for Americans are often worse than in those other countries.  The U.S. health care system is fraught with wasteful and inefficient spending and prices are higher than those that other developed nations pay for the same medical services, devices, and pharmaceuticals―even those produced in the United States and sold on global markets. The inefficiency of U.S. health care is putting a strain on businesses, governments, and household budgets―diverting resources away from investments in jobs, education, and other social and economic needs.

The Commonwealth Fund’s Controlling Health Costs initiative monitors and analyzes spending in both the public and private health care sectors. It seeks answers to two central questions:

  • What is driving cost and spending trends in health care markets across the country?
  • What policy reforms, innovations in care delivery, or changes in provider payment have the potential to reduce costs while improving health outcomes in all regions?

Patients with the highest and costliest health care needs, such as people with multiple chronic conditions, are a particular emphasis of the initiative. Research efforts also focus on the cost impact of new medical technologies and changing demographics, as well as the role of prices, treatment patterns, and resource use.

It is hoped that findings from these and other analyses will inform new approaches to controlling costs that yield far better value for our health care dollars.

THE INITIATIVE ON ADVANCING MEDICARE

For nearly five decades, Medicare has helped older adults and disabled people of all ages obtain the health care they need while protecting them from severe financial hardship. The Commonwealth Fund’s Advancing Medicare initiative identifies ways in which this crucial program―the largest single payer of health care services in the United States―can serve its beneficiaries more effectively and efficiently while helping to foster health system improvements nationwide. Medicare has enormous capacity to leverage broader change in U.S. health care. More than 50 million aged and disabled Americans access care through the program, which accounts for a large and growing share of the federal budget (the government spends nearly $600 billion on Medicare benefits annually, accounting for 18 percent of total federal non-interest spending). And with the creation of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Medicare has a key role in the development, implementation, evaluation, and spread of innovative models of health care organization, delivery, and payment—not only for Medicare, but for other federal and state health insurance programs and private payers, too. The Fund and its grantees will examine how Medicare can:

  • Improve access to care needed by aged and disabled beneficiaries.
  • Restrain the growth of program costs.
  • Assess and disseminate innovations in care delivery and provider payment throughout the program and the entire health system.
  • Improve coordination between Medicare and other public programs, like Medicaid.
  • Drive improvements in other areas of the health system, such as employer-funded, private health insurance.

GENERAL SENIOR PROGRAM STAFF DUTIES

Within the Fund, the program staff originates and manages the individual projects for grants that are made by the Fund. Reporting to the Executive Vice President for Programs and working closely with the Senior Vice President for Policy and Research, the Senior Program Officer is responsible for:

  • Development/writing of program plans for Controlling Health Costs and Advancing Medicare initiatives. This responsibility includes synthesizing findings from the past year from all projects across a program area, assessing other foundation contribution to the program area and assisting in the development of strategic options for the program for the year ahead.
  • Development of new projects, including identifying prospective grantees, working with prospective grantees to improve project design, collecting background information/research and conducting literature reviews, developing knowledge on specific topics to program areas, participation in meetings regarding projects and preparation of follow-up memoranda on meetings.
  • Development of proposed Small Grants Fund projects, including identifying prospective grantees, working with prospective grantees to improve project design, and preparing description of project for review.
  • Management of grants including: drafting payment and reporting schedules and contract language, tracking the current status of projects through ongoing contact with grantee principal investigators; reviewing grantee interim and final deliverables (e.g., interview protocols, survey instruments, preliminary data analysis and papers/articles for publication); maintaining knowledge of work related to grants; and maintaining files on assigned grants; and insuring that grantees follow payment and reporting schedules.
  • Preparing Completed Grant Memoranda on all assigned completed projects, summarizing achievements, issues in implementation, and lessons learned for Fund grantmaking.
  • Development of briefing materials, policy briefs and journal articles for Fund or outside publication.
  • Development of survey instruments, analysis of survey data, and the dissemination of survey results.
  • Preparing talks and presentations to disseminate the Fund’s work in Advancing Medicare and in Controlling Health Costs.
  • Supervising program support staff in the planning of advisory committee meetings and policy roundtables.
  • Representing the Fund at meetings and conferences.
  • Working with the executive vice president for programs and other senior program staff on cross-cutting issues and other program areas as needed. This work may include participating in the internal review of reports for possible Fund publication in all Fund program areas.
  • Working with the Fund’s communications office in the presentation and dissemination of project findings to the media and other interested parties.

ADDITIONAL DUTIES

The Senior Program Officer also leads the Advancing Medicare Initiative, with additional responsibility for:

  • Coordinating all program officer activities within this program
  • Developing and maintaining the work plan for the program
  • Convening program team meetings
  • Representing the program internally to the executive management team

The Senior Program Officer is also assigned as a team member of the Fund’s other programs and initiatives. As such, the Senior Program Officer is expected to actively participate and contribute to the activities of these programs.

The Fund’s philosophy on successful performance in the job includes the willingness on the part of all senior staff members to handle any assignment necessary to further the goals of the institution. This may include taking on responsibility for other program areas or departments if the need arises.

QUALIFICATIONS

Ideal requirements include an advanced degree in economics or a related field. A doctorate level degree is preferred. Strong background in health insurance coverage and policy, health services financing and delivery and access to care issues. Minimum of eight to ten years related work experience. Health policy, economic and research analytical skills, including use of quantitative data and a grounding in qualitative research methods. Coordination and project management skills. Well organized with concern for details, accuracy and deadlines. Ability to set priorities and work with a minimum of supervision. Computer skills: facility with Internet searches, word processing, spreadsheets, and graphical presentations. Experience with statistical software analysis preferred. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Excellent interpersonal skills: capable of being a team member as well as a team leader. Willingness to participate in general workflow of office.

The Fund has a relatively small staff, and judgment, integrity, and the ability to listen with sensitivity to others are traits that are particularly important in an organization of the Fund’s size, where teamwork is essential to effectiveness. The ability to work collegially with a variety of Fund staff and interest in and strong commitment to the Fund’s mission and grants programs are key qualifications.  

LOCATION AND START DATE:

This position could be based in either the Fund’s New York City headquarters or its Washington DC Office. The job will commence July 1, 2015.

COMPENSATION

Commensurate with background and experience. The Fund offers an excellent benefits package (medical/dental insurance, life/disability insurance, pension plan, tuition reimbursement, ample vacation and lunch in staff dining room).

CONTACT

Send resume, cover letter and salary history via e-mail to: dd@cmwf.org

Diana Davenport 
Vice President, Administration 
The Commonwealth Fund 
One East 75th Street New York, NY 
10021-2692

 

GRANTS MANAGEMENT OFFICE


THE ORGANIZATION

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for two groups of people: High-need and high-cost individuals – the sickest 5 percent of Americans who account for 50 percent of health care costs, and America’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, ethnic and racial minorities, and the elderly. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. In so doing, the Fund has become a national leader in investigation and policy development related to tracking the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, reforming the health care delivery system, international health policy and practice, cost control and Medicare. The Fund has an endowment of $700 million, and an annual budget of $32 million, approximately 60 percent of which is spent extramurally on grants and 40 percent is spent intramurally developing programs, conducting research, and communicating results to influential audiences.

THE DEPARTMENT

The grants management office provides administrative and financial management support for all of the Commonwealth Fund’s grantmaking activities. Grants management is centralized with many of the administrative responsibilities shared with the program staff who support each program area. The grants management department comprised of three staff members is engaged in all aspects of the Fund’s grant making process, including budget planning, program planning, project development, financial and compliance monitoring, completed grant reporting and evaluation, and historical archiving of completed grant materials.

GENERAL POSITION DESCRIPTION

Reporting to the Vice President, Grants Management, the Grants Assistant works and cross-trains with a grants assistant counterpart to support efficient and effective grantmaking operations at the Fund.  The Grants Assistant shares responsibility for administration of the Fund’s grants management system, FoundationConnect, an application built on the salesforce.com platform.

Candidates for the Grants Assistant position should be excited about using technology as a tool to streamline processes and improve organizational performance.  There is great opportunity for the grants assistant to take initiative and serve as an internal consultant to other departments, and to build additional CRM (customer related management) system programming and management skills.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES

Grants Management Office

  • Responds to general inquiries from the public and from prospective grantees which come in via online portal, e-mail, mail, and telephone.
  • Schedules and coordinates the board cycle and small grant meetings and distributes all related materials in advance of the meetings.
  • Conducts due diligence on potential grantee organizations, including compliance and legal review, with support from the vice president.
  • Records discussion notes at Small and Board grant meetings. Also ensures that grant records are coded correctly.
  • Prepares and distributes the draft Board Book, in coordination with communications staff, for executive management team review prior to each Board meeting.
  • Ensures that each electronic grant record is complete, with all required documentation  throughout the grant period and when ready to archive as a completed grant.
  • Manages the Fund’s Completed Grant Reporting process for annual executive management team review and rating.
  • Closes out grant records according to established procedures when the funded project is completed and all narrative and financial reporting requirements have been met.
  • Serves as a resource to Fund staff, providing technical assistance proactively and as needed.
  • Support bi-weekly grant check request and processing, including preparation of related correspondence.
  • Reconciles grants management grant balances in FoundationConnect with Controller’s office balances from the general ledger. Prepares annual overview of grant transactions in preparation for the Fund’s annual audit.
  • Prepares Annual Report grants list for publication on The Commonwealth Fund website, as well as the expenditure responsibility statements for The Commonwealth Fund tax return.
  • Following board and small grant approval, prepares award letters and agreements, coordinating with program staff on payment and reporting schedules.

Controller’s Office

  • Processes grant checks on a bi-weekly basis. Maintains vendor records for the Controller’s office.

Electronic Records Management and System Administration

  • Assists the Vice President with long-range planning, task analysis, procedures development, maintenance and implementation of FoundationConnect system.
  • Works with the grants management team and Rockefeller Archive Center staff to help develop new procedures for archiving digital grant records as digital archiving practices evolve.
  • Works with and trains teams from different departments to expand the use and functionality of the database. Examples include the publications tracking system and the online international fellowship applications. There will be numerous opportunities for the grants assistant to be involved in development and project management of new CRM functionality.
  • Maintains integrity of electronic grant records, including having primary responsibility for quality control and data integrity. This work will include utilizing software tools as well as developing guidelines for maintaining information electronically whenever appropriate.

Other Responsibilities

  • Takes on and completes special projects as assigned by the Vice President, Grants Management.
  • Cross-trains with the other grants assistant in the Grants Management Office and may be asked to provide program assistance to program officers as needed due to staffing transitions.

The Fund’s philosophy on successful performance in the job includes the willingness on the part of all staff members to handle any assignment necessary to further the goals of the institution. This may include taking on responsibility for other program areas or departments if the need arises.

QUALIFICATIONS

Bachelor’s degree and one to two years of demonstrated office experience or some equivalent combination of undergraduate work and office experience are required. Excellent written and oral communication skills are necessary. Strong computer skills are expected and required. Excellent Microsoft Excel skill and knowledge of the salesforce.com database are a plus. Candidate must be detail-oriented and have demonstrated strong organizational and administrative skills. Candidate must be able to work on multiple tasks, work with schedules and work under tight deadlines. Candidate must have good judgment and the ability to act independently within standard guidelines. Flexibility and skill in working as a team member are a must as this is a highly demanding, multiple-task environment with changing priorities.

The Fund has a relatively small staff, and judgment, integrity, and the ability to listen with sensitivity to others are traits that are particularly important in an organization of the Fund’s size, where teamwork is essential to effectiveness. The ability to work collegially with a variety of Fund staff and interest in and strong commitment to the Fund’s mission and grants programs are key qualifications.

COMPENSATION

Commensurate with background and experience. The Fund offers an excellent benefits package (medical/dental insurance, life/disability insurance, pension plan, tuition reimbursement, ample vacation and lunch in staff dining room).

CONTACT

Send resume and cover letter via e-mail to: dd@cmwf.org

Diana Davenport
Vice President, Administration
The Commonwealth Fund
One East 75th Street
New York, NY 10021-2692

Employment at The Commonwealth Fund is based upon personal capabilities and qualifications without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation/affection preference, gender identity, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, medical condition, disability, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.