“The number of universities and ethnic neighborhoods contribute to a diversity of cultures here.”
Being surrounded by highly renowned brain experts at work might be intimidating for some people, especially when your specialty is finance rather than neurology. But Ernest Ngirimana feels up to the challenge because of the professional support and encouragement he receives in navigating through UPMC. “Top management is involved and engaged and they encourage you to move through the organization through job rotations and social events to meet other leaders. If you perform, you get opportunities.” In his role as manager-finance and revenue cycle for the Brain Institute's Physician Services Division, he helps physician practices to analyze and manage their budgets.
Outside of the healthcare world, Ernest is navigating the Pittsburgh region just as enthusiastically. He plays pick-up soccer games with graduate students and faculty from area universities at Schenley Park duringthe week, at Carnegie Mellon University on the weekends, and with the Greater Pittsburgh Soccer League for men over 18 in the cooler months. He’s also a member of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County African Professional Organization, a group of professionals originally from Africa, that mentor and provide scholarships to students, and connect socially through potluck dinners.
Having grown up on both coasts of Africa -- in Rwanda, Tanzania and Ivory Coast -- and now immersing himself in the suburbs and urban areas here, Ernest has a unique and positive perspective toward living in the Pittsburgh region. “People are very friendly and welcoming here. It’s wonderful to see all of the ethnic neighborhoods such as Polish and Italian areas, and the diverse cultures represented, especially near the universities. It’s like a big small city.”
Ernest likes the small restaurants available here too,especially the Spice Island Tea House in Oakland. “It’s not much from the outside but the food is quite good. My favorite dishes are the Panang curry chicken and Java fried rice.” He also enjoys the region’s sports bars and one of his favorites is D's SixPax and Dogz in Regent Square for the extensive beer selections.
His Blackridge neighborhood is just 10 minutes from Oaklandand a few more to downtown, and to Ernest, that’s one of the best parts about the Pittsburgh region. “Everything is really just 10 minutes away.”