DSHS BHA Communications and Outreach Administrator

US Government, Dept. of Social and Health Services

Communications and Outreach Administrator

If you have a strong background as a communicator, a passion for behavioral health and a desire to share these stories with others, join DSHS’s Behavioral Health Administration (BHA)! We’re seeking an experienced and creative communications professional to help ensure that communities are informed and involved with behavioral health transformation.

This position will be primarily telework.

As a Communications Consultant 5, you will serve as an advisor to the BHA executive leadership team, managers, and staff across the administration. In this role, you will primarily support BHA’s Office of Forensic Mental Health Services and programs created as part of the Trueblood Contempt Settlement. You will plan and oversee key BHA communications activities, including the development, coordination, and execution of internal/external communication strategies and products to include articles, infographics, media statements, and web material. 

 In the role of Communications and Outreach Administrator, you will educate communities across the state by meeting or facilitating meetings with external business partners representing BHA/OFMHS in the spirit of information sharing, community relations, engagement, and problem-solving issues as they arise. 

You will provide reliable and professionally sound guidance, consultation, and advice at an advanced level for communications strategy and message and program development that has a statewide impact. This position requires consistent strategic, analytical and critical thinking, expert judgment and decision-making in the creation and implementation of services to executives and management.  
Some of what you will do

  • Act as communications lead for class action settlements and develop and self-manage complex communications activities
  • Serve as the communications lead responsible for developing relevant communication plans and tactics to ensure employees, partners, stakeholders, the news media and general public receive timely, accurate information about resources available, services provided, and administration initiatives
  • Anticipate staff, public, legislative, and media reactions to events and policies initiated and administered by BHA and prepare key managers to effectively communicate with the public, media, business partners, and employees
  • Advise others who develop communication systems, strategies, and tools
  • Develop products such as stories and web material. Work with visual communications to develop infographics and to produce videos
  • Identify information needs and develop products to address those needs for both internal and external audiences
  • Bring an equity, anti-racism and social justice framework to your communications approach. We strive to create an affirming representation of all of the communities we serve.

Who should apply 

  • Professionals with a Bachelor’s degree involving major study in journalism, communications, public administration, or a closely related field;


  • Four years of professional experience in communications, journalism, public relations, or closely allied field

Note: Additional professional experience in communications, journalism, or public relations may substitute, year for year, for education

Desired Skills

  • Effective technical and plain language writing skills with the ability to develop written documents, and materials
  • Ability to self-manage and motivate with little need for oversight. This includes time management with meeting project timelines, staying focused and organized while balancing competing priorities, and completing quality work that meets rapid deadlines
  • Working knowledge of DSHS, crisis/emergency, medical, behavioral health, and/or social services terminology and ability to access information to produce clear communications products is preferred
  • Experience with SharePoint, photo editing, and publishing material to websites is preferred

Who we are

Watch this video to learn more about how our staff makes a difference in transforming lives.

Along with your completed application and three references, include:

  • A letter of interest describing your work in the Communications field
  • Chronological resume

Our Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) mission to Transform Lives requires that we come together with a sense of belonging, common purpose, shared values and meaningful work. It is crucial to our agency’s mission that you bring an equity, anti-racism and social justice commitment to your work with DSHS. We strive to create greater access and affirming representation of the communities we serve, including Black, Indigenous and People of Color, people with physical, behavioral health, and intellectual disabilities, elders, LGBTQIA+ individuals, immigrants and refugees, and families building financial security.

Questions?  Please email saleen.hernandez@dshs.wa.gov and reference #05644.  To learn more about DSHS, go to www.dshs.wa.gov.

#WeAreHiring #InclusionWorks     

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