Political passion: Auburn native dedicated to improving health care

Tricia Purdy-Messinger
Tricia Purdy-Messinger is one of five Auburn alumni who will be inducted into the Auburn Alumni Hall of Distinction Class of 2019 in May.

Tricia Purdy-Messinger’s interest in politics dates back to when she dragged her father to mayoral debates in Auburn.

At the debates, she found her middle-school-aged self fascinated with the topics of discussion. While she can’t place his opponent, she remembers former Auburn Mayor Guy Cosentino was there because he won the 1992 election, and continued to be involved in her life.

After the election, Purdy-Messinger was in a production of “Anything Goes” at West Middle School. Cosentino not only attended, but also wrote her a letter congratulating her on her performance. Then, when Cosentino created a Mayor’s Youth Commission, Purdy-Messinger joined.

“That was the beginning for me,” Purdy-Messinger said of her interest in politics. “I’ve had many teachers that extend outside the classroom — and he was one.”

Purdy-Messinger said her passion for politics intersected with her passion for health care to bring her to where she is today. For more than eight years, she’s worked with UnitedHealth Group and in August became the company’s senior vice president and head of external affairs. Purdy-Messinger works at the Washington, D.C., office of the global company.

At a May 17 ceremony, Purdy-Messinger will be…

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