Gracelyn McDermott
business of health
October 18, 2021

Breadcrumbs

From a Johns Hopkins MBA to VP at Kaiser Permanente

Why it matters:

Carey MBA alum, Gracelyn McDermott, leads business development at Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest nonprofit health care plans in the U.S. She shares her takeaways from leading through COVID and the changing health care industry.

Article Highlights

  • As the VP of marketing sales and business development at Kaiser Permanente, McDermott credits the sales management course in her MBA program for helping to shape her career trajectory.
  • She advises MBA students to take advantage of the entire MBA experience, including access to Johns Hopkins experts in the Business of Health.

For many, navigating the COVID-19 pandemic means mitigating risk for yourself and your closest friends and family.

But for Gracelyn McDermott, vice president of marketing sales and business development at Kaiser Permanente and MBA ‘01, navigating the pandemic also requires leading at the region’s largest integrated health system. With 9,000 health care professionals, 1.700 physicians and 789,000 members, Kaiser Permanente provides both insurance and care to its members.

Amidst an ever-changing health care landscape, McDermott is responsible for growing Kaiser’s membership. But McDermott, has tools from her MBA ready to deploy.

She recounts taking a sales management course while at Carey Business School. The course seemed out of her wheelhouse at the time. Fast forward to today and she’s VP of marketing sales and business development for one of the largest health care plans/providers.

“Pay attention and taken advantage of every element of your MBA experience and all of your courses,” McDermott says. “If you’re interested in the business of health, you are going to get exposure to all angles in one way shape or form at Johns Hopkins.”

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“Pay attention and taken advantage of every element of your MBA experience and all of your courses,” McDermott says. “If you’re interested in the business of health, you are going to get exposure to all angles in one way shape or form at Johns Hopkins.”

Her MBA courses continue to guide her decision making when leading the 120 staff who report to her and when making business decisions to grow the Kaiser Permanente network. Her MBA courses also gave her a foundation for strategic decision making.

“I continue to draw on every element of my MBA today. When I look at the trajectory of my career and where I’ve been, without a doubt, the MBA began my path to leadership and management.”

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