"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

Jeremy Schifberg leads a portfolio of strategy work at Health Leads, including leading the organization's work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and works closely with the CEO, President, and the organization's clinical and foundation partners to make addressing 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 how Oliver Wyman impacted him:

What skills did you acquire at Oliver Wyman that have helped you throughout your career?

From the moment you start at OW, and 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 in a logical way in order to chart a path forward. I think this can become so engrained that it gets taken for granted, but 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 OW. The opportunity at OW to work with senior teams across different types of clients and market conditions, and to do so 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 the team at Health Leads in Boston as Special Advisor to the CEO. We’re a social enterprise that works to bridge the clinical and community environments to ensure all patients get the resources they need to be healthy (I first met the team, in fact, while on 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. Having one foot in direct work with patients and one in 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 a host of our strategy and partnerships work. In this country, patients are still regularly, and knowingly, being sent home to environments that will impair their health and force them right back to the clinic, and getting to work on changing the way 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 we formed were the most enriching part of my time at OW, and remain really important to me today. The most important project-related experience I had at OW was the first time I worked on a project, early in my career, that involved conducting a series of site visits and interviewing front-line clinicians across the client’s operating footprint. Spending time talking to these teams and then returning back to corporate HQ to conduct our read-outs with the executive team really illuminated the disconnect that can exist between management and those closest to the work on the ground. It was a simple observation, but one that informed the rest of my work at OW as well as my current work – the need to reconcile strategy with reality may sound obvious but it’s proven 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 – I suppose there’s something here around “you can take the consultant out of consulting, but you can’t take the traveling itch out of the former consultant…”

What are you reading?

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn. An oldie but a goodie. It lays out an argument for how paradigm shifts in science have come about throughout history, and it’s powerfully applicable to other industries and contexts. In fact, I initially picked it up for work – we were doing some writing about the elements needed to drive change in healthcare and Kuhn’s arguments came up.