Errol Pierre

- 2013

Health Policy and Management – Financial Management Specialization

What made you decide to come to Wagner?

When I decided to go back to school, the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act had just been signed in Washington and I was a full-time healthcare professional at a large insurance company with a degree in business administration. I was looking for a program that would compliment my strengths in finance yet improve my understanding of health policy. Wagner’s program does both. It delves deep into best practices around strong public/private partnerships and has a strong core curriculum in health finance.

I looked no further after completing my research on Wagner. All of the major health industry players in New York have either went to Wagner, hired someone from Wagner, or have a deep respect for the faculty and staff of Wagner.

Are you currently employed?

Empire BlueCross BlueShield is the largest health insurance company in New York with over 5.5 million members. It is a subsidiary of WellPoint Inc., the largest health insurance company in the United States with over 34 million members across 14 different states.

I currently serve as the Regional Manager of Sales and Distribution Strategy for the downstate market. In this capacity I provide vision and leadership to a diverse sales team that serves the healthcare needs of small businesses in New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. We offer health, dental, vision, life, disability, and employee assistance coverage to over 300,000 members. I also provide strategic vision and execute strategies around healthcare reform implementation; most specifically health exchanges.

How have you been able to balance work and school?

Good question. I think you have to take it one day at a time. I found that loving what I do at work and learning more about my field at school provides just enough motivation to get through it all and make it work.

What has been your favorite class at Wagner?

Strategic Management with Professor Michael Duffy. The class flowed perfectly. There were challenging and relevant case studies each week complimented by strong debate, great guest lecturers, and impactful firsthand experience from the professor. He enjoyed teaching the class and it was exemplified by the energy in the classroom.

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

Two months after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, I went to Port-au-Prince with 7 other NYU students as a hospital logistics volunteer. We were tasked with helping to transition Medishare’s tent-based field Hospital from a rescue effort to an operational hospital. In doing so, we implemented a medical record system that ensured continuity of care. The trip changed my life and renewed my focus in finding successful public/private partnerships in the field of health finance and delivery.

What are your future career goals?

I would like to run a think tank or work in an advisory role for a politician or political campaign on all matters relating to healthcare delivery. I would also like to start a non-profit organization focused on urban empowerment.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m 28 years old. I was born and raised in New York. I’ve actually done all of my schooling, kindergarten through graduate school, in a 30 mile radius. I live in Soundview, Bronx and enjoy reading, politics, and listening to old, obscure R&B, Blues, and Jazz music. I also have a passion for community service. I currently volunteer as a mentor for my alma mater, Fordham University. I serve as a Board of Director and mentor with One Hundred Black Men, a non-profit organization that founded 3 public schools in New York City. I sit on the ABNY Young Professional Steering Committee. Lastly, I am a member of the West Side YMCA Program and Membership Committee.

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

The Wagner Health Policy and Management degree is a good conduit for students seeking a MBA level education with a focus on healthcare and policy analysis through the lens of public/private partnerships.