Policy and Strategic Communications Associate – AFHTO (Toronto)

About The Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario

The Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario (AFHTO) works to support the implementation and growth of primary care teams by promoting best practices, sharing lessons learned, and advocating on behalf of all primary care teams. Evidence and experience shows that team-based comprehensive primary care is delivering better health and better value to patients.

AFHTO is a not-for-profit association representing Ontario’s primary care teams, which include Family Health Teams (FHTs), Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics (NPLCs) and others who provide interprofessional comprehensive primary care. To learn more about AFHTO please visit:

Candidate Profile
Primary care is undergoing some exciting transformation and AFHTO is looking for a passionate and strategic communicator who is excited by the opportunity to make a big impact in this new role as a Policy and Strategic Communications Associate.  In this role, you will be expected to direct and support AFHTO’s policy positions as it relates to its Strategic Plan with a focus on transforming primary care as the foundation of a high performing health system in Ontario.  And in doing so, you will be supporting our members in ensuring that they see themselves as catalysts in system transformation and working with system leaders to co-design how care should be delivered in their communities.

Through a combination of related experience and education, your achievements as a strategic communicator should be evident and will be an important function of the position. You must have a proven ability to make the most of the full range of digital, print and face-to-face tools and strategies, to reach the membership and the public in a way that matters the most to them.  This role requires you to define your priorities and approach and implement your goals in a creative and strategic manner in supporting the vision of AFHTO, effectively using a variety of tools to deliver your message. You like to work independently and are confident in your strategic communications expertise and know how to work collaboratively with a small professional team.

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Policy and Strategic Communications Associate is a resource for all aspects of AFHTO’s work including advocacy and specific programming.

The successful candidate will be responsible for:

Membership communications and advocacy

  • Assist the CEO in communications planning and delivery for members, government, other stakeholders, the media and the public to ensure all are well-informed about AFHTO and its members, in a manner that meets the audience’s need for useful, accurate and timely information and upholds a positive image of AFHTO and its members.
  • Develop and facilitate the development of communications pieces such as newsletters, presentations, annual reports, and web postings.
  • Explore, recommend and implement new services and technologies to improve communications.
  • Support the development and successful implementation of campaign and strategic communication plans that identify goals and objectives as well as the right balance of strategies and tactics to achieve them. These plans may include:
    • Developing position papers, statements, messaging to concisely outline AFHTO and its members’ position on key and important system issues;
    • Government relations activities including liaising with stakeholders and decision-makers;
    • Engaging our members to participate in communication campaigns including advocacy campaigns; and
    • Knowledge mobilization and communication strategies to ensure broad reach of AFHTO’s messaging on key issues.

Policy Development

  • Work with AFHTO’s small team to develop policies on new and emerging issues while engaging with relevant stakeholders including our partners in primary care (Ontario Primary Care Council), policy-makers (Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, LHINs) and others.
  • Work with the CEO in developing a work plan to ensure AFHTO is meeting its strategic priorities as defined by the Board of Directors and members – this also includes identifying short term and long term strategic directions and possible advocacy priorities.

Knowledge Translation

  • Develop infrastructure and materials to support a culture of learning, foster mentoring and promote coordination and collaboration among AFHTO members and stakeholders focused on improving performance and quality.
  • Support the development of member networks focused on networking and knowledge translation and exchange.
  • Coordinate linkages and foster relationships with key stakeholder organizations across the province with respect to knowledge sharing.
  • Source appropriate education resources for AFHTO members.
  • Prepare and present materials for AFHTO members.

Management and team collaboration

  • Manage and mentor staff as necessary.
  • Ensure policies and approval processes are followed.

Contribute to the positive image of the organization

  • Maintain a positive job attitude and working relationships with people inside and outside the organization.
  • Demonstrate willingness to assist others in a team-oriented environment.
  • Keep abreast of major issues affecting primary care and the key players involved in these issues.
  • Uphold AFHTO policies and procedures.
  • Use the most effective and efficient method to fulfill job responsibilities and continue to improve the quality of same.


  • Demonstrated understanding of the health policy landscape and the political acuity to thrive in a complex stakeholder environment.
  • Understand the complexity in working in a not for profit membership association and the importance of member engagement.
  • A highly motivated and flexible individual, with the ability to adapt quickly to new information, situations and challenges.
  • A strategic and creative thinker who is adept at taking conceptual ideas and moving them to implementation.
  • A system leader with proven leadership expertise who possesses knowledge of Ontario’s health system and the variety of players within it, understanding the importance of cross sectoral planning and collaboration.
  • Outstanding writer, synthesizer and editor, with proven ability to write for a variety of formats.
  • Confident presenter.
  • Ability to effectively work with staff, Board and stakeholders at all levels.
  • Primary care experience is an asset.


  • Post-secondary education in the area of Public Relations, Communications, Journalism, Public Policy or relevant area of study.
  • Minimum of 4 years of working in a not for profit health or social services environment, specifically in the area of policy or in strategic communications.
  • Ability to speak and write in French is an asset.

Work Environment

  • The majority of work will be carried out at the AFHTO office in Toronto.
  • Meetings and events will require occasional weekend or evening work, and may take place in other venues within Ontario.
  • The role will also require occasional lifting of boxes, equipment and display materials.

Application Deadline
Interested applicants should email your cover letter and resume in confidence to Kavita Mehta, CEO, at on or before June 2nd , 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

We thank all applicants in advance; however, only those under consideration will be contacted.

The Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario is an equal opportunity employer.