Eric Turer

With JSI since 1993

ericturer

Health Systems Consultant, JSI New Hampshire Office

What’s your JSI experience been like so far?

In the 20+ years that I’ve been with JSI I have seen a lot of co-workers come and go—but mostly come. It’s easy to see why – JSI is a very stimulating and engaging place to work, with considerable freedom to pursue the issues you care about in a supportive and professional environment.  I have noticed that most people come by way of some stellar professional or educational connection that has told them that JSI is ‘the’ place to work in public health consulting.

How did you end up at JSI?

That is NOT how I got here. In comparison to my pedigreed co-workers, I was basically a stray pup who stumbled in from the street, looked around, and hoped I had found a home. I exaggerate, but only a little. I actually found JSI in a business directory list of health care consulting companies, and sent a resume. Since there were no web sites or blogs back then, I had only a vague idea of what JSI did when I was called for an interview. I wasn’t even sure if “John Snow” was just a coincidental name, even though I was familiar with Dr. John Snow, the historical figure. I had, as I mentioned at my interview, been to the storied pump location in London—and drank pints at the adjacent John Snow Pub—when I was on a summer term studying socialized medical systems in England, Sweden, and Hungary.  I still credit those pints as the primary reason I was hired!

“I still marvel at my luck in stumbling on a place where health care access for all is a key part of the mission.”

Eric commuting on New Hampshire’s Exeter River, which runs by his house.

Eric commuting on New Hampshire’s Exeter River, which runs by his hous

Why did you find work at JSI appealing?

For me, the appeal of JSI was the work they were doing with community health centers to promote access for the medically under served. My MBA internship was with one of the first attempts to create a community health center-run managed care organization from a group of health centers in New York, near where I grew up. That effort ultimately failed (not my fault!), but I learned to appreciate the health center model and the critical role of providers in the health care safety net. I had never imagined, however, that there was a way to do management and policy consulting for this unique group of providers.

What has your journey with JSI been like?

My JSI journey has spanned nearly 20 years and five offices in two states, landing me in New Hampshire at JSI’s Community Health Institute. My wife practices Ob/Gyn and provides backup to the community health center in our area, and I get to work with the community health center program at the national level. Even though our kids can’t explain what I do for work (one teacher thought I drove an ambulance because she heard my daughter say I help get people to health care), every day provides opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Thanks to JSI for taking me in… I’ll raise my next pint to wish our unique organization many more years of “doing good!”

A Project to Remember

Unlike the many small projects that I have written lengthy proposals to get, the Uniform Data System project fell into my lap. Another contractor had abandoned the project days before the data was due and a colleague suggested that JSI take over. When asked if I’d like to be the project director, I said, “Sure” —no proposal, budget already set—just sign the contract and start tomorrow! That was over 14 years ago, and we are still at it.

I highlight the project, however, not for the ease of getting it, but for what we did with it. When we took over, project data was shared with almost no one—not even amongst the federal staff in different regions! We pushed to create tools that help the grantees as well as the central agency.  For example, we map patient origin data to help identify unmet need and create benchmark data to help improve health center management. Today, thousands of organizations use this data to improve their operations and access in their communities, and JSI has benefited as more programs seek to emulate this success.

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