Jon Cohen

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For the entrepreneur, see Jon Cohen (entrepreneur). For the writer, see Jon Cohen (writer).

Jon R. Cohen, M.D. is a physician currently the Senior Vice President (SVP), and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Director of the Hospital Services line of business of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), a company specializing in diagnostic testing, information, and services.. Dr. Cohen is a vascular surgeon having completed his residency in surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and vascular surgery fellowship at the Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School in Boston. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed professional articles and authored two books. In 2010, he was named as one the nation's top 50 most powerful physician executives by Modern Healthcare.[1] He is past President of both the New York Surgical Society and the New York Society for Cardiovascular Surgery.

Quest Diagnostics[edit]

As Chief Medical Officer,[2][3] Dr. Cohen is responsible for Medical quality to establish medical policies that assures the highest possible patient quality and safety; Health policy to support/develop health policies that provide the opportunity to have the most positive impact on patient care as related to all of Quest's businesses; Patient centricity to align the business towards patient centricity and be the "voice of the patient" and medical community to provide broad medical support to grow the businesses by leveraging the expertise of the medical community of approximately 900 employed physicians and PhDs.

As Director of Hospital Services, Dr. Cohen has P/L and operational responsibility for Quest's second largest line of business. With over $1 billion in revenue, the hospital services line of business encompasses all of the esoteric reference testing that is performed at Quest's four national esoteric laboratories servicing over 3,000 customers worldwide including hospitals, commercial labs, Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, State and County Departments of Health, Prisons and Indian Services. Quest Diagnostics, with revenues of over $7.5 billion, is the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, providing insights that enable patients, physicians and others to make decisions to improve health.

Professional career[edit]

After arriving at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in 1985, Cohen rose through the ranks to become Chief of Vascular Surgery and then Chairman of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief. As Chief of Vascular Surgery he built one of the most robust clinical and nationally recognized academic divisions and established the first comprehensive vascular institute in New York. His major research contributions were into the pathophysiology of aortic aneurysm development at the molecular level.[4] As Chairman, Department of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief the department grew to 18 surgeons and an institutional surgical volume from 17,000 to 25,000 cases/year.

From 1998 to 2000 he was Executive Vice President of the three hospital academic medical center with operational responsibility for the day to day operations of the 800 bed academic medical center with an annual budget of 600 million dollars.

In 2000 Dr. Cohen was appointed as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President for the newly merged entity, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. The Health system is the nation’s 4th largest non-for-profit health system, and includes 15 hospitals, 7,000 physicians, 8,000 nurses, 7,000 employees and has a revenue base of four billion dollars. As the health system's senior physician, he had overall responsibility for the professional management of the clinical, educational, research and administrative matters as related to all medical affairs of the health system. With the strategic vision of unifying the two large medical centers as "one medical center on two sites", he set the course to merge these two entities with the goal of providing the best possible clinical care by merging services where appropriate and investing new resources without duplication in a delivery model around disease specific care. The result is one of the most successful healthcare mergers in the country during a time when many had failed.[5]

Political activities[edit]

Dr. Cohen is a health policy expert and frequently advises government officials and elected officials in health policy having served as health care policy advisor to gubernatorial candidate H. Carl McCall in 2002 and presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004.

In 2005, Cohen announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor of New York.[6] Cohen raised more than $700,000 for his election bid, the largest ever raised for a Lieutenant Governor race in New York state history. Cohen's campaign was centered on the issue of health care reform, and he referred to the health care system as "dysfunctional at every level." He proposed a solution universal health-insurance coverage linked to economic development, repeating his message that "Health care is a right, not a privilege", which he utilized during Sen. Kerry's 2004 campaign. He favored setting up an insurance pool backed by private carriers that would spread the risk of health care coverage, making it affordable for small businesses, as well as spearheading state led investment in biotechnology and stem cell research to foster job creation and medical innovation. Cohen further developed plans to cut fraud and waste from the Medicaid system, which he blamed for ruining county budgets, stating, "What's happening is, there's too little money left for roads, for senior citizen programs and for schools."

He was viewed as the front runner in the race which included then - State Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli, Wappinger Town supervisor Joe Ruggiero, and Leecia Eve, an aide to then-Senator Hillary Clinton. A primary was averted when the front runner for Governor, Eliot Spitzer, named an undeclared candidate, Harlem State Senator David Paterson as his running mate, and Cohen and other candidates dropped out and quickly coalesced behind his choice.[7] Cohen nominated Paterson for Lieutenant Governor during the 2006 Democratic Party convention, held in Buffalo New York.

When David A. Paterson succeeded Eliot Spitzer as Governor of New York, Paterson appointed Cohen as his Senior Advisor.[8][9] As Senior Advisor, Cohen was responsible for developing all policy and strategic planning as related to healthcare, education, environment, economic development, energy, transportation, homeland security and local governments. Dr Cohen was one of the six senior staff responsible to the Governor for the coordinated activities to manage the country’s third largest State including 83 agencies, 600 authorities, 200,000 employees and a budget of $124 billion.


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  4. ^ Cohen JR,Sarfati I, Danna D, Wise L: "Smooth Muscle Cell Elastase, Atherosclerosis, and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms". Ann of Surg 216(3):327 330, 1992.
  5. ^ Cohen JR, Dowling M, Gallagher JST: "The trials, tribulations, and relative success of the ongoing clinical merger of two large academic hospital systems". Academic Medicine 76:675-683, 2001
  6. ^ Mead, Julia. "A Doctor Looks to 2006 With Health Care His Issue". New York Times. October 16, 2005.
  7. ^ Hicks, Jonathan. "Lieutenant Governor Candidate Quits and Backs Spitzer". New York Times. January 31, 2006
  8. ^ Benjamin, Elizabeth. "Paterson Taps Former LG Rival To Serve As Sr. Advisor". Daily News. March 27, 2008.
  9. ^ Chan, Swell. "Paterson Names Counsel and Senior Adviser". New York Times. March 27, 2008