// . //  The Alumni Network //  Jeremy Schifberg

Jeremy leads a portfolio of strategy work at Health Leads, including leading the organization's collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He works closely with the CEO, president, and the organization's clinical and foundation partners to address patients’ social needs a standard part of quality care delivery. Prior to joining Health Leads, Jeremy spent five years in the Health and Life Sciences Practice at Oliver Wyman. Jeremy earned his degree, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Northwestern University, where he studied Integrated Science, Neurobiology, and Economics, and earned a certificate in Managerial Analytics from the Kellogg School of Management. We were excited to grab some time with him and ask a few questions about what he's doing now and the imapct Oliver Wyman had on his career:

From the moment you start at Oliver Wyman, and regardless of your level of experience, you learn to approach problems with a strategic lens
Jeremy Schifberg, Oliver Wyman Alumni

What are some skills you acquired at Oliver Wyman that have been beneficial throughout your career?

From the moment you start at Oliver Wyman, regardless of your level of experience, you learn to approach problems with a strategic lens — conducting pattern recognition across clients and industries, asking critical questions, and breaking challenges down logically to chart a path forward. I think this can become so ingrained that it gets taken for granted. Still, it’s a powerful skill and one that has helped me tremendously in my current role, particularly in the face of lots of ambiguity and the need to make decisions around opportunities we haven’t faced before as an organization. Also, and related in some ways, I feel lucky to have gained such a unique line of sight into an industry, in my case, healthcare, while at Oliver Wyman. The opportunity at the company and to work with senior teams across different types of clients and market conditions, with guidance from true thought leaders in the industry, was an invaluable experience.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career path since you left Oliver Wyman.

I left Oliver Wyman in 2015 to join Health Leads in Boston as a special advisor to the CEO. We’re a social enterprise that bridges the gap between clinical and community environments to ensure all patients get the resources they need for their health. I first met the team during a non-profit fellowship in 2013. We have teams across the country working directly with patients, and we also work to enable broader capacity and momentum in the market around addressing patients’ social needs. Balancing direct patient work with true systems change work has proven to be a powerful, mutually reinforcing combination for us. In my role, I lead our work with the federal government and work closely with our CEO and president across various strategy and partnership initiatives. In this country, patients are often knowingly sent home to environments that will impair their health and lead them back to the clinic. Working on changing how the healthcare industry tackles these issues has proven both challenging and rewarding.

What was one of your most important experiences at Oliver Wyman?

The people I got to know, and the relationships I formed were the most enriching part of my time at Oliver Wyman and remain important to me today. A crucial project-related experience I had early in my career at Oliver Wyman involved conducting a series of site visits and interviewing front-line clinicians across the client’s operating footprint. Spending time with these teams and returning to corporate HQ to present our findings to the executive team highlighted the disconnect between management and those working on the ground. It was a simple observation, but one that informed the rest of my work at Oliver Wyman as well as my current work. The need to reconcile strategy with reality may sound obvious, but it’s proven to be an important lesson nonetheless.   

What do you do when you’re not working?

I’m a big sports fan, so when I’m not working, I’m likely playing basketball or golf, running, or watching my beloved Oregon Ducks football team. I also love to travel and make frequent weekend trips to visit family and friends. As the saying goes: "You can take the consultant out of consulting, but you can’t take the traveling itch out of the former consultant.”

What are you currently reading?

The "Structure of Scientific Revolutions" by Thomas Kuhn is an oldie, but a goodie. It presents an argument for how paradigm shifts in science have occurred throughout history, and it’s powerfully applicable to other industries and contexts. I initially picked it up for work — we were writing about the elements needed to drive change in healthcare, and Kuhn’s arguments came up.

This page was originally published on November 16, 2016.