Nick Stefanizzi named one of health care’s emerging leaders

Nick Stefanizzi named one of health care’s emerging leaders
Northwell Direct CEO Nick Stefanizzi was named one of the Top 25 Emerging Leaders of 2023 by Modern Healthcare. (Photo provided by Northwell Health)

Nick Stefanizzi, CEO of Northwell Direct, has been named one of the Top 25 Emerging Leaders of 2023 by Modern Healthcare for his work in bringing much-needed health services to employers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Launched during the darkest days of the pandemic, Northwell Direct uses an integrated health care management approach to help employers bend the cost curve, improve productivity and keep their employees healthy. Northwell Direct is owned by Northwell Health, New York state’s largest health system.

“As we continue to look for ways to provide health and wellness services at a lower cost, with a superior experience, going directly to employers, there is no one better suited to lead that journey for Northwell other than Nick Stefanizzi,” said Joseph Moscola, the executive vice president of enterprise services for Northwell Health.

Northwell Direct created testing, triage and navigation programs for some of the largest companies in the region, including RXR, JetBlue and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. These testing programs were designed to meet the needs of the employers so they could keep their businesses operating while ensuring employee safety. Northwell Direct administered 4,526 COVID-19 tests in 2020, 28,549 in 2021 and 29,690 in 2022.

Additionally, as the response to the pandemic evolved, Northwell Direct began administering on-site vaccinations for employers such as Amazon, Madison Square Garden and the New York Power Authority. Northwell Direct distributed more than 5,100 vaccines in 2021 and 2022.

In the waning days of the pandemic, Northwell Direct has diversified and expanded the services it offers to employers. Services now focus on employee resiliency, health and wellbeing and employee benefit solutions for employers with self-funded insurance programs.

This includes working with the New York Police Department to provide behavioral health triage, navigation and care for all 36,000 uniformed officers, collaborating with the United States Department of State to provide virtual provider consultations to support the 100,000 diplomats and family members deployed abroad, and providing a high-performing narrow network for team member benefits to more than 90,000 employees from self-funded employers in the New York metro area – including Northwell’s own team members. Since its launch, Northwell Direct has experienced exponential year-over-year growth, and is one of the fastest-growing initiatives at Northwell Health.

“I am honored by the recognition and humbled to be included among such an illustrious group of healthcare leaders across the country,” said Stefanizzi. “Working for Northwell has been an absolute privilege, and I am grateful for the opportunities I have been afforded by the organization over the last 14 years to support and lead a variety of strategic priorities. I am so proud of the team we have built at Northwell Direct and the impact we are having on cost, quality, access and experience, and I believe we will have a transformational impact through the work we are doing on innovative payment and delivery models in partnership with employers and their team members.”

Stefanizzi, 35, has been with Northwell Health for 14 years, serving in various roles, including assistant vice president for HR innovation and organization effectiveness, as well as director of management services for Northwell’s ambulatory network.

In 2016, he served as the chief administration officer and interim CEO of Formativ Health, a joint-venture founded by Northwell Health that enhanced the patient and provider experience and access to health care.

Stefanizzi received a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Boston University and his MBA in healthcare administration from Hofstra University.

Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Emerging Leaders highlight the flexibility, innovation and talent represented by this generation of under-40 leaders. For more information, go to:

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