Meet The Collective: Hi Jennifer!
Jennifer Danielson joins Collective Health as our new Chief Growth Officer, where she will focus on building out our well-established network of partners by maximizing the value of existing relationships and considering strategic future collaborations.
We are excited to welcome Jennifer Danielson, a seasoned expert in the healthcare space. She brings 25 years of working in leadership with organizations like Cambia Health Solutions and Regence BlueCross Blue Shield of Utah where she led various teams for growth, external collaboration and influence.
“My entire professional career has been in healthcare, and specifically in healthcare on the payer side,” Danielson said. Her passion for healthcare started in college with some of her political science classes and continued into law school, where she learned more about the deep complexity and historical problems in healthcare. “For 25 years of my career, it’s really been about trying to find solutions to this field’s biggest problems.”
Working from the inside out to change healthcare
Danielson started her career as a lawyer and quickly decided that her future was not in corporate law. Instead, she moved over into regulatory compliance where she focused on government relations and served as a representative for elected officials, regulators, advocacy groups with national trade organizations, and with state business entities. Those roles led to opportunities to lead the company’s work in Utah where she had responsibility for strategic direction, growth and success in the market.
“That was my opportunity to really put my knowledge of the ‘why’ behind healthcare to work in executing on the ‘how’” In more recent years, her work focused on larger national M&A activities and guiding the company’s external COVID response.
“There are so many factors that have become more transparent in healthcare and I think Collective Health is really well poised to be one of the solution finders.”
“There was a time where there was so much common understanding about what was wrong in healthcare, but it wasn’t really possible to start taking the big steps to fix it,” Danielson said.
“Due to several sea-change events that radically called on the healthcare system to deliver more to the individuals it serves, I think the world is vastly different now. I believe that there are many in healthcare who are working for the same goals of lowering cost, improving quality, and improving people’s experience.”
A Utah-based mother and adventurer
Danielson is based in Farmington, Utah, but was born and raised in a small town called Kamas, which is close to Park City. “It was nothing like Park City,” Danielson laughed. “There used to be more cattle ranches and lumber mills than resorts.” She moved to Salt Lake City when she started college at the University of Utah and has stuck around Northern Utah ever since.
Passionate about serving the community, Danielson helped found the Utah Chapter for Friends of the Children, an organization committed to ending intergenerational poverty with a proven model of long-term mentorship. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board. She also works to help young people, especially young women, understand the opportunities available to them.
She serves on the advisory boards for the University of Utah Eccles School of Business and Utah Valley University Woodbury School of Business. She’s also worked with groups such as SheTech, Women Who Succeed, and helped found a leadership networking group called the Utah Wonder Women.
When she’s not at work, she can be found hanging out with her family—she has two teenagers and three older stepchildren as well. “We’ve always been a family that loves to do things together — when the kids were younger we called Saturday ‘family fun day’,” Danielson said. While her oldest daughter just left for college, she, her husband and her 15-year-old son enjoy hiking, biking, and exploring the beautiful national parks Utah has to offer.
Joining the Collective to build better healthcare
When it comes to Collective Health, Danielson is most excited about our mission and our potential. “There are so many factors that have become more transparent in healthcare and I think Collective Health is really well poised to be one of the solution finders,” Danielson said.
Another aspect that excites her? The people. “The talent and the capability of the team that’s been brought together to achieve this vision for Collective Health is incredible,” she said. “So far, there hasn’t been a person I’ve met with who I haven’t tangibly felt that energy and that passion about what we’re trying to do. And that always makes it fun to come to work every day.”
Navigating care is crucial (and challenging!)
With so many years of experience in healthcare, Danielson considers herself kind of a healthcare ‘insider,’ and the number one question that she said she gets asked from friends, family members, friends of friends, is how to navigate the healthcare system.
“Healthcare is so broad and complex. If you don’t understand how it works currently, it’s hard to know how to help change it.”
“It’s always been really frustrating to me that the people who are best equipped to navigate it are the people inside of it,” she said. What I love about Collective Health is that we’re working on bringing that level of know-how and expertise to the public overall— to their personal experience.
I have lots of personal stories about grandmothers and parents and kids who’ve had complex medical situations where I’ve needed to pick up the phone and call the CEO of a hospital and say ‘I need help.’ We need everyone to be able to have that level of access and understanding in healthcare.”
She believes that Collective Health is uniquely poised to help people better navigate their care because of the overall experience we provide for our members. “The way that you connect with your customers and that net promoter score that you currently have is unmatched in healthcare. You’re helping people have a remarkably different experience in healthcare.”
Stepping in to guide the way
“The legacy players and those who have been in healthcare for a long time understand that they need to do things remarkably differently than they have in the past, and they’re making moves,” Danielson said. Her perspective is that our greatest challenge will be our competition and cutting through the noise.
She believes that competitive challenge is also our greatest opportunity. “ I think employers are really ready to consider solutions that they probably wouldn’t have a couple of years ago. I think the door is wide open, and it’s on us to step in and step up to help people understand how a better healthcare experience looks and feels.”
Leading with energy at Collective Health
When it comes to her leadership style, Danielson recalled that some of her favorite times in her career have been when she helped build and enable teams that were extremely energized together.
“One of my old sales leaders said it best when he used the analogy of playing on a football team. You know you can be successful when you look to your right and you look to your left, and you know that you are surrounded by team members who want to win and have as much fun as you do,” Danielson said.
“And it’s always my goal to achieve that.”
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