Different fields including economics, political science, sociology, psychology and other social sciences increasingly depend and are driven by data analysis. Similarly, traditional STEM training such as that in computer science, statistics, medicine (and public health) have moved towards incorporating data analysis to their training. Indeed, as it is often said, big advances in technology, methodologies and products are at the intersection of several fields of knowledge, so employers, academia and public sector continue to look for approaches for true interdisciplinary team work.

Many challenges remain for the recruitment, training and retention of individuals with these skills. This talk will focus on three key areas of discussion that can help teams become and move towards interdisciplinarity when data and data analysis are at the center:

1- background: Using the health care sector as an anchor example, how has the sector been transformed by the changing pace of data and technology. What are the key areas where training and upskilling could help in the shortages of data and data science in this space?

2- multidisciplinary teams: what are concrete examples of data science expertise incorporated to the delivery or care and research? What makes these team successful and what are remaining challenges?

3- the future- training in STEM and related fields will continue to increase their focus on data and data science, what are the strategies that can ensure the teams in the field can leverage these new roles and expertise to advance health care (and other industries)?


Norma Padron

Senior Director, Research | American Hospitals Association

Norma A. Padrón, PhD, MA, MPH, is the Senior Director of Applied Research and Data Analytics at the Center for Health Innovation of the American Hospital Association (AHA). With her team, she focuses on the application of research strategies to improve the design, implementation and evaluation of quality, performance and innovation strategies for health systems across the country. Her team’s focus on the use of large scale clinical and performance data to build data products and tools to support decision, monitoring and prevention of adverse events within clinical care.

Most recently, she was the founder and Associate Director at the Main Line Health Center for Population Health Research at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research. A center focused in the applications of research design and data analytics to develop and evaluate population health strategies in a large clinical system in Pennsylvania. Concurrently, she was Assistant Professor at Thomas Jefferson University College of Population Health where she collaborated with the Jeff Design lab in developing curricula for medical students including data science and design thinking for medicine.

Previously, she was a Research Scientist at The New York Academy of Medicine, and Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the Population Health Science and Policy Department.

Norma earned her PhD in Health Policy & Management (Economics) from Yale University, a Master's in Economics from Duke University and a Master's in Public Health from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. She received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Economics and Math minor from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Norma Padron