Job Description

JOB TITLE: Program Officer

REPORTS TO: Senior Program Officer


APPROVAL DATE: January 20, 2023


About the Montana Healthcare Foundation

Montana Healthcare Foundation (MHCF) makes strategic investments to improve the health and well-being of all Montanans. MHCF contributes to a measurably healthier state by supporting access to quality and affordable health services, conducting evidence-driven research and analysis, and addressing the upstream influences on health and illness. The Foundation is overseen by seven dedicated trustees from across the state and run by an innovative, close-knit team led by its CEO, Dr. Aaron Wernham. MHCF is a permanent resource for Montana and catalyzes health innovation. Learn more about the Foundation, its board of trustees, and its staff.

Position Summary

This position is an opportunity for an innovative, experienced health professional to join a creative, growing organization with a permanent endowment to support health improvement in Montana. The program officer will report to the senior program officer and work with them to support the development and implementation of initiatives that improve and strengthen the health care system. This position will focus on supporting MHCF and its partners in its behavioral health initiatives and other projects as assigned. The program officer will build relationships to advance the Integrated Behavioral Health and The Meadowlark Initiatives. They will support grantees and partners in these initiatives to implement patient registries, SBIRT (screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment), peer support, MAT (medication-assisted treatment), and care coordination to address social determinants of health. The program officer will also manage a grantee portfolio and work closely with colleagues on other Foundation focus areas.

The ideal candidate brings a willingness to work closely with Foundation colleagues and the intellectual agility to contribute to the full range of related issues the Foundation is addressing. Complementing a passion for addressing health issues, this individual will have the ability to understand and analyze the business, legal, and financial issues related to health administration. Exemplary verbal and writing skills are essential.

Humility, empathy, and a bias toward listening are key attributes needed in this role. The successful candidate must demonstrate cultural competence, sensitivity, and awareness to be an effective emissary of a large funding entity serving all Montana residents. This position is an opportunity to bring a passion for changing health outcomes in the state of Montana to an organization with the dynamism of a startup— mission-driven, hard-working, focused, smart, innovative, growing, action-oriented— and the credibility earned during its initial years of operation.

Essential Functions

Grant Management
  • Identifies and engages new partner organizations to receive grant funding and implement the Foundation’s behavioral health initiatives. Supports successful grant proposals, including application development, disseminates opportunities, works with partners to cultivate high-quality proposals, and participates in proposal review and selection.
  • Manages a portfolio of assigned grants. Reviews progress reports and communicates frequently with grantees and partners to monitor progress on project work plans.
  • Provides technical assistance to grant recipients and partners to advance the Foundation’s initiative goals and facilitate the successful completion of Foundation-funded projects. Supports grantees in executing evaluation and improvement plans.
  • Assists recipients and the Foundation in formulating measurable outcomes. Evaluates the outcomes of Foundation-funded projects and synthesizes the results for reports. Collaborates with the program team, evaluation staff, contractors, and CEO to develop and provide periodic reports to convey concise and timely information to the board of trustees regarding the Foundation’s strategies, programming, and outcomes.
  • Collaborates with the program team, evaluation staff, contractors, and CEO to develop and provide periodic reports to convey concise and timely information to the board of trustees regarding the Foundation’s strategies, programming, and outcomes.
Technical Assistance
  • Provides in-person and remote technical assistance to grantees and other partners to allow them to, for example:
    • Transform clinical care by implementing integrated, team-based care in various settings including primary care clinics, behavioral health clinics, and perinatal/obstetrical practices, in close collaboration with Foundation consultants.
    • Optimize revenue, administration, and compliance to sustain practice transformation in integrated care settings.
    • Implement effective systems for care coordination in integrated, teambased settings.
    • Add peer recovery supporters in integrated, team-based settings.
    • Develop systematic approaches to address the social determinants of health through screening, referrals, benefits coordination, and partnerships with cross-sector organizations such as housing, social services, transportation, food and nutrition, etc.
  • Forms new partnerships and business agreements to address workforce shortages and strengthen clinical care. Partnerships and agreements will be among community mental health centers, state-approved chemical dependency treatment providers, federally qualified health centers, rural health centers, and other clinical settings.
  • Manages technical assistance consultants, including contract negotiation, monitors activities, and collaborates with grantees and consultants.
  • Builds strong working relationships with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), Medicaid, health care providers, and other key constituents to advance the behavioral health initiatives and the Foundation’s strategic priorities.
  • Engages with new and established community partners to better understand their strengths and challenges, represents the Foundation’s strategies and approach accurately, and identifies identify opportunities for the Foundation to respond effectively.
  • As assigned, implements and leads programming under the supervision of the senior program officer.
  • Advises and collaborates with the senior program officer and other team members to design and implement new initiatives.
  • Maintains current knowledge on health issues important to the Foundation; conducts literature reviews, establishes a network of professional contacts, and participates in relevant conferences and other educational programs.
  • Conducts programmatic research and “bright spotting” of programs relevant to Foundation priorities, compiles information and data to inform the development, implementation, and evaluation of Foundation priorities and programs.
  • Assists in evaluating Foundation initiatives; develops appropriate metrics and measurement systems, collecting data, compiling reports, and streamlining measurement across initiatives.
Other Duties
  • Other duties and/or projects as assigned under the direction of the senior program officer.
  • Reliability and attendance – begin work on time and conform to work hours and schedule.
  • Work collegially with all trustees, staff, members of the public (including prospective and eventual grantees) with a positive attitude and cheerful outlook.
  • Exercise discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

Please note nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.


  • At least five years of relevant professional experience.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree in behavioral health, health care management, health policy, or a related area is preferred.
  • Experience providing and/or managing clinical care in integrated, team-based settings.
  • Strong record of accomplishment supporting clinical transformation to implement integrated behavioral health/team-based care, as well as other health and health care system improvement initiatives.
  • Experience with policy, systems, and clinical approaches to the social determinants of health and care delivery systems.
  • Broad knowledge of health issues, needs, opportunities, and the policy environment in Montana.
Required Skills
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills. Ability to quickly establish trust and rapport with health care, tribal, government, professional, and community stakeholders; comfort addressing politically sensitive health and policy questions with tact and poise; a demonstrated talent for forming and leading partnerships between diverse stakeholders working toward a common goal.
  • Ability to collaborate and contribute to a close-knit, supportive team environment and work with people and organizations of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and cultures.
  • Ability to mentor, develop and supervise junior staff members, grantees, and others.
  • Ability to work independently and plan and carry out complex, multi-step projects to achieve MHCF initiative goals.
  • Sound judgment in determining when to consult the senior program officer, program director, or other senior staff.
  • Ability to adapt to changing needs and priorities and assume new responsibilities. • Track record of creativity, adaptability, personal accountability, and initiative. Capacity to deal with concepts and complexity comfortably.
  • Discretion and judgment regarding sensitive topics and confidential information.
  • Proficiency in PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Outlook.
Other Job Information
  • Position is full-time – 40 hours/week – with competitive benefit package.
  • The Foundation office is in Bozeman, MT. A telecommuting agreement will be negotiated for an employee outside the Bozeman, MT area.
  • Extensive travel by personal car, rental car, and air. Mileage reimbursed at allowed IRS rates or actual costs of an approved rental vehicle. The employee must maintain a driver’s license valid in Montana and private liability insurance with minimums outlined under MHCF’s policy.
Essential Physical Skills

The program officer will frequently remain in a stationary position for up to 75% of the workday; stand occasionally moves about inside the office to access equipment, files and meetings; occasionally required to move objects weighing up to 10 pounds and must infrequently move objects weighing more than 20 pounds or carry objects. This position requires the manual dexterity sufficient to operate phones, computers, and other office equipment. This person must communicate clearly using with customers/clients who speak English to accurately convey information and be able to communicate at normal speaking levels both in person and over the telephone. The employee must be able to receive and understand written and oral communication and give written and oral instruction. This position requires the ability to calculate mathematic problems and frequently requires visual acuity at 20 inches or less to review written documents.

Environmental Conditions

Often, in an office environment with visits to external environments that could require walking, driving to and from various locations. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.


This job description is not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of this position. All Foundation employees may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed, to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.

To Apply