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Senior Media Specialist, Office of External Affairs Deputy Commissioner

Constituent Services & Community Programs with NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)

Employment Type and Schedule Full-time

Salary $74,710 - $85,000 per year

Work Location Queens

Last Updated Last updated on Mar 13, 2023

Description Description

Established in 1805, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the NYC Health Department) is the oldest and largest health department in the country. Our mission is to protect and improve the health of all New Yorkers, in service of a vision of a city in which all New Yorkers can realize their full health potential, regardless of who they are, how old they are, where they are from, or where they live.

As a world-renowned public health agency with a history of building transformative public health programming and infrastructure, innovating in science and scholarship to advance public health knowledge, and responding to urgent public health crises — from New York City’s yellow fever outbreak in 1822, to the COVID-19 pandemic — we are a hub for public health innovation, expertise, and programs, and services. We serve as the population health strategist, and policy, and planning authority for the City of New York, while also having a vast impact on national and international public policy, including programs and services focused on food and nutrition, anti-tobacco support, chronic disease prevention, HIV/AIDS treatment, family and child health, environmental health, mental health, and racial and social justice work, among others.

Our Agency’s five strategic priorities, building off a recently-completed strategic planning process emerging from the COVID-19 emergency, are:
1) To re-envision how the Health Department prepares for and responds to health emergencies, with a focus on building a “response-ready” organization, with faster decision-making, transparent public communications, and stronger surveillance and bridges to healthcare systems 2) Address and prevent chronic and diet-related disease, including addressing rising rates of childhood obesity and the impact of diabetes, and transforming our food systems to improve nutrition and enhance access to healthy foods
3) Address the second pandemic of mental illness including: reducing overdose deaths, strengthening our youth mental health systems, and supporting people with serious mental illness
4) Reduce black maternal mortality and make New York a model city for women’s health
5) Mobilize against and combat the health impacts of climate change

Our 7,000-plus team members bring extraordinary diversity to the work of public health. True to our value of equity as a foundational element of all of our work, and a critical foundation to achieving population health impact in New York City, the NYC Health Department has been a leader in recognizing and dismantling racism’s impacts on the health of New Yorkers and beyond. In 2021, the NYC Board of Health declared racism as a public health crisis. With commitment to advance anti-racist public health practices that dismantle systems that perpetuate inequitable power, opportunity and access, the NYC Health Department continues to work in and with communities and community organizations to increase their access to health services and decrease avoidable health outcomes.

Program Description:

With a staff of more than 7,000 and a budget of $2.3 billion, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is the nation’s premier city health agency. Its 100-plus programs protect and promote the health of the world’s most culturally and linguistically diverse city. Each of these programs relies on the press office in the Office of External Affairs to convey critical messages to the public and respond to media inquiries in a timely, accurate fashion. Work on the frontlines of emerging local, national, and global health emergencies at the nation’s premier health department. The New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene serves at the forefront of responses to COVID, MPV, in addition to a diverse portfolio of issues that to affect the health of more than 8-million city residents. The press office also plays a critical role to support overdose prevention, mental health, environmental health, chronic disease prevention, and other programs that protect and promote the health of the world’s most culturally and linguistically diverse city. The Health Department’s press office operates a high-volume, 24/7 shop that serves as the main point of contact for local, national and international media, including some of the world’s top journalists. This is a challenging role but one that offers excitement, fulfillment and an opportunity to work on behalf of the health of New York City.


Research and write press and other public-facing materials about the agency’s public health initiatives, including speeches, op-eds and public statements. Audiences include the general public, medical professionals, and other public health stakeholders.

Liaise with divisional and programmatic leads to develop and maintain a calendar of announcements and product releases.

Manage, maintain and distribute up-to-date messaging documents, including but not limited to, briefing packages and talking points.

Review and edit press materials to ensure they are well-written, in plain language, concise, and consistent with agency style and work with the agency’s programs and bureaus to ensure that all external materials are easily understandable by their target audiences, and skillfully negotiate edits and revisions with program staff.

Manage a wide range of editorial projects from draft to completion, working with internal subject matter experts, and members of the media.

Ensure that the NYC Health brand and content is used consistently and appropriately on all external materials, and work with programs to develop appropriate voice.

Manage the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the press office.

Requirements Requirements

A Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college and two years of satisfactory, full-time experience related in journalism, public relations and editorial.