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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals Employees Graduate from Data Analytics Academy at LaGuardia Community College

72 employees completed the rigorous, 200-hour course that will enable them to collect and analyze large volumes of data and move towards data driven decision-making

Nov 02, 2020

Long Island City, NY

LaGuardia Community College and NYC Health + Hospitals recently came together to honor 72 Health + Hospitals employees who completed the Data Analytics Academy at LaGuardia Community College.
With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor, the training was provided at no cost to NYC Health + Hospitals and its employees and was intended to support retention and advancement. Through a rigorous 200-hour course, the employees learned Tableau, Python, SQL and other data analytic tools that ease the creation of predictive modeling tools used to analyze population health trends and interventions, and the effective delivery of healthcare. Employees who completed the program are provided with licenses for the software learned to be able to assist their departments in large scale data management and the creation of departmental dashboards to track targets and monitor trends.
“In healthcare, we make decisions based on data and hard facts, not based on our guts,” said Alexander Izaguirre, Chief Data Officer for NYC Health + Hospitals, which is at the forefront of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, treating those with Covid-19, and leading the City’s Test and Trace Corps. “With Covid-19 and everything else that we do at NYC Health + Hospitals to take care of New York City residents, we need more people who can do high-level data analytics work. We are likely going to be hiring for a couple dozen new data analytics positions in the next few months, and hopefully this program will enable us to promote current employees first before hiring externally.”
“Collaboration between public higher education and our city’s public healthcare delivery system works,” said LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams. “Our Data Analytics Academy both supports the critical work of NYC Health + Hospitals, which is on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic, and prepares these employees for possible career advancements, for which they might not have otherwise qualified.”
The Data Analytics Academy at LaGuardia Community College was made available to all NYC Health + Hospitals staff. Participants were selected from over 400 applicants. To participate, interested staff had to attend a program orientation session, be in good standing as an employee, and complete a computer literacy assessment prior to being accepted in the program.
One NYC Health + Hospitals employee who upskilled through the Data Analytics Academy is Queens-resident Furhan Babar. After earning his associate degree from Borough of Manhattan Community College and his bachelor’s degree from Queens College, he joined NYC Health + Hospitals in 2010. Currently, he is an assistant director of finance and budgeting at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem.
“Previously, all of the data analytics work I did was with Excel. Now because of the Data Analytics Academy I am now able to use Tableau, Python, SQL and other platforms that allow me to prepare predictive modeling tools and dashboards for issues like patient no show rates, surgical outcomes and insurance coverage, using charts and graphics that are more digestible to read. And because these tools allow me to work more efficiently by, I like to say that I’m working smarter, not harder,” said Mr. Babar.
In 2016, LaGuardia was awarded $3.9 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to train 325 under/unemployed New Yorkers in information technology. A second part of this grant was to provide tech training to 100 incumbent workers—this Health + Hospitals graduation is the first from this program. The next Data Analytics Academy cohort—employees from HealthFirst—are expected to complete the training in November 2020.
For additional information on Data Analytics and other training opportunities, NYC Health + Hospitals staff can visit the NYC Health +Hospitals Learning Academy.