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Updated: October 5, 2020 2020 Power 25 — Health Care

3. Jennifer Jackson

With $13 billion in annual revenue and more than 52,000 full-time employees, hospitals are a mighty piece of Connecticut’s economy.

Jennifer D. Jackson, President and CEO, Connecticut Hospital Association

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

Most recently, Jackson has helped press lawmakers for funding to make up for plunging patient billables during the COVID-19 pandemic, as hospitals froze non-emergency surgeries and procedures to brace for an April spike in hospitalizations.

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.

CHA has sought a less contentious relationship with Gov. Lamont than with his predecessor, who defended funding cuts by highlighting multimillion-dollar hospital CEO salaries, charging that hospitals wanted taxpayers to subsidize those pay packages. During the peak of that fight in 2015, Malloy alluded more than once to Jackson’s own pay and benefits, which totaled approximately $840,000 that year.

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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