Program Assistant, Health Care Delivery System Reform

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date:


Application Deadline:



1 East 75th Street
New York
New York
United States



In the United States, two groups experience problems with their health care more intensely and more frequently than any other.

One group is people with high health care needs and high costs—the 5 percent of the population that accounts for 50 percent of all health spending. Many have multiple, serious chronic conditions, like congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. Some also have functional limitations that make it difficult to perform daily living activities. Others have behavioral health concerns that further complicate their care.

People with low income also experience our health system’s shortcomings more acutely. Disproportionately minority, this vulnerable population is more likely to lack health insurance and adequate social supports than more affluent Americans. Extensive research shows that people with socioeconomic disadvantages have greater difficulty obtaining health care, receive lower-quality care, and experience poorer health outcomes.

The Commonwealth Fund’s Health Care Delivery System Reform program believes rapid, meaningful change in well-being is possible for both groups. Moreover, we believe improvements in care for these patients can spur better performance across the entire health system.

To promote needed change, the program supports efforts to:

  • build an evidence base to better understand the needs of these two populations and to demonstrate the value of improving care for both
  • identify and assess promising models, programs, and practices to improve care
  • promote payment reform and policy improvements to facilitate delivery system reform.

Through the Commonwealth Fund Mongan Fellowship Program in Minority Health Policy, the program also develops the physician leadership needed to address the health needs of vulnerable populations.



The Program Assistant is the staff member responsible for providing the daily support for the High-Need, High-Cost Portfolio in the Health Care Delivery System Reform program and its officers. The Program Assistant will be expected to perform a variety of duties including grants management, daily administrative tasks, proposal development, writing, editing, and the occasional research project.


General Administrative Support (50%)

·        Provides administrative support for the vice president and the assistant vice president of the program including: calendar, telephone, travel, meetings, expense reports, correspondence, and distribution of program work.

·        Arranges appointments and scheduling of meetings for the vice president and assistant vice president, which includes reserving meeting rooms and arranging for food, beverage, and audiovisual needs.

·        Prepares materials, slides, and charts for internal meetings, including project briefing meetings, and proposal review meetings.

·        Prepares materials, slides, and charts for external meetings and presentations on behalf of the assistant vice president. This involves research and assembling materials and detailed information about projects in the program areas.

·        As part of a six-member team, is expected to cross-train and support other aspects of the Health Care Delivery System Reform program, as needed.

Grants Management (40%)

·        Manages all aspects of the grant process: preparation of summaries and materials to support Board-level Grants and Small Grants, payment and reporting schedules, and letters of agreement; tracking of program and grantee products, including papers and conferences, 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.

·        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.

·        Supports a multi-foundation collaborative focused on high-cost, high-need patients. Responsibilities include setting the agenda for weekly meetings, tracking action items related to the collaborative, 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.

Research and Analysis (10%)

·        Conducts background research in this Fund program area as needed by the vice president and assistant vice president, 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 (1-2 times/year) attends relevant meetings, conferences, and webinars in support of 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 (Foundation Connect) 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.  



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


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.



Professional Level

Entry level

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Send resume and cover letter to

Gabrielle Wuolo

Director of Administration

The Commonwealth Fund

One East 75th Street

New York, NY 10021-2692