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Public health training helps YSPH alumna Norma A. Padrón in her role as a health care entrepreneur

September 13, 2023

Alumni Spotlight: Norma A. Padrón, PhD ’14 (Health Economics)

What is your current job?

Founder and CEO of EmpiricaLab, a next-generation knowledge management platform for health care teams.

Describe your work and why you find it rewarding/challenging.

I am an entrepreneur, but also a former academic and leader in the health care analytics space. The most rewarding aspect of my work is that I get to bring together these experiences to collaborate with our customers and partners and create the best experiences for technical teams working in health care. The most challenging aspect is living with the reality of the statistics for Latina entrepreneurs. Latina-founded companies represent only 2% of all venture capital allocated. My team and I are grateful for our investors and customers, but we have experienced firsthand the challenges and reality of this statistic and landscape.

The best skill a graduate program provides is to train you to learn, and I gained that skill through my graduate experience at Yale.

Norma A. Padrón

How did YSPH prepare you for your current work?

I often get questions about whether having a PhD is needed for my work as an entrepreneur, and my answer is always: Yes! The best skill a graduate program provides is to train you to learn, and I gained that skill through my graduate experience at Yale. Public health is a multidisciplinary field, and having the training and ability to learn from and collaborate with multiple disciplines has been a skill that has served me well throughout my professional journey.

Do you have a favorite YSPH experience you can share?

YSPH programs encourage collaboration and empower students to reach out to faculty across different schools and disciplines such as medicine, management, economics, or political science. My favorite experience is having access to some of the top experts across so many fields.

What advice do you have for current/future students?

The velocity of new tools for work and learning is moving incredibly fast. Learning about the tools that will be most needed for their preferred field of practice early on will improve their experience as students. It is always helpful to reach out directly to current students to learn the landscape and opportunities that a program might offer – and students will reply!

Were there any faculty/staff mentors who influenced your YSPH experience?

I found all faculty and staff to be helpful and approachable. I have great memories of Jason Fletcher, Betsy Bradley, and Melanie Elliot – who always ensured I completed my paperwork on time!

Submitted by Fran Fried on August 28, 2023