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Alumni Spotlight

Briana Lemon
Alumni Spotlight: Briana Lemon, DePaul MPH Class of 2017
Ernesto Flores
Alumni Spotlight: Ernesto Flores, DePaul MPH Class of 2016

Ernesto Flores was born in Mexico City, Mexico and lived in various countries before earning his Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and psychology from the University of Ottawa, in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. After determining that he wanted to pursue a career where he would be able to affect change in the healthcare system, Ernesto pursued the MPH program here at DePaul, where he was also President of the Public Health Student Organization. Throughout the program, Ernesto showed interest in a macro-scale approach to public health from the local, state, and national level. As his focus became even clearer, Ernesto honed in on a policy-orientated practicum. With the help of the MPH faculty, he was matched at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago where he worked in the Policy and Advocacy Department contributing to legislative articles in the Affordable Care Act, as well as learning the practical application of program development and evaluation. 

Ernesto graduated from the MPH program with distinction in 2016. Following graduation he completed an Executive Fellowship at Kindred Healthcare, a long term acute care hospital group where he rotated through the business and ancillary services provided by the hospital gaining an understanding of the operational and administrative workings from the provider side of healthcare. After completing the fellowship, he pursued an opportunity in the payer field at Blue Cross Blue Shield, where he currently works as an Associate Divisional Strategy Consultant. In this role, Ernesto is part of a team that works on value based care models and programs for specialty health conditions, like end stage renal disease, total joint replacements, and oncology. He works together with experts in the field to understand how patient’s healthcare outcome trends are affected by provider’s performance and helps design models that incentivize physicians towards increasing the quality of care delivered to their patients and ultimately move the needle towards a fee for value approach to healthcare delivery.

Ernesto continues to learn more about the public health field and the healthcare industry every day and enjoys keeping in touch with various classmates from his ’16 graduating class, as well as the ’17 class.

Brief Bio:
Briana Lemon graduated from the DePaul MPH program in 2017. Throughout her time at Depaul briana worked as Student Program Assistant for the MPH office and was awarded two external scholarships through the CHADE Foundation and the Illinois Patriot Education Fund (IPEF) for her academic excellence. Working for the development department of BUILD, Briana developed a staff policy and procedures manual to address the significance of trauma-informed care within the Austin community. Due to her great work, Briana was then offered a position as an Education Outreach Specialist for BUILD which involved managing the After School Matters program entitled BUILD Youth Council that helped youth address social justice issues within their various communities.

What are you doing now?
I currently work as a Project Coordinator for The Chicago Fathers and Sons Study through the University of Michigan's School of Public Health. The study focuses on African-American or Black fathers and their nonresidential, biological sons coming together over an 8 week period to complete various workshops that focus on creating healthier lifestyles and developing tighter bonds.

What was your favorite thing about the DePaul MPH program?
My favorite thing about the MPH program was having such supportive and well-informed staff who make themselves accessible to students for various personal and professional reasons.