The Hagerty Advantage – Our People: Jeff Bokser
Over the past year, Hagerty has helped more than 25 state and local governments, as well as over 100 hospitals and healthcare systems respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the past month, we have highlighted several Hagerty team members who are helping our clients navigate the complexities of the continuing public health crisis by sharing how they have addressed unique response challenges, maximized federal reimbursement opportunities, and tackled recovery challenges your community may be facing. Today, we hear from Hagerty’s Vice President of Healthcare and University Programs Jeff Bokser.
How did your career path lead you to Hagerty?
Jeff: Prior to joining Hagerty Consulting, I spent my career working in academic medical centers both in New York and Connecticut where I gained experience in all aspects of healthcare operations, finance, crisis management and recovery. I started my career in a New York City hospital in healthcare administration three months prior to September 11th, 2001. I was quickly placed in the hospital command center and helped the hospital respond to the events and the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks. I have since led hospital staff in planning, executing, and responding to significant emergency events including Ebola, Hurricane Sandy, H1N1 Pandemic, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), anthrax scares, mass-casualty surge incidents, and deploying disaster response teams and telemedicine nationally. This has prepared me for public health emergencies and the response and recovery Hagerty is providing during COVID-19.
How have you been supporting clients in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Jeff: Hagerty is currently working with over 100 hospitals, public health departments across the country address the significant financial challenges from the effects of COVID-19 testing, treatment, care and vaccination roll-out. Our work includes Identifying and preparing organizations to optimize federal emergency funding such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA), Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), Provider Relief Funds and other programs to offset revenue loss and assist with cost recovery from COVID. In addition, we are helping hospitals and public health departments staff emergency operations centers both virtually and in-person, running contact tracing and call centers, providing solutions for field hospitals, enhancing continuity of operations plans for pandemics and supporting the planning and roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines. Hagerty is unique – we have vast experience in disaster response and recovery, and we are bringing them both to the table for our clients during COVID-19.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced and/ or addressed while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Jeff: Normally there is a time when an emergency ends and recovery begins; right now, they are blending. In addition, there was no national playbook for a long-term public health emergency like COVID-19. We are creating in real time, solutions to help our clients manage and scale financial recovery and response solutions including just in time COVID-19 vaccination points of distribution and programs.
What lesson(s) have you learned – professionally and personally – supporting our clients’ response to the pandemic?
Jeff: I am inspired to work with a truly dedicated team at Hagerty Consulting that looks every day to make a difference in the lives of others. In addition, having the opportunity to work with healthcare organizations across the country, I am amazed by the heroic efforts and innovative solutions that healthcare workers have developed to meet the unique patient needs of the populations in all corners of our nation.
What long-term impacts do you believe the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the Healthcare and Public Health Industry’s?
Jeff: COVID-19 has forever changed the future of healthcare and public health emergency preparedness. The public health emergency will not just be about the immediate aspects of caring for COVID-19 patients and mass vaccination. It will require healthcare organizations to develop new and more resilient models of care delivery to not only prepare for future pandemics but the long term issues resulting from the pandemic including: Inequality in treatment exposed during COVID; A backlog of elective procedures that were put off to create capacity for COVID-19 patients; More complex healthcare needs from individuals who put off preventative care and mental health needs resulting from job loss, social isolation and staff burnout of caregivers. Most importantly it will require a restoration of trust in science and health and a prioritization and investment of funding at all levels of government and private entities in public health and healthcare.
Jeff Bokser is Hagerty Consulting’s Vice President of Healthcare and University Programs with strategic expertise in all aspects of healthcare operations, finance, crisis management, and recovery. Jeff currently works with healthcare systems, public health departments and universities across the country focused on COVID-19 financial recovery, preparedness and response. Jeff has over 20 years of experience as a senior leader at NewYork-Presbyterian and Yale New Haven Health. Jeff is nationally recognized in the healthcare sector for his transformational leadership in the areas of emergency and crisis management; security and safety; pandemic and surge planning; and business continuity.