End of Year Message 2021

End Of The Year Message

December 22, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Here we are, at the threshold of a new year! I am deeply grateful for everyone’s hard work that carried us through 2021. Our survival and our success are a tribute your commitment and dedication.

As I write to you, the Omicron variant is making news headlines. We are experiencing a Deja vu moment that recalls the uncertainty and anxiety of the early days of the pandemic. Thankfully, we are in a very different place today than we were in 2020. We are prepared, and confident in the knowledge that we are well-equipped to meet the challenges of a crisis.

Our accomplishments this year were truly outstanding, and I am proud of all that we achieved. At the health centers, we performed more than 10,000 Covid-1g Tests and administered close to 20,000 inoculations of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Over the course of the year, we centralized and expanded our Call Center and Patient Services. New Patient Care teams were formed and the utilization of Telemedicine appointments was greatly augmented. We renegotiated contracts and expanded Mental Health Services. During 2021, the Central Administration staff assisted more than 4,000 members who were out of work to sign up for the ARPA subsidized COBRA program, ensuring they received continued healthcare coverage with no out-of-pocket expenses. Our Accounting and Pension teams worked especially hard this year to address a myriad of issues related to the pandemic. Throughout it all, our lT department has worked tirelessly to protect the organization from cyber-threats, support our initiatives and ensure that day to day business continued smoothly. Everyone in the organization had additional responsibilities to contend with in 2021, and rose to the occasion.

Each phase of the pandemic presents unique challenges, and the ‘rebuild’ stage that we are currently in is certainly no exception. Our patient population is returning- at a rapid pace-and we are elated!
However, with expansion, there are growing pains and I commend the staff for their patience and understanding.

I am happy to share that we are steadily increasing our workforce in proportion to the industry population that we serve-our HR department has been busy recalling those team members who were laid off when we had to downsize. The process of recall is going extremely well and I hope to have 75% of the team back to work by the first quarter of next year. There is light at the end of the tunnel – we are now clearly on the road to recovery.

I recognize and appreciate the obstacles and strain the staff has had to endure. I commend your professionalism. It is the tough times that test an organization’s commitment and values, and thanks to your efforts we were able to ‘tread water and survive the most difficult circumstances. Thank you for all that you do to make the Employee Benefit Funds a stellar organization. I extend my warmest wishes for a safe holiday season and well-deserved downtime with family and friends.

Dr. David Jacobson
Chief Executive Officer

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