Alumnus spotlight: Brady Augustine ’95
Brady Augustine is a leader in health systems operations and improvement, and is currently the president of Aggressive Analytics Inc., a consulting firm that provides leadership in the areas of Medicare and Medicaid operations, health systems development, health information technology, value-based purchasing, operational and clinical research, regulatory compliance, and performance improvement.
He has more than 20 years of experience managing teams and budgets for private sector firms and government agencies, and has held roles in many professional societies where he has received numerous awards for his innovation.
Before joining Aggressive Analytics Inc., Augustine served as chief of health systems development for the Agency for Health Care Administration in Tallahassee, where he directed the bureau responsible for improving Florida's use of managed care principles to increase the value of health care delivered to Florida Medicaid beneficiaries.
Augustine received a master's degree in statistics with a concentration in biostatistics and econometrics, and a bachelor's degree in applied discrete mathematics, both from Auburn University.
He and his wife, Carmela, live in Tallahassee and have three children, Taylor, Andrew and Isabella. He is actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America and serves as an assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 118.
Augustine recently gave a lecture at Auburn University titled, “The Rise of the Health Data Scientist,” sponsored by the College of Sciences and Mathematics and the Auburn University Libraries.
When did you become interested in statistics and analytics/what made you decide to build a career in that field?
As a child, I used to do fantasy football and fantasy baseball before it was appreciated by others. I remember modifying 20 decks of cards to match strengths and weaknesses of fictitious players and then using these probabilities to play a season of games. At Auburn, I remember wondering how in the world I could find a career that took advantage of the things I cared about: public policy, finance, health care and analytics. It took me a while, but eventually I got connected with Jerry Veeh in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and Robert Ekelund in the Department of Economics, and I decided to work on a double master’s degree in statistics and economics.
Of what, thus far in your career, are you most proud?
I am most proud of helping show that ‘quality pays’ in health care. I have had the honor of serving with teams at the federal, state and local levels that have saved tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars. As W.E. Deming would say, the problems we face are not people problems but system problems, and that is the responsibility of management. This is where I wanted to help.
What is your favorite Auburn memory?
Too many to name. I worked as a firefighter at the Auburn Fire Department and a paramedic at East Alabama Medical Center during much of my time at Auburn, and many of my favorite memories include the camaraderie I shared with my fellow first responders.
How do you feel the College of Sciences and Mathematics prepared you for your career?
COSAM taught me that math was not just one tool in an analytical toolbox but rather, many different tools for many different purposes. It also taught me that, like with any tool in a toolbox, mathematics is only as good as the professionalism of the person using it. To this day, I do my best to uphold the American Statistical Association’s Ethical Guidelines.
Where are you from originally/how did you choose Auburn?
Though I grew up in Florence, Ala., both my parents and most of my siblings went to the University of Tennessee. In fact, my father was a captain of the Tennessee football team in 1962, but I wanted to chart my own path. One day at the age of 10, I came home with a crimson T-shirt that read ‘Hold on Bear, I am on my way,’ which caused a bit of consternation in my house. My father said to me in a loving yet stern way, ‘Son, that will not do…you can love Auburn, but Alabama is not allowed.’