Summary

The purpose of this position is to manage and process all incoming Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests for BHA.  This position will also manage all communications for and about providers, including leading cross agency work with Health Care Policy and Financing, the Department of Regulatory Agencies, and others which has a statewide impact on all behavioral health providers in the state or operating in the state.

Description

About this Unit:
The Communications Specialist is located within the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) which leads and promotes the State’s behavioral health priorities, ensures that behavioral health services respond to the changing needs of communities, monitor State and local data, and continuously evaluates State efforts. In collaboration with other state agencies, the BHA is accountable for the delivery of behavioral health services in Colorado. It bestows a streamlined and efficient government approach to support quality care while minimizing the burden on providers so that they can focus on service delivery. BHA is responsible for behavioral health policy development and effective collaboration with cross-sector partners working in and around the behavioral health system and along the continuum from prevention to treatment and recovery. Further, BHA works in partnership with State agencies to reduce bureaucracy and fragmentation.  

The Communications Unit is an organizational work unit within BHA. This division creates and oversees communications for BHA programs and executive staff. The Communications Division works closely with division directors, managers,  supervisors, and senior leadership. This unit also works closely with the Governor’s Office and other state agency communications teams. The role of the Unit is to promote positive external relationships and bring the voice of stakeholders to BHA; to design strategy and tactics as well as be the day-to-day communications arm of the BHA; and finally, recruit, retain and engage with internal staff, keeping them in the loop and involved in decisions and updates. The unit ensures that the BHA’s vision, mission, and values are transparently communicated and supports the development of processes and materials that demonstrate the BHA’s progress in enhancing behavioral health accountability, equity, and effectiveness. The unit works closely with CDHS legislative liaisons, communications directors, audit division and the State Board of Human Services to ensure coordinated external relationships.

About this Position:
The purpose of this position is to manage and process all incoming Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests for BHA.  This position will also manage all communications for and about providers, including leading cross agency work with Health Care Policy and Financing, the Department of Regulatory Agencies, and others which has a statewide impact on all behavioral health providers in the state or operating in the state. 

This position is exposed to and expected to appropriately manage confidential and highly sensitive information. An important competency in this role is to strategically think on behalf of the organization, Coloradans receiving or needing care, and other state departments to problem solve and proactively plan.

This position further focuses on internal communications – to manage and direct all internal communications efforts and engagement. This position is a key member of the BHA communications unit, responsible for creating, and transforming ideas into newsletters, articles,  presentations, videos, reports and publications. This position directs and oversees the process of creating and distributing the majority of internal staff communications. This position oversees the internal communications efforts to make BHA a great place to work, which includes engaging with and surveying staff, gathering feedback and creating direction and action plans from that feedback. This position may be asked or delegated responsibility to engage with the staff union to ensure staff are informed and feel heard. This position is constantly creating new procedures to engage with staff and improve retention scores.

CORA Manager:

  • Manage all CORA requests for BHA, including but not limited to, document retrieval and collection, recommended redactions, recommended withholdings, and other coordination and collection of records.
  • Coordinate with CDHS CORA manager on requests for best response.
  • Research and collaborate with the owner of the documents that are requested.

Internal communications:

  • Advises and coordinates internal staff updates via email, video and/or other channels based on BHA leadership updates
  • Manage the communication for the intranet and websites to ensure they are aligned with BHA branding protocols.
  • Researches, writes, edits, produces and distributes internal BHA newsletters, emails and all staff updates as needed.
  • Covers Administration events to garner newsletter content, including research and planning, interviewing, design, photography, and writing.  
  • Creates specific program content and opportunities to highlight staff for retention efforts.
  • Manages, approves and edits submissions to newsletters received from program-level communications staff.
  • Works within tight deadlines to ensure sufficient content is obtained, articles are well-written and compliant with AP and BHA style and the newsletter is produced according to deadline and production standards.
  • Develops and oversees content to ensure that administration communications highlight relevant observances and events that promote BHA values, e.g., Black History Month, Pride events, American with Disabilities Month, etc. 
  • Creates and manages communications plans for internal Department-wide initiatives
  • Creates and manages all-staff emails and approval process about Department news

Provider communications:

  • Manages all communication for providers of behavioral health services, including but not limited to contracted providers, private, and Medicaid providers, in the form of white papers/fact sheets / SOPs
    • Licensing requirements, rules and standards
    • Workforce development and professional training in LMS
    • Using the Medicaid system for claims and encounter submissions
  • Approves materials and provides direction to state agency partners, such as HealthCare Policy and Financing, the Colorado Department of Public Health, the Department of Human Services, The Department of Early Childhood, Department of Education, among others about how to communicate and share updates with providers about behavioral health services and expectations across the state

Special Projects:

  • This position identifies and executes critical projects in conjunction with the communications team and other programmatic teams. 
    • Identifies staff training opportunities for communications.
    • May support the communication needs for external engagements, such as hosting zoom for advisory councils and board meetings
    • May identify opportunities for public speaking, conference presentations, and media highlights for BHA related to behavioral health. 
    • May develop presentations and talking points for executive leadership that are tailored to specific audiences and includes the expertise and independent judgment from this position on what messages resonate.

 

  • Other duties as assigned

 

Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment & Appeal Rights

Minimum Qualifications

Option 1 

  • Six (6) years of professional experience working in a communications, media relations or public relations role, which includes communications strategy development and implementation, development of high-quality written work product in multiple formats and engaging diverse stakeholders. OR a human resources role which includes leading internal communications efforts.
    • Please note: This experience must be clearly documented on your application and the supplemental questions must be answered.

Option 2 (Education and Experience): 

  • Three years of professional experience working in a communications, media relations or public relations role, which includes communications strategy development and implementation, development of high-quality written work product in multiple formats and engaging diverse stakeholders. OR a human resources role which includes leading internal communications efforts.
    AND 
  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Liberal Arts, Public Administration, Public Policy Marketing or related field

 

Substitutions

  • A combination of related education and/or relevant experience as mentioned above related to the work assigned equal to six (6) years

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Exceptional written communication skills

  • Experience developing and executing strategies for internal communications

  • Experience managing Granicus or related email management software

  • Experience in state government, specifically open records act processes

  • Demonstrates high standards for personal integrity, credibility, and a pursuit of learning and self-development 

  • Personal style that adapts to a fast-paced environment 

  • Collaborative communication style that effectively communicates complex ideas while embracing customer service

  • Achievement focus that demonstrates a drive for results while ensuring a high-quality process 

  • Ability to work independently and manage projects effectively and efficiently 

  • Commitment to maintaining confidentiality and privacy of sensitive or legally protected records

  • Humility and the ability to work in a complex political environment

  • Experience in project management 

  • Experience managing simultaneous deadlines

  • Spanish language skills

 Conditions of Employment:

  • This position is delegated as a hybrid position. The employees must maintain a home office,
    internet, and possibly phone to complete required job duties or report to the office when needed. 
  • Standard Background – Name check, TRAILS, CMS and JBITS
  • Former State employees who were disciplinarily terminated or resigned in lieu of termination must disclose the information on the application and provide an explanation why the prior termination or resignation should not disqualify the applicant from the current position.  Absent extraordinary circumstances, prior disciplinary termination or resignation in lieu of termination will disqualify the applicant from future State employment with CDHS.

APPEAL RIGHTS:
If you receive notice that you have been eliminated from consideration for this position, you may file an appeal with the State Personnel Board or request a review by the State Personnel Director.

An appeal or review must be submitted on the official appeal form, signed by you or your representative. This form must be delivered to the State Personnel Board by email (dpa_state.personnelboard@state.co.us), postmarked in US Mail or hand delivered (1525 Sherman Street, 4th Floor, Denver CO 80203), or faxed (303.866.5038) within ten (10) calendar days from your receipt of notice or acknowledgement of the department’s action.

For more information about the appeals process, the official appeal form, and how to deliver it to the State Personnel Board; go to spb.colorado.gov; contact the State Personnel Board for assistance at (303) 866-3300; or refer to 4 Colorado Code of Regulations (CCR) 801-1, State Personnel Board Rules and Personnel Director's Administrative Procedures, Chapter 8, Resolution of Appeals and Disputes, at spb.colorado.gov under Rules. 

A standard appeal form is available at: www.colorado.gov/spb. If you appeal, your appeal must be submitted in writing on the official appeal form, signed by you or your representative, and received at the following address within 10 days of your receipt of notice or knowledge of the action: Colorado State Personnel Board/State Personnel Director, Attn: Appeals Processing, 1525 Sherman Street, 4th Floor, Denver, CO 80203. Fax: 303-866-5038. Phone: 303-866-3300. The ten-day deadline and these appeal procedures also apply to all charges of discrimination.

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