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     Ashley Bogle
Assistant General Counsel and Director of Legal Services, Health New England; Age 37
When asked why she became a lawyer, Ashley Bogle started by explaining why, for a long time, she didn’t want to become a lawyer.
“I thought that all attorneys did was argue — like on Law & Order. I’m not really a fighter, so
I really didn’t want to do that,” she explained, adding that she took a different route and became a pre-pharmacy major. She eventually worked in a pharmacy and didn’t enjoy what she was doing, to put it mildly, so she went to work for a law firm as a legal assistant, an experience that changed her perspective — and her career track.
Fast-forwarding a little, after graduating from UConn School of Law, she found Health New England (HNE) through a staffing agency in 2010, and since then has worked her way up to the twin duties of assistant general counsel and director of Legal Services. She described her work as a “mixed bag,” everything from reviewing contracts to keeping track of the regulatory filings with respect to maintaining licenses and accreditation.
But there is another important aspect to her
work at HNE. Indeed, Bogle co-chairs the company’s diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) committee, which guides the organization toward its goals
of embedding DEIB into its mission, operations, community outreach, and practices in several areas,
including associate engagement, corporate social responsibility, recruitment and retention of diverse talent, advancing health outcomes, and community engagement. Bogle has initiated a diversity and inclusion e-mail inbox to allow associates to share feedback about DEIB within the organization, and regularly shares updates to all HNE associates via biweekly town halls.
“We want to push forward a diversity mindset and an equity mindset,” she explained. “It’s been
a lot of work, but it’s been very exciting, and the organization as a whole has been very supportive of these efforts.”
In 2020, Bogle was appointed to represent
HNE in the Massachusetts Assoc. of Health Plans’ recently established Racial Disparities Work Group, advancing the work of two important initiatives on behalf of MAHP’s member health plans.
Meanwhile, she is also very active within the community, volunteering for meal service at Friends of the Homeless, taking part in community-service projects through the United Way’s Day of Caring, and fundraising and organizing events for Go Red American Heart Assoc. Heart Walks.
—George O’Brien
       Dr. Jessica Bossie
Primary-care Physician, Health Services for the Homeless; Age 34
It’s called ‘street outreach.’
That’s what Dr. Jessica Bossie calls the work she does on Thursday afternoons and Fridays, and it’s
aptly named.
That’s because she is, quite literally, on the streets
— and also under bridges, in homeless camps, and in other locations, bringing needed healthcare directly to the homeless population in Western Mass.
“Sometimes it’s Main Street in Northampton or some of the drags in Springfield — we know where our patients panhandle; we know where they
go,” she explained. “If we need to find them for something serious, we’ll go find them — and we do.”
Street outreach is part of an extremely broad set of responsibilities for Bossie, the only full-time primary- care physician working within a Springfield-based but regionally focused program called Health Services for the Homeless.
Others include seeing patients at both the Worthington Street homeless shelter in Springfield on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the homeless shelter in Northampton on Tuesdays and Thursdays; acting as a repository of information for a transient population that crosses many city and county lines; and directing a harm-reduction program for the homeless patients who suffer from chronic alcohol abuse.
Her work is difficult to describe in much detail in
this space. Suffice it to say it is 24/7 and involves caring for and advocating for the homeless population in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties, work that involves both treatment and prevention. This work resonated with the judges for this year’s 40 Under Forty program, as Bossie was the highest scorer among nearly 200 nominees.
A graduate of Boston University School of Medicine and the mother of three young girls, Bossie said she always intended to serve underserved populations, and was specifically interested in substance-abuse treatment. She had some direct exposure to Boston’s highly acclaimed healthcare program for the homeless, and has brought many of its best practices to this region.
When asked what she found most rewarding about her work, she said it’s the “human component,” the relationships she’s made with her patients.
“It’s wonderful to be able to help them in ways they’ve been wanting but haven’t found a way to get before,” she said. “Even after they move on, some of my patients travel hours just to come back and see me. It’s really flattering, and we develop these really amazing, really strong relationships.”
—George O’Brien
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