Student Spotlight

Richard Van

Healthcare Innovation and Strategy Lead, US Immunology, UCB

Residence: Texas, USA Nationality: USA

Class of 2024

For Richard Van, the NYU Wagner MSHLS program will give him a “competitive edge and rich learnings” that can be applied directly to his current role.” As if that weren’t enough, he added, “I can honestly say that I’ve never truly had an enjoyable time learning until now.”

Van is the Healthcare Innovation and Strategy Lead for US Immunology at UCB, the Belgium-based biopharmaceutical company, a role he views as the culmination of his career to date. “I am responsible for leading initiatives to uncover gaps, alleviate barriers, and address unmet needs for US Immunology patients, providers, and payers.  This broad role allows me to operate in a large sandbox to figure things out, collaboratively problem-solve, and learn from failures and successes.”

Van’s interest in a healthcare career stems from his early years, where his fascination with technology and personal experience as a medical patient together shaped his professional ambitions. The hardships he experienced in navigating the healthcare system as a first-generation Asian American from a low-income immigrant family left him determined “to leverage the evolving technology landscape to help patients like me.”

His first job out of school was at a specialty pharmacy. “From there I took specific interest in the sector of healthcare that existed largely to address chronic conditions, like psoriatic arthritis. As I continued to hone my professional skills and apply myself to realize my dream of helping patients, my north star was to get further and further upstream of patient care delivery to truly have an impact on advancing that.”

A later job in consulting expanded Van’s skillset and at the same time convinced him that the pace of change in the broader healthcare industry and regulatory arena merited deeper understanding. “In my role as a healthcare innovation and strategy leader, I’m seeing so many developments and changes to the ecosystem that are advancing and transforming the industry.

As we become a more connected society, we’re leveraging and becoming increasingly dependent on data and technology to push our understanding of what’s possible.  We have already found that healthcare operations can be more efficient by analyzing and acting on data insights.  We’ve also been able to read and comprehend the data in a fashion that tells a story, identifying areas of concern, unmet needs, and gaps that we should be compelled to address.”

The opportunity to pursue the NYU Law – NYU Wagner MSHLS degree is a learning experience “I don’t take for granted,” Van said. “The timing of the program’s conception and unique offering couldn’t have come at a better time in my career. The program addresses a cross between major areas of healthcare in law, strategy, public health, technology, and other facets that normally wouldn’t be found in post-graduate studies. My classmates bring so much to the program in terms of their backgrounds, cultures, and skills.  I am truly lucky to be able to collaborate and interact with such a great group of students. I have fully enveloped myself to absorb every lesson so that I can apply it directly to my professional career.”