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Lead Advocate

  • 510305
  • Full-time


Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System
Accountability, Community, Innovation, Leadership, Passion, Quality, Respect, Courage, Teamwork

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona’s Medicaid agency, is driven by its mission to deliver comprehensive, cost-effective health care to Arizonans in need. AHCCCS is a nationally acclaimed model among Medicaid programs and a recipient of multiple awards for excellence in workplace effectiveness and flexibility.

AHCCCS employees are passionate about their work, committed to high performance, and dedicated to serving the citizens of Arizona. Among government agencies, AHCCCS is recognized for high employee engagement and satisfaction, supportive leadership, and flexible work environments, including remote work opportunities. With career paths for seasoned professionals in a variety of fields, entry-level positions, and internship opportunities, AHCCCS offers meaningful career opportunities in a competitive industry.

Come join our dynamic and dedicated team.

Lead Advocate

Job Location:

Address:   801 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ 85037

Posting Details:

Open until filled: 1st review of resumes on 08/15/22

Salary: $58,500 - $63,500 

Grade: 21

This position may offer the ability to work remotely within Arizona based upon the department's needs and continual meeting of expected performance measures.

Job Summary:

The Division of Community Advocacy and Intergovernmental Relations (DCAIR) is looking for a highly motivated individual to join our team as a Lead Advocate. This position acts as a team leader-coordinator under the Bureau Chief of the Office of Human Rights (OHR) by supervising and providing guidance to the Human Rights Advocates who assist individuals with a Serious Mental Illness in the public behavioral health system.

Major duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:
● Supervises and provides guidance to the Human Rights Advocate personnel. This includes providing direction on problem resolution and advocacy strategies, preparing, and submitting member grievances/appeals, and providing mentorship and support to staff during administrative hearings or investigations.
● Serves as the team subject matter expert on the structure and operation of the behavioral health system in each region, the service planning process, the inpatient treatment & discharge planning process, and the scope of available services.
● Oversees the professional development of subordinate staff to ensure competencies in understanding mental illness, applicable policy, rule, and contract requirement.
● Assists the OHR Bureau Chief in the development, distribution, and presentation of educational materials for the agency/division, including public speaking and the development of content.
● Advise OHR and division leadership on programs and regulations, administrative procedures, rules, or practices, related to the OHR’s scope and policy workgroups as assigned.
● Provides technical or short-term assistance to members in the community and/or serve as the principal contact or Designated Representative for special assistance members as assigned by the Bureau Chief.
● Maintains effective working relationships with internal and external customers, including other governmental agencies, appointed officials, and external agencies.
● Coordinates opportunities for OHR to present to various stakeholders to include inpatient settings, health homes and crisis facilities and provides state-wide training on all relevant AHCCCS policies pertaining to the Arizona behavioral health delivery system.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSAs):

● Knowledge of the Arizona Administrative Code, statues, rules, regulation, and policies that apply to the provision of behavioral health services in Arizona.
● Knowledge of problem resolution and the SMI appeal/grievance processes in the behavioral health system in Arizona for persons with a Serious Mental Illness.
● Knowledge of mental illness, its effects, clinical interventions, and service options in the system.
● Knowledge of performance management (PM) model and continuous quality improvement (CQI) methods in a public health setting.
● Knowledge of the Arizona Management System specifically pertaining to metrics and standards of work.
● Knowledge of basic staff mentoring and supervision techniques.

● Skilled in understanding and communicating effectively with people living with a serious mental illness.
● Strong and effective written and oral communication skills.
● Skilled in negotiating effectively.
● Skilled in analytical thinking and development of plan of action.
● Considerable expertise in the provision of advocacy.
● Networking and developing productive relationships with internal and external customers.

● Ability to think critically.
● Ability to creatively solve problems.
● Ability to be empathetic.
● Adapt to a rapidly changing environment and priorities.
● Ability to identify system concerns and propose effective resolutions.
● Conceptualize new health policy proposals and develop recommendations.
● Propose solutions to complex policy issues.
● Advanced interpersonal abilities including excellent relationship development, management, teamwork, and oral and written communication skills.
● Ability to manage a diverse team.


Minimum: Bachelor's degree in psychology, sociology, social work, public health, law or similar field; or a minimum of five years of direct professional advocacy in the Arizona Behavioral Health delivery system. 

Preferred: Two years of experience in staff supervision, mentoring, and/or training of staff.

Pre-Employment Requirements:

• Successfully complete the Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification Program (E-Verify), applicable to all newly hired State employees.
• Successfully pass fingerprint background check, prior employment verifications and reference checks; employment is contingent upon completion of the above-mentioned process and the agency’s ability to reasonably accommodate any restrictions.
• Travel is required for State business. Employees who drive on state business must complete any required driver training (see Arizona Administrative Code R2-10-207.12.) AND have an acceptable driving record for the last 39 months including no DUI, suspension or revocations and less than 8 points on your license. If an Out of State Driver License was held within the last 39 months, a copy of your MVR (Motor Vehicle Record) is required prior to driving for State Business. Employees may be required to use their own transportation as well as maintaining valid motor vehicle insurance and current Arizona vehicle registration; however, mileage will be reimbursed


Among the many benefits of a career with the State of Arizona, there are:
• 10 paid holidays per year
• Paid Vacation and Sick time off (12 and 13 days per year respectively) - start earning it your 1st day (prorated for part-time employees)
• A top-ranked retirement program with lifetime pension benefits
• A robust and affordable insurance plan, including medical, dental, life, and disability insurance
• Participation eligibility in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (must meet qualifications)
• RideShare and Public Transit Subsidy
• A variety of learning and career development opportunities
• Opportunity to work 100% virtually or remotely on an ad-hoc basis (home office)

By providing the option of a full-time or part-time virtual/remote work schedule, employees enjoy improved work/life balance, report higher job satisfaction, and are more productive. Remote work is a management option and not an employee entitlement or right. An agency may terminate a remote work agreement at its discretion.

For a complete list of benefits provided by The State of Arizona, please visit our benefits page


Lifetime Pension Benefit Program
• Administered through the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS)
• Defined benefit plan that provides for life-long income upon retirement.
• Required participation for Long-Term Disability (LTD) and ASRS Retirement plan.
• Pre-taxed payroll contributions begin after a 27-week waiting period (prior contributions may waive the waiting period).

Deferred Retirement Compensation Program
• Voluntary participation.
• Program administered through Nationwide.
• Tax-deferred retirement investments through payroll deductions.

Contact Us:

Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation such as a sign language interpreter or an alternative format by emailing careers@azahcccs.gov.
Requests should be made as early as possible to allow time to arrange the accommodation. Arizona State Government is an AA/EOE/ADA Reasonable Accommodation Employer.


All Arizona state employees operate within the Arizona Management System (AMS), an intentional, results-driven approach for doing the work of state government whereby every employee reflects on performance, reduces waste, and commits to continuous improvement with sustainable progress.  Through AMS, every state employee seeks to understand customer needs, identify problems, improve processes, and measure results.  
State employees are highly engaged, collaborative and embrace a culture of public service.

The State of Arizona is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.