Program Specialist, Center for Healthy Aging

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. We believe everyone deserves to age with their best possible health and economic security, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or background. NCOA empowers individuals with trusted, proven solutions to improve their daily lives, and we protect and strengthen federal programs that people depend on as they age.

  • Our Vision: A just and caring society in which each of us, as we age, lives with dignity, purpose, and security
  • Our Mission: Improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling
  • Our Social Impact Goal: Improve the health and economic security of 40 million older adults by 2030

A key strategic priority for NCOA is to positively impact the health of older adults who have multiple health challenges. Through a nationwide network of community-based organizations and digital platforms, NCOA works to engage, educate, and empower older adults to play an active role in improving their own health. NCOA provides older adults and the organizations that serve them with the support, knowledge, and skills needed to manage their health conditions and make informed decisions about their health care. We work in partnership with national and state agencies and organizations as well as local community-based organizations to:

  • Improve health and reduce disability
  • Prevent falls
  • Enhance support and capacity for prevention, self-care, and self-management
  • Enhance services and supports to enable people to continue living in their own communities

NCOA is committed to ensuring that federal policies and programs are designed to reduce the risks and burden of multiple health problems on older adults and create real support for healthy lives and social engagement.

NCOA’s Operating Principles

All employees are expected to contribute to achieving the Operating Principles promulgated in June 2008: (1) Striving for excellence in all that we do, fostering critical thinking and creative action, welcoming and embracing innovation every day, not being afraid of taking risks, trying something new or adapting to a changing world; (2) Having respect and care for all and being good stewards of our resources and opportunities; (3) Achieving shared goals by building an environment of collaboration in which everyone is expected to contribute; (4) Committing to a trusting and respectful work environment that values honest and open communication, recognizes individual differences and points of view, and ensures the fair treatment of everyone.

Position Summary

The NCOA Center for Healthy Aging works to increase access to and use of evidence-based interventions to help older adults and adults with disabilities live longer, healthier lives. The Center houses two National Resource Centers funded by the Administration for Community Living that provides technical assistance and resources to support state and community-based organizations in implementing, scaling, and sustaining evidence-based falls prevention, chronic disease self-management education and other health promotion and disease prevention programs so that they will be easily accessible across the U.S.

Working as a team member in the Center for Healthy Aging, this position will support program efforts for the National Falls Prevention Resource Center and the National Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) Resource Center; keep up-to-date regarding the progress of grantees and other delivery partners across the country; highlight exemplary practices; and provide information, support, and resources to strengthen and expand an integrated, sustainable service system for evidence-based programs.

This staff position will collaborate with national, state, and local community partners to deliver technical assistance and support the implementation of a far-reaching and sustainable infrastructure for the evidence-based programs. This involves expanding public awareness of the strategies and techniques available to prevent falls and manage chronic conditions in older adults and supporting community-integrated health care efforts to advance the response of the aging network to partner and contract with a variety of health care entities.

This position reports to the Center for Healthy Aging’s Director and works collaboratively with the Center for Healthy Aging team, other NCOA staff, the Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging (ACL/AoA), grantees, national organizations, and other partners. Work spans across the service provider network, researchers, community leaders, funders, and the public. Activities center on technical assistance to grantees, resource development, and business acumen for the aging network.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

In collaboration with the Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging (ACL/AoA), the Center team, and other NCOA staff and partners, the program specialist will:

  • Provide technical assistance, support, and guidance to state and community organizations offering Chronic Disease Self-Management Education, falls prevention and other evidence-based programs.
  • Develop and strengthen national, state, and local partnerships to enhance community-clinical linkages and increase access to community-based and online programs.
  • Facilitate workgroups, communities of practice, and learning collaboratives. Implement business acumen efforts and apply sustainable strategies and models of practice in support of service delivery organizations.
  • Develop and manage awareness campaigns, webinars, surveys, and coalition building efforts. Assist in facilitating a learning network comprised of state and local falls prevention coalitions.
  • Collaborate with the NCOA advocacy and policy team to create and implement a health promotion advocacy agenda; apply critical thinking and analysis of state and national policies that expand healthy aging initiatives, including chronic disease self-management and falls prevention efforts.
  • Apply creativity and support business development efforts in grant writing and proposals for pitch decks aimed at partners and sponsors.
  • Distill complex information into simple and compelling messages for maximum clarity, understanding and impact. Prepare and contribute to routine reports, such as issue briefs and ACL semi-annual grant progress report.
  • Represent NCOA at national, state and local conferences, meetings and other venues: communicate healthy living content to stakeholder audiences in the aging network through written materials and presentations. Present work using examples that are relevant to community partners and that resonate with stakeholders.
  • In collaboration with NCOA colleagues, contribute to planning, promoting, facilitating, and coordinating NCOA’s annual conference, Age+Action.
  • Ensure department milestones and goals are met and adhere to approved project budget. Foster a spirit of collaboration, coordination, and communication and work closely with the Center team and other NCOA staff to accomplish goals, including NCOA’s social impact goals.
  • Conduct other duties as required in an environment that is flexible, fast-paced, and changing.

Qualifications, Knowledge, and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in public health, gerontology, social science, communications, or related field with 2-4 years relevant work experience.
  • Master’s degree in public health, gerontology, health policy, or related field is a plus.
  • Serve as an ambassador for NCOA’s mission, social impact goals, and major programs.
  • Clear understanding of the health issues affecting older adults, the burden and impact of chronic diseases, and the health benefits of prevention and self-management education.
  • Demonstrated skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with diverse audiences.
  • Respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance and able to work with diverse individuals within the organization and broader community.
  • Ability to execute grant-funded initiatives and oversee reporting and deliverables associated with the grant.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and project management skills are required.
  • Ability to complete multiple tasks while responding to multiple priorities.
  • Demonstrated technology skills and experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SurveyMonkey and Salesforce.
  • Some travel required.


  • Understand the big picture, align objectives to mission, expand reach and drive social impact.
  • Oversee a portfolio of technical assistance activities to support successful execution and sustainability of evidence-based programs in communities, serving older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers.
  • Strong ability to monitor and track deliverables, resolve issues with stakeholders, administer technical support and establish relationships.
  • Collaborate and work well with others in a team and independently.
  • Committed to cultural competency with an approach that understands and values the individual and respects differences.
  • Excellent organizational skills, self-motivated and ability to pivot and thrive in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Solutions-oriented with the ability to initiate action, use flexibility and make things happen.

What’s Attractive to the Right Candidate?

  • Your work will be highly visible and critical to ensuring program fidelity and sustainability.
  • The work you do today will have an impact for decades to come.
  • Your work provides a direct and immediate service: supporting state and community partners to strengthen programs and services that increase the quality and years of life for millions of older Americans.
  • This is an intellectually stimulating environment and an organization that works passionately to fulfill the goals of our programs and our overarching mission.
  • Your experience, opinions and expertise are valued- what you bring to the table is vital to our success.
  • We offer a generous employee benefit program that includes annual, sick, personal, and holiday leave, health insurance, contributions to a 403{b) plan, short and long term disability, and life insurance.
  • NCOA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is dedicated to these principles. We value and welcome diversity in the workplace and encourage all minorities, women, veterans, and person with disabilities to apply.

ADA Specifications

Requires the ability to speak, hear, and use hands to operate standard business equipment, including computers and other relevant technology

EEOC Policy

NCOA is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. Some positions may require pre-employment screening potentially including a criminal background check, verification of academic credentials, licenses, certifications, and/or verification of work history.

How to Apply

Apply now online.