Home » In-House Counsel Awards » 2022 In-House Counsel Awards: Jennifer A. Kozinn

2022 In-House Counsel Awards: Jennifer A. Kozinn

North Kansas City Hospital

Jennifer KozinnSince her law school days at Saint Louis University, Jennifer Kozinn has focused her career on healthcare law. As an attorney with a private firm for five years, she represented hospitals, physician groups and other providers. During her second year with the firm, she met the general counsel for North Kansas City Hospital (NKCH). Five years later, when a position came open with NKCH, Kozinn was the first person invited to apply for the job with the in-house legal team.

Since 2009, she has been part of that team representing NKCH and its affiliates, including the physician organization Meritas Health Corporation. In 2012, at age 34, she was promoted to her current position as vice president and general counsel. She manages all aspects of legal services and oversees Compliance, Risk Management and Employee Health. In addition, she frequently works with physicians in matters of contracting and compliance.

“Working for a hospital is a better fit for me because our purpose is much more mission-driven,” Kozinn says. “This motivates me and gives me perspective on our shared mission. My husband and father-in-law are both physicians, so I live healthcare in my family, too.” She also serves on the board and several committees for Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care.

In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in full force, Kozinn’s first priority was reviewing and adapting to all the information that was coming out. She was also a leader in a joint venture called Operation Safe, involving North Kansas City Hospital, Cerner Corporation, the County Health Department and Liberty Hospital. On extremely short notice, Operation Safe ultimately vaccinated more than 50,000 residents in the area. In addition to her legal responsibilities regarding the documentation of all the relationships in this joint venture, she was also responsible for securing the physical space needed plus obtaining and monitoring the supply of vaccinations and the regulatory responsibilities associated with that.

“Being so involved in that effort was personally fulfilling,” Kozinn says. “I was considered an essential worker, and a hospital never closes. I helped people get vaccinated and helped our area get out of the pandemic.”

Kozinn’s nominator for this award recognizes her as a hard-working, fair-minded, knowledgeable, ethical and empathetic professional. In addition, the nomination underscores her accomplishments in and successful work on numerous acquisitions, joint ventures, employment relationships and management of all legal responsibilities.

“In-house has the reputation of being easier or less burdensome as a career,” Kozinn says. “In-house attorneys work as hard or harder than attorneys in private practice. I know I take on a lot more personal responsibility, and I care more about what I’m doing. If I’m not working harder in-house than I did in private practice, then I’m not doing it right.”