Healthfirst Mourns the Loss of Don Ashkenase our Former Chairman and Friend.

Mar 10, 2021

The Board and staff of Healthfirst mourn the loss of Don Ashkenase, our former chairman and friend. Don was instrumental in the company’s journey from its 1993 founding to its present status as one of the top not-for-profit health insurers in the country. He possessed extraordinary financial acumen and cared deeply about Healthfirst’s mission, members, and employees. He knew employees at all levels of the organization, having taken the time before and after each Board meeting to walk the floors and get to know members of the staff. His classes at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health Executive Management Program exposed generations of health professionals to his passionately held values about the importance of high-quality healthcare for all people, whatever their circumstances. Those values are also embedded in the culture of Healthfirst. He was a supremely gifted but humble person, a man with the keenest of minds and the kindest of hearts. Don was active in his Temple and his town, on his school board and numerous not-for-profit organizations, and brought the same passion to them as he did to Healthfirst. Our deepest condolences to his wife, Karen, to his children, Jeffrey, Andrew, and Debbie and their spouses, and to his many friends and colleagues.


Ken Gibbs, Healthfirst, Chairman

Pat Wang, Healthfirst, President and CEO