Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Applied Health Economics & Outcomes Research '22

A life-long learner, Scott Goldfarb got involved in population health after completing pharmacy school at University of Maryland. After graduation, he did a residency year and a year of specialized training in managing population health, including formularies and national disease management programs.

Scott was part of a global health outcomes group at a pharmaceutical company where he worked. In this role, he conducted observational research using medical and pharmacy claims, electronic medical records, and chart reviews. He published peer-reviewed research and presented his research for multiple audiences.

“I spent time in various medical affairs roles in the pharmaceutical industry, working with key opinion leaders who drive the research and guidelines,” Scott said. “Working with them over the years, I became even more interested in generating scientific evidence to help inform patients, providers, and payers in the U.S. about the value of new medicines for oncology.”

It was at that point that Scott realized he had a lot of on-the-job experience, but wished to refresh his formal training in outcomes research. That’s why he joined the online master’s program in Applied Health Economics and Outcomes Research at Jefferson College of Population Health. For a busy professional living in Arizona, the program was perfect because it comprised few live meetings and included a comprehensive asynchronous program developed by expert faculty. That meant Scott could tackle his studies between hiking desert trails near his home and spending time with his family.

“This program is a great way to increase your knowledge in health economics and outcomes research, with a very organized and knowledgeable faculty,” Scott said. “If you enjoy HEOR, which involves cost effectiveness modeling, budget impact analysis, and comparative effectiveness research, this program will help you beef up your skills.”

Scott’s education helped land him a new job at BeiGene in a unique market access role, in the area of applied health economics and outcomes research related to oncology. His job at this upstart company involves working with key customers in the U.S. to conduct collaborative outcomes research projects. On a day-to-day basis, you’ll see Scott gathering insights from medical records and insurance claims as part of a cross-functional team. His research is informing strategies that benefit oncology patients and improve public health.

Population Health '19

As a young nurse, Janice Nissen learned about the vital role of compassionate care as she worked long nights in pediatrics at an Illinois hospital. Eager to help more patients in a new business venture, she took a role as a nurse clinician at Abbott Laboratories, helping patients across the country become comfortable at home using an IV and pump. When they felt empowered, she felt successful. Over the next decade, ever seeking to have a greater impact in healthcare, Janice worked in a variety of roles in sales leadership, operations and marketing for hospital products, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostics. She was most energized when a role involved building a new business model.  One such example was building a business unit for established pharmaceutical brands, the other was her final role at Merck where she and her team created a Center of Excellence for Patient Engagement.“Life science companies were becoming increasingly interested in what the end-user thought about their products,” Janice said. “Do they want longer life or a better quality of life? With the Center of Excellence, we focused on many things, including the ways patients can inform clinical trial design, how products are packaged, are instructions for use easy, do we have a website that is designed for patients in health literate terms, and how can a pharmaceutical company best support the important work of patient organizations. This work involved working with patient organizations globally and the chance to see how healthcare is delivered in all parts of the globe.”

It was during her time at Merck that Janice was inspired to gain a greater understanding of the broader world of global health and population health. She first enrolled in the Population Health Academy at JCPH and loved it. She then decided to pursue the certificate program and then her Masters degree in Population Health.

“I loved it because it gave me the surround sound of what healthcare was all about,” Janice said. “Up to this point my experience was heavily focused on life science companies and their issues,  but I learned about broader policy issues that were impacting all of the stakeholders in healthcare. Ultimately the course work and interaction with other students focused on what each stakeholder in healthcare could do to create a better healthcare system.”

As a result of her JCPH education, Janice said she felt more equipped to apply a broader perspective on the healthcare environment to her work at Merck. However, she often thought about being in school at this point in her career! “I used to tell people that I was in school and would likely be on Medicare when I finished,” she said. “I actually finished before hitting Medicare, but I like to think it’s a testament that you are never too old to go back to school and further your education!”

Today, while technically “retired,” Janice is anything but! She is a member of the JCPH Alumni Board. She consults with the National Institutes of Health Foundation on how to evolve their patient engagement strategy. As a nurse Janice is also passionate about the role that nurses can play in the industry she worked in for most of her career, life sciences. So also she is working with a medical education company to raise awareness about a program for nurses who want to transition into the life sciences field. Finally, Janice has just joined the Helene Fuld College of Nursing as a trustee.