Michelle Wright: Payer executive. Mom, first and foremost. || EP. 158

Michelle Wright: Payer executive. Mom, first and foremost. || EP. 158

Laurie McGraw is speaking with Inspiring Woman Michelle Wright.


In this 2024 WBL (Women Business Leaders) Series, Michelle begins our conversation talking about what it means to play the long game. She has always been in Maryland and for nearly thirty of those years she was a senior executive at Carefirst BlueCross BlueShield. To play the long game, it must be interesting.


Michelle started off in finance and then moved into HR. Michelle is quick to point out that the HR field has evolved significantly over the past two decades. But at the time, she was concerned about being pigeonholed. With curiosity and purpose, she earned her MBA, learned the business of BCBS, and took on responsibility for several of their product lines. Today she uses that experience to consult with others who are entering the payer space. The lines are blurred today with provider organizations and growth companies taking on risk.


Michelle also opened up as to what drives her strong advocacy regarding access, opportunity for best health, and why innovation is so important. Her adult son is very affected by autism. Less than 5% of mental health professionals will see those with severe issues. Many years of multiple powerful medications. Five years of worsening symptoms, declining health, and limited remaining options that might provide benefit. So Michelle went back to school to gain her PharmD. She began exploring emerging therapies such as medical cannabis. And this began to work. After two years, her son is now off his previous six different medications. And while this is not a cure for her son’s autism, it has been an enormous step forward. For everything Michelle has accomplished professionally, she is very clear as to her why. She is a Mom. “This is why we do what we do.”


Closing out the conversation, Michelle provides her WBL story. She has established a strong network and was connected to her most recent Board appointment through WBL. “This sisterhood is powerful.” And if you want to get connected, be connected, all you have to do is ask.


Guest Bio:

Board director, strategic advisor, business and community leader, with a unique mix of value-based health care, integration and human capital management experience; including finance, strategy and planning, M&A, product management, and governance; all resulting in alignment across operations, organization and services.

– A proven record of managing boards, distributed organizations, and executive teams through transformation and integration.
– Experience in health care payor, provider and health IT, value-based care, behavioral health, wellness, disease & care management.
– Board, corporate, integration, quality and system governance.
– Executive Compensation, Leadership & Succession, Diversity & Inclusion, Business Continuity.