At May 19th's Radio City Music Hall NYU SPS Graduate Convocation, the 2023 NYU SPS Distinguished Alumni Award was given to MS in Management & Systems Alum Sumit Gupta ‘15. Gupta is lead data scientist at CVS Health and used his love of code to create a live, machine learning-based COVID resource predictive tool accessed by more than 110 million people within a three-month span during the pandemic.
"Gandhi once said, 'You must be the change you wish to see in this world,'" says Gupta. "I always enjoyed working with people and enabling change. Healthcare and health equity specifically are spaces that are very important to me. I have seen loved ones in both short- and long-term care impacted firsthand.
Gupta has spearheaded a various healthcare initiatives related to equitable healthcare, addressing bias in AI, and providing patients with seamless access to care based on their unique needs. "Early on, I learned there are enough resources to go around," he says. "Yet the effort to disperse and utilize those resources cross-functionally is often limited. I love how the work I do as a data scientist and thought leader helps bridge the gap to equity.
“In the last seven years, I saw how health conditions impact people of color disproportionately and how predictive and prescriptive capabilities of data and socioeconomic factors can bridge that gap. It's incredible to see one person's life positively impacted as a result of one's work, let alone knowing that one's work can directly impact millions of lives,” added Gupta.
The hands-on collaboration with a diverse student base and industry-seasoned instructors Gupta experienced as an NYU SPS graduate student proved an invaluable asset in his current field. "Those collaborative experiences were not only fun, but they mimicked real-world experience and helped build a working bond with classmates," he notes.
Gupta offered 2023 graduates two key pieces of advice, the first being, "Stay close to your classmates." And second, "Try to serve people around you whether through your work or volunteer activities." This is advice Gupta continues to take to heart on his own professional journey, as he leverages his expertise as a data scientist to help ensure that, as he puts it, "technology has a critical role to play when it comes to an equitable future in healthcare." He looks forward to a day where through technology, healthcare "can be preventative rather than reactive, and save billions of tax dollars along with improving quality of life and longevity."