Ramon Alvarez, MPH '19

Ramon Alvarez
Ramon Alvarez: Analyzing Data to Improve Healthcare Services

Ramon Alvarez knew that pursuing a master’s in public health would be a balancing act for him. While working two jobs, Ramon needed to find a program that was flexible enough to work with his busy schedule. Ramon came all the way from Austin, Texas to New York City to pursue his master’s degree at NYU GPH. One of Ramon’s main goals was to work with professors that would help him to make his dream of working in healthcare even bigger. After doing research on programs across the country, Ramon was most interested in the work done by the professors in the NYU GPH master’s program.

When Ramon arrived at GPH, in addition to engaging with his peers on campus during the day, Ramon also took advantage of the flexibility of the program by taking night courses that worked with the full-time work schedule he had during the day. Ramon conducted research and managed projects to support 911 deployment centers in the United States as a community engagement associate with RapidSOS during the day. Taking full advantage of his connections, Ramon also assisted Dr. Diana Silver as a graduate teaching assistant.

Even in the midst of his busy schedule, Ramon was able to study abroad at Tel Aviv with a cohort to study international systems of emergency preparedness and responses before the pandemic hit. During his time in Tel Aviv, Ramon was able to immerse himself in another culture while staying in a hostel in a local Tel Aviv neighborhood. Ramon spent time getting to know the small neighborhood environment that the campus was located while getting the chance to know his peers more intimately.

“The student body, staff, and all the professors had a shared desire to improve public health across the globe and that kind of energy is infectious (excuse the pun) but I was always motivated by the work that my fellow classmates were doing.”

One of the experiences where Ramon was most inspired by his peers and professors was walking into the NYU Healthcare Insurance Claims Data Lab every week. In the NYU Healthcare Insurance Claims lab, Ramon worked on hands-on projects under the guidance of Dr. Jose Pagan. Ramon was able to connect with Dr. Pagan about his roots in Texas and the work that he had previously done there before coming to New York City.

“​​The healthcare data claims lab is of noble importance to the trajectory of my career. Through the lab we received lectures and guided hands-on experience from industry leading consultants where I got to work with actual health insurance claims data. That experience provided me with information and data analytic skills that I needed to find a job as an analyst in healthcare technology.”

As a senior business analyst at Unite Us, Ramon draws from his experience identifying the determinants of health in the classroom. The goal of the company is to build care networks that cover clinical, behavioral and social services to provide an overarching approach to health.

Ramon’s position as a senior business analyst is largely a product of the person to person outreach that Unite Us models their work after. As a business analyst, Ramon starts his day like any productive professional…with a hot cup of coffee. Once he has had his coffee, Ramon starts his day by analyzing the data needed to address the goals for the day.

“Like with any analyst position, the most important part of my job is being able to use data to inform and drive decisions given the many nuances that exist in our healthcare system. It is also essential to be able to explain complex concepts in simple terms. I find my career extremely fulfilling because every day I go to work, and I know that, through my contributions, more people across the country are getting access to the services they need to lead a healthy life and that's where I find my motivation.”