Elaine Purcell

MPA-Health - 2013

Health Policy and Management – Management Specialization

What made you decide to come to Wagner?

I chose Wagner first because of its location (and thus, its proximity to some of the top hospitals in the country) and secondly because it's unique in offering a healthcare administration degree in the school of public service rather than a school of public health. I did my undergraduate degree in public health and wanted to acquire more knowledge on the financials and economics behind the healthcare delivery system.

Have you had any internships while at Wagner?

Yes, I worked at New York-Presbyterian this past summer in the Office of Strategy. In Strategy I worked on bridging the gaps between a large hospital by assisting in the implementation of a strategic growth plan for their bi-campus vascular service line.

Are you currently employed?

I work part-time at Beth Israel Medical Center as an Administrative Resident. I rotate throughout departments to gain exposure and knowledge to how different specialty areas operate and deliver services.

How have you been able to balance work and school?

Planning ahead. Mapping out my schedules and responsibilities before the beginning of the semester, week and day helps me stay organized.

What has been your favorite class at Wagner?

The Business of Healthcare – it offers a very different perspective to many of the classes I've taken at Wagner, but still focuses on mitigating a fundamental concept in healthcare: ‘no margin, no mission'.

What impact has your Wagner education have on your career path to date?

Wagner has further affirmed that I want to follow a career path towards hospital administration. However, it has provided my new perspective on the different avenues I can take to eventually achieve my goals. I am now more interested in healthcare strategy – a result of the creative projects assigned by my professors.

What are your future career goals?

I hope to some day run an urban academic medical center.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I'm originally from Boston, Massachusetts and attended college at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. I spent a semester of undergrad in Paris and absolutely love to travel. I now live in the West Village and enjoy reading the New Yorker, running on the West Side Highway or playing squash at the NYU Coles gym.

Do you have any thoughts/advice for prospective students interested in coming to Wagner?

Take advantage of everything that New York has to offer. Go after every work/volunteer experience that seems appealing regardless of your current knowledge and skill sets. If you are passionate about the field of work you are entering, you will undoubtedly succeed.