Sarah Wong '16, MS, Healthcare Data Analytics
Current Position: Chief of Staff, Alliance for Better Health

I got my first glimpse of the promise of data analytics while working as a marketing and planning analyst at Albany Medical Center. Back then, I appreciated the role of data in shaping and supporting strategic planning. But I also saw data’s potential to do so much more.

Data analytics can be the catalyst for effective change, especially in healthcare. I wanted to be part of that.

I chose Clarkson’s MS in Healthcare Data Analytics, offered at the University’s Capital Region Campus, in part because of its flexible online/on-site approach. Even more important, however, was the quality of Clarkson’s faculty, who draw on extensive experience in the field.

The exposure to subject matter experts—peers and professors, all with real-world experience and successes—proved to be the most helpful.

I earned the MS degree in one year while employed full time at the Center for Health Systems Transformation at Albany Medical Center. I began seeing the return on my investment almost immediately.

One month after receiving my master’s, I was promoted to senior data analyst and, six months later, to manager of analytics. More recently, I was named chief of staff at the Alliance for Better Health in Albany.

A network of more than 2,000 providers and community organizations, the Alliance was formed in response to a New York State Department of Health initiative called the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program (DSRIP). The goal of the Alliance and DSRIP is to transform the way healthcare is delivered by reducing avoidable emergency department visits and preventing hospital readmissions.

In every position I've held, I've drawn on the lessons learned at Clarkson. I expect that to continue for years to come.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that the healthcare industry is constantly evolving, yet the reliance on reliable data will remain steadfast, the skills and confidence to use data in a strategic way will serve me well throughout my career.

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