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Anna Hallowell (HPM and Regulatory Affairs)

Summer Intern - Pharma, Managed Markets, Healthcare System Access & Engagement, Novartis, East Hanover, N.J.

Career Goal

Anna Hallowell, MPH ’23 (Health Policy/Regulatory Affairs), served her summer internship at Novartis in East Hanover, New Jersey.

I want to be part of the reason others have access to quality health care and are treated equally by the systems put in place to help them. I envision a career that allows me to reflect in innovative and transformative ways to rethink how public health issues are considered in contemporary politics, and advocate for change of the systems that process and perpetuate health injustices. My plan is to start off my career in industry, to learn as much as I can through different commercial and payer perspectives, and eventually use this knowledge to influence policy change at the state or federal level to improve patient access and reduce structural barriers to health.

Internship Outline

I was the intern for the VP of Healthcare System Access and Engagement, and I worked with his team on collaborations with external stakeholders to find shared priorities to improve specific disease states in the U.S. These include reimagining value-based care, embracing virtual health care, and executing health-inequity strategies. (I am not allowed to disclose specific project details, since they are ongoing.) I also conducted my own intern project on the impact of global public policies on population health management.

Value of Experience

Anna Hallowell, MPH ’23 (Health Policy/Regulatory Affairs), and fellow intern Michelle Li, of Duke University, pose with a pair of robots at Novartis.

Healthcare systems in the U.S. are navigating a time filled with multiple new and complex challenges and competing and shifting priorities. I realized that a deep understanding of how different organizational priorities impact healthcare will be key to creating effective policies regarding health care. Navigating the fragmented U.S. health care system from the payer perspective, seeing how commercial and medical sides work together on projects, and networking across the company were the most valuable aspects of my internship. I really appreciate being on a team that let me grow, learn, and unlearn at my own pace. The “unbossed” culture at Novartis let me shape my own work environment and pursue my ideas.

Best Moment/Experience

The most rewarding aspect of my internship was getting to have 1-1 mentorship with all the executive leadership and directors on my team. I enjoyed learning about their career paths and why they are passionate about the work they do. The most challenging aspect was being an intern while global restructuring of the company was going on. Although many changes were happening, my team was able to adapt and overcome challenges quickly and effectively. I was surprised to see how well public health fit into industry, discussions of novel interventions to address structural barriers to health or health inequities were common in many meetings!

How did your first year at YSPH prepare you for this internship?

My first year at YSPH gave me the foundational knowledge of the U.S. health care landscape, and social and structural barriers to health equity that allow me to successfully contribute to ongoing collaborations with leading healthcare stakeholders at Novartis.

What would you say to a student who’s considering a similar internship?

I would say to come in with an open mind and be ready to adapt to change. It is one thing to study how our health care system works from a textbook, but getting to speak with individuals who have significant impact on drug pricing or formulary negotiations gave me new viewpoints and deeper understanding. Learning firsthand how the pharmaceutical industry impacts the health of millions of lives was an exciting space to be in.

Funding Source

Novartis through relocation stipend and hourly compensation.