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Jennifer L. Stephens

Associate Director, Integrated Initiatives

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Galvanizing dialogue among providers and vulnerable communities; amplifying approaches to establish trust and enhance care

“They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.”—Carl W. Buehner

Drawing from her experience working with essential hospitals who provide high-quality, equitable, and affordable care to their communities, Jennifer brings specialized knowledge around rebuilding and bolstering trust. With her deep and informed understanding that trust is the foundation upon which patients interact with providers and the healthcare system, she has bridged these insights to benefit other areas of healthcare that are hindered by broken confidence and uncertainty. Her current work at TCC Group brings together thought leaders representing cisgender and transgender Black women to frame a new prevention narrative around HIV risk to increase awareness and engagement in prevention in this community.

A researcher with more than 20 years of healthcare experience, Jennifer manages, designs, conducts, and analyzes qualitative and quantitative research in a way that provides practical information and implementable tools for her clients. Known for her ease of collaboration and ability to quickly identify and apply solutions to complex problems, Jennifer has published peer reviewed literature, written technical reports and recommendations that have led to policy change, and developed toolkits to aid in transforming challenged programs, systems, and services.

A former adolescent HIV case manager, Jennifer engenders trust with her welcoming vibe and genuine interest in others. She believes work thrives through personal investment in relationships with colleagues, clients, and community. A philosophical thread that guides her work and personal life, she honors and celebrates the traditions and beliefs of those around her.

At TCC Group:

ViiV Healthcare: As a core member of the ViiV team, Jennifer is leading several program expansion initiatives, providing a new framework for discussing HIV risk, and reaching new communities and cities around the country. She is currently driving the development of a new Positive Action for Women working group of cis- and transgender women of color living with and vulnerable to HIV. The program supports innovative, forward-thinking community collaborations that break down isolation and stigma, and link women to networks of care.

Before TCC Group:

America’s Essential Hospitals: As principal investigator for a research project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jennifer set out to understand which trust dimensions are most important to vulnerable patient populations and what hospital policies and practices promote trust among those served by essential hospitals. Leveraging interviews, a broad reaching survey, and focus groups she identified the most important factors of trust for patients. Her published work resulting from this research, Patient Trust: A Guide for Essential Hospitals, provides policies and practices hospital leaders can implement to promote institutional trust. It has been downloaded more than 100 times and garnered hundreds more page views for related content.

Education:
  • Boston University School of Public Health
    • MPH, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Maternal and Child Health
  • Johns Hopkins University
    • BA, Public Health
Board Service:
Additional Works:
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