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2022 C-SUITE Honoree Jim Shmerling

Jim Shmerling Chief Executive Officer Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Size of organization: 3,000 employees
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As CEO of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Jim Shmerling’s role is to oversee patient care, advocacy, research and education.

As the only health system in the state dedicated exclusively to the care of children, Shmerling leads a healthcare organization that spans 41 locations across Connecticut, western Massachusetts and eastern New York.

What have been your biggest professional accomplishments over the past year?

The impact of COVID-19 on children’s mental health was devastating. The demand for services accelerated to the point where it outpaced our physical and human resource capacity.

We were able to rally hospitals, the Connecticut Hospital Association and state Department of Public Health to collaborate in creating a statewide response to help address this phenomenon.

I believe because we were outspoken advocates for children’s mental health support, and with the support of Speaker of the House Matt Ritter and Gov. Lamont, we were able to significantly increase capacity to support addressing mental health needs for children and families.

Guiding business principle: I have two favorite guiding principles that I refer to quite often. ‘If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.’ (Tom Peters); ‘If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.’ (Yogi Berra).

Best business decision: One of the biggest wins for children and their families was Connecticut Children’s ability to successfully create an exclusively pediatric clinically integrated network that now includes over 200 pediatricians statewide. This provides coordinated care between pediatricians, specialists and the health system to ensure children have access to the best possible care, close to home.

Biggest missed opportunity: Pursuing our very first bond issue when the interest rates were so much lower last year.

Goal yet to be achieved: I have every intention in working relentlessly to align our community health initiatives with appropriate payment methodologies that reward keeping children healthy, rather than only being paid for medical interventions.

Personal touch in your office: There are photos of my children and grandchildren everywhere.

In what ways are you involved in the community?

Last year, I was honored to be appointed to the Hartford Board of Education by Mayor Luke Bronin. My service has given me an opportunity to participate in continued advocacy for children’s health and well-being, which is significantly impacted by the quality of their education.

Personal Side

City of residence: Hartford

Favorite way to relax: Long walks

Hobbies: Travel, reading and exercise

Last vacation: Canal Cruise in southern France on a barge with eight passengers, then to London with my oldest son and his wife and four children.

Favorite movie: “Fiddler on the Roof” (the story of my family’s journey to the U.S. in late 1800s).

The car you drive: Lexus RXh 450

Currently reading: “At the Quiet Edge,” by Victoria Helf Stone

Favorite cause: Literacy

Second choice career: Lawyer

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