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Alumni Profile: Ben Assad Mirza, M.P.H. ’19 (Advanced Professional Program)

December 03, 2021

Advanced Professional (AP) Program, M.P.H. ’19
Health Policy and Administration
Principal, MIRZA | Healthcare Law Partners

What is your current job?

As an attorney representing healthcare organizations from hospitals to physician groups, health care private equity firms, software companies, and diagnostic testing labs and facilities - I passionately represent my clients’ legal positions in transactions and before courts. I prosecute and defend claims for my clients. I started the firm MIRZA | Healthcare Law partners. In our firm, we help senior healthcare administrators, physicians and in-house legal counsels, who are overwhelmed by the competition and economic squeeze they see coming. We protect their contractual rights and litigate if needed. We are former large healthcare institution attorneys protecting the small guys.

Describe your work and why you find it rewarding/challenging.

I usually represent “golden nuggets” – the small precious healthcare businesses. When my clients are in a squeeze or hitting full stride, I feel it. I am here to help guide them through the process and diligently represent their position. Conversely, I am also there when my clients need to do a “reality check”, and when we interact, I speak from the heart and what I would do if I was running their business. When the clients come back to me repeatedly is when I feel most rewarded. I know my clients have many choices. I know they have serious concerns. Of all the choices, they chose me as their legal guide. It is my responsibility and my honor to protect and guide them.

How did YSPH prepare you for your current work?

YSPH taught me the evolution of how the healthcare industry has progressed over the last 100+ years. Because of YSPH, I understand the trajectory of where my clients need to go. Without the YSPH training, my ability to guide clients would be simply limited. In the healthcare law space, it is not only important for attorneys to know the law, but also the business and the practical side of how businesses are evolving. When I engage with clients, I do it confidently because of my training at YSPH. YSPH actually changed the way I practice law. I am forever grateful.

Do you have a favorite YSPH experience you can share?

My favorite YSPH experiences are understanding healthcare policies and the conversations on campus. Walking on campus, one really feels the sense of history. I really enjoyed my professors, and their insights are invaluable to me. The administrative team at YSPH makes you feel like family and their welcoming warmth is incredibly generous. The collection of restaurants in New Haven is incredible too; and East Rock is where I went to catch my solace.

What advice do you have for current students?

The advice I have for current students is to be engaged on campus and do as many things as you can, for your time at YSPH will fly by. Each interaction is invaluable. When you go to class, listen to each lecture and think about how that information or process is being applied in the real world. Talk to the YSPH staff regularly. They are an incredibly refreshing and humble, and they have insights that we students surely did not have at the time we were there. Stay in touch with your friends and they will be your support.

Were there any faculty or staff mentors who influenced your YSPH experience?

The faculty and staff at YSPH are incredible, starting with Dr. Mayur Desai, who is the “AP student whisperer.” Dr. Yusuf Ransome showed us a side of humanity that we rarely see. Dr. Mark Schlesinger taught us how our governmental health system got where it is today and where it is going. Dr. Zack Cooper explained the economics of healthcare and how money impacts decision making. Dr. Jason Schwartz helped us figure out the maze of healthcare players and processes. Dr. Howard Forman led engaging colloquiums and brought transparency to ACHE student board meetings. Dr. Melinda Pettigrew made me realize that microbials can and will change my life and Dr. Catherine Yeckel explained to us the obesity pandemic. The YSPH administrative team is incredible too. Associate Dean for Student and External Affairs Dr. Frank Grosso always brought a firm hand and sensibility to discussions. Career Services Director Felicia Spencer gave us grounded career guidance. Admissions Director Mary Keefe is instrumental in bringing incredibly talented students to YSPH. Student Affairs Director Stacey Tuttle helped us balance our curriculum and goals in life. And of course Dean Sten Vermund was at the helm and always direct and humble in his conversations no matter who he is talking to. What an incredible team of people I was blessed to meet.

Submitted by Denise Meyer on December 03, 2021