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October 18, 2021 POWER 25 HEALTHCARE

2021 Power 25 Health Care: Jennifer Jackson

With $29.8 billion in annual economic impact and about 109,000 employees, hospitals are a mighty piece of Connecticut’s economy.

Jennifer Jackson

Playing point for the industry is Jennifer D. Jackson, president and CEO of the Connecticut Hospital Association, who for the past 20-plus years has coordinated relations between her hospital members and state and federal governments — both crucial sources of patient revenues.

Most recently, Jackson has helped lead a push to get Connecticut healthcare workers vaccinated against COVID-19.

In June Jackson announced that the CHA was backing a policy that would require Connecticut healthcare workers to get the COVID vaccine, a decision that prompted many hospitals to say they were requiring workers to get the shot by this fall, or face termination.

“Hospitals are leaders in Connecticut’s response to the pandemic and we believe taking this step is in further support of public health and the safety of our patients and workforce,” Jackson said at the time. “The science is clear, vaccines are safe and effective, and are proving to be the best way to eliminate the spread of COVID-19 in our state.”

Jackson has also worked to help get hospitals extra state and federal funding in the wake of the pandemic, which forced healthcare providers early on to cancel elective surgeries — a key revenue driver.

In the year before the pandemic struck Connecticut, Jackson oversaw the industry’s negotiating strategy in talks with the state that ultimately led to a $1.8-billion settlement over a hospital tax implemented by former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, as well as the end of a four-year legal battle that state officials feared could cost Connecticut as much as $4 billion if it proceeded to trial.

Jackson, who has a bachelor’s degree in nursing, joined CHA in the late 1980s after working in hospital nursing and insurance roles. Prior to becoming CEO in 2000, she was CHA’s general counsel and a vice president.

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