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Yale classes a family affair for EMPH student Pierre R. Theodore

April 25, 2023

EMPH Spotlight: Pierre R. Theodore, MD, EMPH ’24

Executive director of health equity and patient inclusion, Roche-Genentech – Meet Pierre R. Theodore, MD

Why did you choose to attend the Yale School of Public Health’s Executive MPH program?

The accomplishments of the Yale School of Public Health have been truly extraordinary, and I wanted to learn from leaders who have changed, and who continue to change, the face of health care. From sharing a nuanced understanding of the impact of COVID-19 to providing an in-depth analysis of war crimes in Ukraine, the Yale School of Public Health has engaged in leading efforts in improving the well-being of people the world over.

Secondly, I have a daughter who is an undergraduate at Yale, and I thought this would give me a great chance to playfully embarrass her on campus – though she has informed me that she was admitted first, making me a legacy admission.

What is your current occupation?

I am the executive director of health equity and patient inclusion for the pharmaceutical company Roche-Genentech.

What are your favorite aspects of the Executive MPH program?

I enjoy hearing about the struggles, solutions, and knowledge gained by the other students. Also, I like that the Executive MPH allows me to pass my own professional strategic priorities through the prism of the YSPH community. I am afforded the opportunity to write papers about outcomes I am trying to achieve professionally and present publicly on the topics to sharpen my arguments.

How do you balance working full-time with the demands of the program?

No one does this perfectly. I would like to pretend that all the balls are gracefully kept aloft, but I think the metaphor is more one of which ball will you have to temporarily drop and then pick up again and begin juggling. Having a love for the content helps, so the work feels less like work and more like an engaging and important set of activities.

How do you hope to apply the training and education you receive through the EMPH program to your future endeavors?

This work is completely aligned with my work interests. I came to Yale with an MD and an ability to care for the individual patient. But I am, through my work, trying to develop and market drugs for millions of patients, so this is an important set of tools I am gaining at YSPH to achieve this objective. Health equity is core to my belief as to why health care systems exist in the first place, and I am using the skills of reasoning and analytics to help advance strategies to address the unmet needs that result from social and political determinants of health.

Would you recommend the Executive MPH program to others, and why?

I would. But, like many executive programs, you get out of it what you put in. The degree or the classes are not to be checked off but embraced to maximize the value of the world-class faculty.

Submitted by Sabrina Lacerda Naia dos Santos on April 25, 2023