Specialty Writing for Health Care Organizations:
Subject Expertise Matters!
By Kimberly Rogers, GPC
Organizations looking for grant professionals seek candidates with varied skills, knowledge, and subject matter expertise. As we understand, grant writing isn't like other types of writing; it requires a distinctive combination of analytical and persuasive writing in order to be effective. Grant professionals and other fund development staff are in high demand now more than ever. Many nonprofits around the nation (and globally) need high-level experts to assist in creating and submitting grant proposals, bids, and technical works that will help them rise above their competitors.
Today’s health care system is ever-changing. With the prioritization of person-centered care, a focus on reducing health disparities, and ongoing advances in technology, health care organizations have been forced to evolve. For many nonprofit healthcare delivery systems to remain a competitive force in today’s business world, they must be aware of the most up to date research, understand the ever-changing medical platforms, and incorporate the latest trends in continuous quality improvement standards to allow them to provide effective and efficient care. While nonprofit organizations have always been proud of their ability to provide access to care regardless of a person’s ability to pay, health care is a lucrative business. Nonprofit agencies must now put on their business hats to ensure their organizations thrive and grow.
Specialty health care writing has become more important than ever. As reviewers score grants around various disease-specific topics, mental health issues, substance use, primary care, fee for service or Medicaid-funded applications, and other relevant health care topics, it becomes imperative that the lead writer understand the concepts of these health concerns and subsequent health care billing models. Those of us who are health care writers would be hard-pressed to write a proposal on cybersecurity and network security as it relates to the Department of Defense. It is not our area of expertise, and the reviewer(s) will take note of any inability to demonstrate a firm understanding of the subject matter. While many grant proposals can be about ‘telling a story’, funders in the health care arena are looking for writers who can convey evidence-based and/or innovative solutions to solve complex health problems in our communities.
Receiving a Grant Professional Credential (GPC) from the Grant Professional Certification Institute (GPCI) can help health care professionals or grant professionals working for health care organizations build the needed competencies to be seen as a leading professional in their field in their community (whether local, state, regional, industry and/or national). While all nine (9) GPCI competencies can benefit the healthcare professional, Competency #3: Knowledge of strategies for effective program and project design and development is one most worthy of mention. Helping health care grant developers learn effective ways to provide input, gather appropriate stakeholders, build meaningful partners and collaborators, and understanding program design, evaluation, and budgeting for health care projects is imperative to success. Additionally, the grant professional or health care professional responsible for grant development will be able to identify cultural competency or cultural diversity issues within the organization or project that will impact the program design and/or challenges to the grant development process.
Improving our grant development skills and evaluating the success of our applications based on success rates is what we do as GPCs! Much like a Certified Public Accountant prides themselves on their CPA credential, GPC’s pride ourselves on being credentialed in the grant field, and we strive to encourage our peers and colleagues to reach for the stars to excel in their area(s) of expertise. If you work for a health organization, and you do not have your GPC, take a peek at the competencies that would be relevant to your work, and to your organization. If you are considering the exam, take some time to take the eligibility quiz. This could be your first step as a health care professional in refining your work and becoming a specialty writer in the area of health care.