New York, NY – April 12, 2021 – The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, one of New York City’s leading nonprofit providers of behavioral health and social services, has appointed Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, M.D. as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Brenner, a nationally recognized leader in delivering innovative healthcare solutions that both lower costs and improve care, will assume the CEO role on May 3, 2021. He succeeds John Kastan, who has served as Interim CEO since July 2020.
Dr. Brenner will oversee an organization with the largest network of mental health clinics in the city, significant housing programs for adults with mental illness and children in the foster care system, services for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, care coordination, assertive community treatment services, and preventive services.
“I started my career wanting to serve families in underserved communities, and for over 25 years, I’ve worked with both kids and adults, broadening access to clinical services to head off medical complications before they occur, and addressing social needs before they become medical problems,” commented Dr. Jeffrey Brenner “I’ve seen how physical health issues are compounded by psychological and social issues such as anxiety, stress, early-life trauma, and homelessness, and how crucial behavioral health care is to overall health. I am excited by the scale of services that The Jewish Board offers, by the variety of complex populations the agency serves, and by the opportunity to reimagine ways we can provide people across New York City with the high caliber care they deserve.”
David Edelson, Board President of The Jewish Board, said, “We are thrilled to name such a remarkable individual to lead our organization. Jeff embodies a unique blend of compassion, a commitment to equity, and a proven ability to use data to provide better outcomes for vulnerable communities across fragmented systems of care. Jeff’s leadership will be invaluable as The Jewish Board and the entire human service sector work to rebuild a city in which all New Yorkers can access the support they need to thrive. As we welcome Jeff, we cannot thank John Kastan enough for his stewardship of the agency during such a challenging period. We are delighted that John will remain at The Jewish Board.”
Dr. Brenner began his medical career as a frontline family physician in Camden, New Jersey, one of the most economically challenged cities in the U.S., providing family health services for a Medicaid-enrolled population. While analyzing medical billing data, Dr. Brenner mapped out “hot spots” of Camden’s high-cost patients. By targeting unique care — including home visits and social workers — at the city’s most costly patients, he developed a program that both lowered healthcare costs and provided better care. In 2002, this program become the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, with Brenner serving as its CEO from 2006 through 2017.
While serving as the CEO of the Camden Coalition, Dr. Brenner reorganized a local hospital’s urban outpatient clinics. This initiative, the Urban Health Institute, doubled clinical volume, reduced the cost of care, substantially improved financial margins, and demonstrated measurable improvements in quality outcomes. The Urban Health Institute team also launched a highly successful inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment program that brought addiction services to the emergency room, hospital floors, and to pregnant mothers experiencing addiction.
In 2013, Dr. Brenner was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship for his innovative work in Camden, and in 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.
As a Senior Vice President at United Healthcare from 2017-2020, Dr. Brenner developed and scaled a national program to provide housing and support services to complex Medicaid members experiencing homelessness in over 22 states; the program was heralded as a national success. At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Dr. Brenner volunteered to launch and run a COVID recovery center in a hotel in Secaucus, New Jersey for the New Jersey Department of Health.
Dr. Brenner’s professional work and achievements have been the subject of profiles in The New Yorker, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and PBS “Frontline.” An author of peer-reviewed research, Dr. Brenner is an in-demand speaker who has delivered keynote addresses at conferences such as the National Governors Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Vassar College, graduated from the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and completed a family medicine residency in Seattle, Washington.
About The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services
For more than 145 years, the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services has been helping individuals overcome their mental health challenges and live as independently as possible. We do this by addressing all aspects of a person’s life, including behavioral and physical health, family, housing, employment, and education. Each year, we serve more than 45,000 people of all religions, races, abilities, and ages across the five boroughs of New York City. More information at: jewishboard.org