NHS Alumna Focuses on Health Policy, Public Health

Posted in GUMC Stories

Erika Rogan (NHS’06) says the School of Nursing & Health Studies gave her a solid academic foundation in various elements that make up the health care field.

The young alumna – who will begin a Ph.D. program this August at Yale University’s School of Public Health – noted that the interdisciplinary environment at NHS fostered her desire to study health policy.

“NHS brings together students who are interested in many aspects of health care,” she said. “My favorite undergraduate projects always involved students from international health, nursing, policy, and science. In the real world, you need all of those voices present to make effective decisions and policies.”

A Framework for Thinking

Rogan completed her bachelor’s degree in the Department of Human Science, where she currently serves as an adjunct lecturer for a course on health promotion and disease prevention.

She also teaches in the department’s Pathways to Success program – a health science enrichment program for high school students from rural areas of Colorado, Louisiana, and South Dakota.

“I loved human science,” she said. “Science gives you a framework for how to think through a problem and come up with solutions.”

Always Home

After graduating, Rogan went on to complete a master’s degree in health policy, planning, and financing through a joint program of the London School of Economics and Political Science and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

But she always enjoys coming back to Georgetown.
“No matter where I go, there is always that sense that Georgetown is home,” she said. “NHS is definitely that family I had hoped I would have in my college experience. Professors like Joan Riley, J.P. Hyatt, and Robin Goldenberg have made a big impact on my academic endeavors.”

Next Steps

Rogan is currently finishing up her health care consulting work with Booz Allen Hamilton and will be moving on to Yale, where she plans to delve into research focusing on decision-making within the health care setting.

“I would like to analyze the factors that go into providers’ decisions and how they determine what they will tell patients to do,” she said. “We assume a lot about this process, but I’d like to find out what is actually occurring.”

She hopes to one day teach in a university setting and conduct research that will help inform health policy.

“My research will be very collaborative with people from different professional backgrounds,” she said. “Georgetown and NHS set me up for that – to balance a lot of perspectives on issues in health care.”

By Bill Cessato, NHS Communications
(Published August 1, 2012)