Bridging the Chasm: Improving Population Health via the Private Sector

Hosted by the Healthcare Consulting Student Club, panelists at this event featured Code & Theory senior health strategist Julie Avrutine; Discern Health vice president Christine Juday; Amgen executive director of global health Jason Spangler, and GPH public health policy and management professor Alden Lai.

The discussion opened with how each professional defines “population health,” and what that has meant for their careers after college. Each panelist shared with the audience of mostly students where they began their careers and how their different paths eventually led to the work they do now in the private sector.

Panelists also gave career advice to GPH students who will be joining the private sector workforce. Students were encouraged to explore different avenues of interest and to think about what facet of healthcare they want to pursue as a career -- even if it comes later in their educational journey. It was also advised to really hone in on basic skills such as using different software programs and interviewing. Although these skills may seem inherent, panelists encouraged students to always look for improvement in those areas.

Digging deeper into the role of life science companies, the group also discussed how to help patients better by using data, and how to apply a public health perspective in different areas of the private sector. Panelists touched on their own experiences in seeing more of a focus on public health advocacy in their companies, and what that could mean for incoming healthcare professionals who are graduating soon.