Danny Briggi ’20
Internship: The Office of Congresswoman Donna Shalala, Washington, D.C.
Hometown: Croton, New York
Favorite class: Colloquium in Healthcare Leadership
Favorite professor: Michael Sinkinson
Favorite Yale SOM community event: Garstka Cup
Clubs and affiliations: Student Fellow, Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy; Career Advisor; Co-President, Healthcare and Life Sciences Organization
Favorite New Haven eatery: Caffe Bravo
I came to SOM with the intention of preparing myself for a career that involved hospital administration and healthcare policy. Having already completed three years of medical school, and with plans to return after business school, I explored banking, consulting, sports/entertainment, and different spaces within healthcare before settling on this opportunity to work in Washington. Congresswoman Donna Shalala had served as secretary of health and human services in the Clinton administration and was a tremendous leader at the University of Miami during my undergraduate years. I was eager to learn from her as a member of the team representing Florida’s 27th district.
Through the internship I worked directly with the congresswoman’s deputy chief of staff, who handled all healthcare issues. My first project was focused on Medicare Supplemental Plans and gave me the opportunity to work with leaders from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Academy of Actuaries, among others. The project required me to research the policies in place, the consumer marketplace, and gaps in current Medicare Supplement Plan structure—particularly as they pertained to the guaranteed issue environment.
Subsequent longitudinal projects focused on surprise medical billing, employer wellness programs, and addiction services. Shorter-term work included drafting an op-ed on the Higher Education Act’s GI Bill Loophole, drafting press releases on the Disaster Relief Medicaid Act and the Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act, and curating news articles for Congresswoman Shalala on pertinent healthcare topics, including the measles outbreak. I met with lobbyists almost daily in an effort to better understand and manage stakeholder concerns. Constituent correspondence—through phone calls, emails, and letters—also played a role in my daily activities given the small office environment.
I began the internship relatively ignorant to the workings of our government and the legislative environment impacting the delivery of care. The summer was meant to be a learning experience and to guide decision-making around incorporating policy into my career. I learned more than I could have imagined and was fortunate to have opportunities to meet people like Dr. Francis Collins, who led the Human Genome Project and now directs the NIH. These experiences confirmed my desire to take a role in healthcare policy and have inspired interest in holding public office. Thank you to the team at Yale SOM Internship Fund, who helped to make this happen.