Natasha Lerner

MPA - 2015

Program Director, Family Planning
Boston Medical Center
Natasha Lerner

How did being in New York City impact your professional journey?

Wagner, being in NYC and with its course schedule, allowed me to intern every semester. I was able to grow my resume while growing my knowledge and skills at Wagner. During my MPA, I interned at the United Nations, Council on Foreign Relations, and EngenderHealth. Additionally, I completed my Capstone with PCI Media Impact.

Can you tell us a bit about your job responsibilities?

I am the director of the Partners in Contraceptive Choice and Knowledge (PICCK) program. A five-year, state-wide, program funded by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts. PICCK partners with birth hospitals to provide education, technical assistance, and quality improvement support to increase access to and quality of contraceptive care. PICCK also provides educational opportunities to a national audience about contraception.

How did your experiences at NYU Wagner prepare you for your career?

Wagner taught me a lot of knowledge and gave me many skills. But most importantly, Wagner instilled in me the belief that public service work deserves a workforce that is skilled, effective, efficient, ethical, and happy. My outlook toward colleagues, staff, mentees, and human resources overall in this sector changed for the better thanks to Wagner. It is one of the reasons I pursued the practice- and leadership-based Doctor of Public Health (DrPH).

What impact do you hope to make through your career?

My passion is sexual and reproductive health and rights, particularly family planning. I hope to continue working toward health care services, government policies, and a societal culture that supports increased access to contraception and abortion, quality of services and counseling, and respect for choice, bodily autonomy, and self-determination of all people.