Program Assistant, Health Care Delivery System Reform

Hiring Organization: 
The Commonwealth Fund
City and State: 
New York, NY


The Commonwealth Fund — among the first private foundations started by a woman philanthropist, Anna M. Harkness — was established in 1918 with the broad charge to enhance the common good. Today, the mission of The Commonwealth Fund is to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, and people of color. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. An international program in health policy is designed to stimulate innovative policies and practices in the United States and other industrialized countries.


Health care in the United States is often compromised by fragmentation in the delivery of services, uneven quality of care, pervasive inequities, patients’ limited access to care, and spiraling health care costs. The Commonwealth Fund’s Health Care Delivery System Reform (DSR) program aims to improve quality of care, increase affordability and advance equity, particularly for people who have a lot of complex health and social needs. To achieve its goals, the program focuses on three strategies:

-Understanding the needs of target populations and the gaps in the system to meet those needs;

-Identifying, assessing and spreading evidence-based models, programs, and practices to improve care for the target populations; and

-Promoting payment reform and policy improvements to facilitate spread and scale of evidence-based approaches that fill the gaps in the system and meet the needs of target populations.


The Program Assistant is the staff member responsible for providing the daily support for the Health Care Delivery System Reform program. The Program Assistant will perform a variety of duties including grants management, daily administrative tasks, proposal development, writing, editing, and the occasional research project.


Grants Management (60%)

  • Manages all aspects of the grant process: preparation of summaries and materials, payment and reporting schedules, and letters of agreement; tracking of program and grantee products, including papers and presentations, and scheduling grant payments accordingly; helps plan meetings, forums or conferences related to grantee work, and helps to maintain overall Fund-grantee relationships. Responsible for streamlining grant tracking methods and communication between the program and grantees to ensure timeliness of reports and products.
  • Assists in the development of grant proposals and budgets and in the preparation of project summaries for board meetings three times a year. This involves communicating with potential grantees, conducting background research on the proposal topics, compiling and distributing proposal review materials to the executive management team and assisting in internal reviews of proposals.
  • Supports a 7 Foundation Collaborative which aims to improve health care for people with complex health and social needs. Responsibilities include setting the agenda for meetings, tracking co-funded investments and action items, distribution of key materials, and supporting scheduling and execution of meetings on behalf of the collaborative. This requires working closely with staff from other foundations.
  • Acts as a liaison with Communications to ensure the dissemination of grant products, including: coordinating the review of draft grantee publications by Fund staff and the promotion of grantee-published articles; drafting language for the Fund website that publicizes grantee work; developing web-based grant products for placement or promotion on the Fund website; reviewing and providing program updates to the Fund website as needed; coordinating with grantees and Communications staff to produce webinars, podcasts, and other multimedia to promote grantee work.

General Administrative Support (30%)

  • Provides administrative support for the Program Officer including: arranges appointments and scheduling of meetings, completing expense reports.
  • Prepares materials, slides, and charts for external meetings and presentations. This involves research and assembling materials and detailed information about projects in the program areas.
  • Prepares materials, slides, and charts for internal meetings, including project briefing meetings, and proposal review meetings.

Research and Analysis (10%)

  • Conducts background research in this Fund program area as needed by Program Officer, including literature reviews, Internet searches and tracking journals, working papers, legislative developments and public coverage of health policy issues. In addition, secures reports from Federal and private sources.
  • Occasionally attend virtual and/or in-person meetings, conferences, and webinars relevant to the Delivery System Reform Program.
  • Corresponds with current and prospective grantees, consultants, and experts reviewing proposed projects; assembles and provides materials on Fund program, projects, and other activities as requested by grantees and other individuals.
  • Occasionally provides research and writing support for Fund publications. This work includes: preparing tables and charts as well as drafting summaries of grantee or Fund reports.

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 program and of the institution. This may include taking on responsibility for other program areas or departments if the need arises.


College bachelor’s degree and at least one year of work experience preferred. Candidates must have demonstrated organizational, administrative, and relationship management skills along with strong writing and analytic skills. Candidate must be detail-oriented and have the ability to manage and work on multiple tasks and under deadlines. Experience scheduling meetings, travel, teleconference calls and assembling material within very tight time frames is required. Strong computer skills are required, including knowledge of the Microsoft Office suite of products. Familiarity with the platform and/or knowledge of delivery system reform issues (e.g. value-based payment, primary care, social determinants of health) is a plus. Candidates must be willing to learn new technological skills as necessary to work with the Fund’s web site and surveys.

Ability to write and condense information for various audiences, to prepare and analyze budgets, and prepare PowerPoint presentations, graphics, charts and tabular data presentations is necessary. Interest in health policy and public health is essential. Preference will be given to those with undergraduate coursework or major in a healthcare related or public policy field.

This candidate will be intellectually curious and able to gather, assess and synthesize information from various sources. The candidate must have an interest in and strong commitment to the Fund's mission and current grants program. Flexibility and skill in working as a team member are a must as the position requires working in a highly demanding, multiple task environment with changing priorities and deadlines. The successful candidate will be proactive, will take initiative and will be able to work independently.

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.  


Please send cover letter (including salary expectations) and resume with the subject line: “Program Assistant, DSR – [Your Name]” to:


Commensurate with background and experience. The Fund offers an excellent benefits package.

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

How to Apply: 
Please send cover letter (including salary expectations) and resume with the subject line: “Program Assistant, DSR – [Your Name]” to:
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