July 14, 2017 | last updated July 14, 2017 2:40 pm
40 Under Forty 2017

Faina Dookh

Photo | J. Fiereck Photography
Photo | J. Fiereck Photography
Photo | J. Fiereck Photography
(From left to right) Faina Dookh, David Ciriello, Jessica Hinman, Sonia Joyce Worrell Asare, Kristin L. Ingram and Jamal Jimerson.

Age: 28

Company: State Innovation Model PMO, State of CT

Title: Project Manager

Town where I live: Storrs

Town where I work: Hartford

College: UConn, University of Chicago

Fun Fact 

My family and I immigrated, with little, to the U.S. from Russia shortly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.


What do you do in your current job? I am a project manager at the State Innovation Model Program Management Office and work directly with the state's director of Healthcare Innovation to strategically plan for and implement the $45 million State Innovation Model federal grant to reform Connecticut's healthcare payment and delivery system.

What are your goals in your current job? In my current job I aim to promote smart and effective policies and strategies to promote healthier people, better care, and smarter spending statewide. This includes increasing the adoption of alternative payment models, integrating the community sector and the healthcare sector, providing doctors support to improve care and empowering consumers.

What's your biggest passion? My biggest passion is using personal learning and growth to positively impact others. We cannot underestimate all that we do not know. I am a relentlessly curious person and I love learning as much as possible about everything from healthcare and education policy to art and the human experience. Getting closer to understanding and empathy allows me to take on new challenges and magnify my ability to impact others.

What are your future professional aspirations? I aspire to be a pioneer in the fields of policy and health care. I also hope to make a positive contribution in the areas of housing and education, two areas closely related to equity and social mobility. Most of all, I aim to be a transformative leader that pushes for innovation, creativity and possibility.

How are you involved in the community? I recently served on an AmeriCorps service project committee, where we filled the entire space of a Hartford community center with a lively talent show. I also organized a local art show showcasing students' work around inequality. Additionally, I lead international volunteer trips to challenged schools in Taiwan and Ecuador.

What do you hope Greater Hartford will be like in 10 years? I hope that in 10 years Hartford is a vibrant, economically sustainable and equitable region, where: you can easily grab affordable public transportation to Boston, New York City, UConn Storrs, and the local grocery store; students from all backgrounds live in neighborhoods and go to schools that are not economically and racially segregated; people visit and choose Hartford for its lively restaurants, museums, culture and people; and the fate and opportunities of Hartford are not isolated from the wealth and influence of the surrounding regions.

List four reasons why you deserve to be a 40 Under Forty: Driven and hardworking leader in health and social policy; youngest across entire State Innovation Model management leadership team. One of nine statewide to participate in the Connecticut Health Foundation Academy for Health Equity Leadership, based on demonstrated leadership and work to expand health equity. Co-founded TeachAcross, an organization that brings volunteers abroad to work in challenged schools. Longtime commitment to volunteerism in Hartford and Connecticut, including as a member of Hartford's Young Energetic Solutions Steering Committee.

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