Senior Health Communications Specialist

Arlington, Virginia, United States /
Altarum Institute – Population Health/Community Health /
/ Hybrid
Altarum is pleased to announce an opening for a Health Communications Specialist to work in the Division of Population Health. This senior-level position will play a pivotal role in designing and implementing Sexual and Reproductive Health communications projects, including those for the National Coalition for Sexual Health. The Health Communications Specialist will lead and/or assist with campaign strategy development, message creation, materials development and pre-testing, engagement of target audiences and implementing partners, media relations, social media, and campaign launch and promotion.   

Our ideal candidate has experience in creating health communication/behavior change campaigns on health topics, particularly relating to sexual health and for diverse audiences. Strategic planning, creative thinking, and excellent writing skills, particularly for public audiences, are required. Other helpful prior experience includes working in a fast-paced, challenging, and intellectually engaging environment, interacting with thought leaders from multiple disciplines, and developing content and messaging strategies.   

During your career at Altarum as a Health Communications Specialist, you’ll have an opportunity to support a variety of Population Health projects, shape the overall communications strategy for projects, and participate in activities to promote expansion of effective interventions to states and with federal partners. You’ll work with a passionate, innovative team of public health professionals, analysts, and researchers. 


    • Model the values of the organization. 
    • Lead the development of campaign strategies and roadmaps, including communications objectives, audiences, channels, messengers, tactics, metrics of success, and partner and audience engagement.  
    • Lead message, materials, and activities development. Could include creation of core content such as tips, practical advice, and conversation starters for the public; website content;  materials for media relations and social media; promotional activities; and supervision of video projects. 
    • Facilitate message testing efforts for selected communications materials in collaboration with Altarum researchers.  
    • Oversee monitoring and evaluation of communications initiatives, including quantitative and qualitative data collection, and quality assurance of communications activities. 
    • Serve as a primary point of contact between our team and external communications agencies; facilitate the exchange of information and ideas to ensure the successful development of a sexual and reproductive health communications campaign. 
    • Lead the coordination of related advisory groups tasked with providing valuable insights and perspectives on campaign concepts, messages, and design. Foster a collaborative and inclusive environment that empowers advisory group members to contribute meaningfully to the development of the campaign. 
    • Manage and curate content for social media, digital tools, and publications; facilitate collaboration with social media influencers.  
    • Prepare materials for meetings and speaking engagements (e.g., research briefings, speeches, PowerPoint presentations, talking points, etc.) 
    • Complete and comply with federal plain language guidelines. 
    • Manage risks and report status of mitigation plans and completion of tasks to project leadership and clients.  
    • Ability to resolve conflict proactively to promote and maintain team cohesion.  
    • Develop trusted, value-added client relationships; update and adapt solutions to changing client requirements while balancing contractual obligations. 


    • Master’s degree required.  
    • Minimum of 7years of experience in health communications, behavior change communications, media relations, journalism,  or related field. Experience working within the sexual and reproductive health field strongly preferred.  
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills with demonstrated creativity, particularly for public audiences. 
    • Experience co-designing communications products with and for diverse populations (e.g., young people, LGBTQ+ community, different racial groups) preferred. 
    • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to positively represent Altarum and its mission. 
    • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to effectively manage multiple projects while staying on schedule. 
    • Ability to work independently, but flexible enough to also work as part of a large team. 
    • Knowledge of or ability to learn new computer programs easily: 
    • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) 
    • Adobe Suite, e.g., InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Dreamweaver(design publications for print or digital)  
    • Social media platforms, e.g., Tik Tok & Reels, and LinkedIn (administration and reporting)  
    • Canva (online graphics) 
    • Experience copyediting. 
    • Understanding of Section 508 compliance and basic accessibility guidelines (a plus)or a willingness to learn it on the job. 
    • Ambitious and takes initiative; committed to getting the job done. 

Logistical Requirements

    • At this time we will only accept candidates who are presently eligible to work in the United States and will not require sponsorship.
    • Our organization requires that all work, for the duration of your employment, must be completed in the continental U.S. unless required by contract.
    • If you are local to our offices in Arlington, Silver Spring, Ann Arbor, or Portland this role will be hybrid.
    • Must be able to work during eastern time unless approved by your manager.

Altarum is a nonprofit organization focused on improving the health of individuals with fewer financial resources and populations disenfranchised by the health care system.  We work primarily on behalf of federal and state governments to design and implement solutions that achieve measurable results.  We combine our expertise in public health and health care delivery with technology development and implementation, practice transformation, training and technical assistance, quality improvement, data analytics, and applied research and evaluation. Our innovative solutions and proven processes lead to better value and health for all. 
In addition to the meaningful and challenging work, Altarum offers an outstanding benefits program that includes paid time off, tuition reimbursement, 401k (3% employer contribution plus opportunity for gainsharing), a flexible work environment, and much more. We invite you to explore exciting and rewarding career opportunities with us.  
Altarum provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.