PolicyLab Alumni Impact: Ava Skolnik

PolicyLab has many talented alumni whose experiences here led them to pursue exciting opportunities to continue the center’s mission beyond our walls.

Today, Ava Skolnik, MPH, is the associate director of Health Equity Programs and Partnerships at Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada), where she works to embed health equity across Merck’s value chain, with a specific focus on global partnerships and communications. At PolicyLab, Ms. Skolnik focused on improving adolescent health outcomes in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic.

Ms. Skolnik credits her time at PolicyLab for reinforcing the importance of data-driven approaches and systems-level thinking. She draws on her experience distilling data into digestible information in her role today. Her time at PolicyLab also exposed her to the value of mentorship, as she flourished under the guidance of her leaders and built her own leadership skills through the mentorship of students.

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“Working at PolicyLab, I really understood the importance of intergenerational health and the value of centering the individual within health care. That experience allows me to bring a patient-centered approach to my current role.”

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"PolicyLab is a trusted partner for fostering community impact. Their research and guidance helps my team prioritize health needs to address among youth, select community partners for collaboration, and evaluate impact of programs that support families in Philadelphia and beyond."

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Alonzo South

Assistant Vice President of Community Impact, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia