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October 18, 2021 POWER 25 HEALTHCARE

2021 Power 25 Health Care: Jeffrey Flaks & Bimal Patel

In an interview with Hartford Business Journal earlier this year, Jeff Flaks reflected on his 17 years at Hartford HealthCare and nearly two years as CEO, over which time he’s helped oversee a gradual transformation of the system — turbocharged by the pandemic — into an organization that has become decentralized and focused on bringing care into communities across the state.

Jeffrey Flaks

The ability to coordinate that care statewide is centered in Hartford, at HHC’s new Access Center at 100 Pearl St., a node for scheduling, imaging, electronic health records and other technology in one location with the goal of creating “an Amazon of health care.”

Flaks oversees a statewide health system that recorded $3.5 billion in operating revenue in fiscal 2019, which represented nearly one of every four operating dollars collected by all Connecticut health systems combined.

While he’s still relatively new to the corner office, he played a key part in helping build out the HHC system, climbing the ranks for years into bigger leadership roles, where he was groomed as a successor to former CEO Elliot Joseph.

HHC is the second-largest health system in Connecticut, behind Yale New Haven Health, and its Connecticut market share has grown of late to within just a few percentage points of the New Haven-based system.

With its purchase of St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport in 2019, HHC made a big play in Fairfield County, investing millions to renovate the aging facility.

Flaks is also a major cheerleader for the city of Hartford, which HHC made a big commitment to with new operations downtown at 100 Pearl St.

Bimal Patel leads Hartford HealthCare’s flagship Hartford Hospital and Hartford region and he’s also a senior vice president of the parent company. He’s also risen through the care provider’s ranks over the years.

Patel was hired by Hartford Hospital in 2009 and was a project-management executive, playing a key role in developing a 20-year master plan and completing 400,000 square feet of upgrades to the hospital on time and on budget.

In 2014 he was appointed senior vice president for operational integration for Hartford HealthCare, put in charge of systemwide services, including pharmacy, lab, radiology, real estate, facilities and construction and engineering, among other services.

Patel recently led the debut of Hartford Hospital’s new Bliss center, a 50,000-square-foot facility expansion on the care provider’s main campus that increases intensive-care unit, operating room and other capacities.

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