On Being ReWired… with Karen Walker Johnson || EP. 156

On Being ReWired… with Karen Walker Johnson || EP. 156

Laurie McGraw is speaking with Inspiring Woman Karen Walker Johnson.


In this 2024 WBL (Women Business Leaders) Series, Karen begins our conversation talking about her path to sorting out retirement. What I learned from Karen is that she is exceptional at just about everything she has ever set her mind to with the minor exception of retirement.


Welcome to Karen Walker Johnson’s world of “reWIREment”. I am here for all of it.


Karen is a nurse… and she is a lawyer… and then decided she wanted to run a health plan. So she did that. She wasn’t lucky. She was clear and determined. She had a mentor who believed in her. He gave her opportunities. She took every one of them.


In this Inspiring Women conversation you are going to hear about an exceptional woman who has a strong interest in making a difference. In doing great work that serves vulnerable underserved populations. Someone who is grounded in family (Karen points to her 88 yo father as her greatest cheerleader and champion) and is committed to bringing the next generation along with her.


In talking about the trends to pay attention to, Karen points out that value based care is here and ensuring there is demonstrable focus on health equity is coming along with it.


Aiming to find a way to deal with the aftermath of George Floyd, Karen put her energy towards action and leadership. Karen turned her attention to Board Service where she is a Director at a number of organizations which she does today. We also spent time laughing about Karen’s desire to retire…which led her to her current role as CEO of another health plan 😀. For Karen, retirement really just means reWIREment.


As we are speaking at the WBL Summit, Karen also talked about the importance of finding an active network of senior executive women committed to supporting each other just as she did at WBL.



Guest Bio:

A change catalyst and innovative problem solver, with a 35-year track record of driving organizational transformation in the healthcare industry. Having worked with Fortune 50 companies, experience encompasses P&L management, market share growth, product development, hospital administration, health plan operations, and sales serving Medicare, Medicaid, Long Term Care, and Commercial populations.

As an established strategic leader, pursues her passion for leadership development and positively impacting and improving the health status of vulnerable populations. Has consistently demonstrated the ability to drive innovation, market share growth (double-digit year over year), and superior quality outcomes as evidenced by achieving the coveted Medicare 5-star rating. Previously responsible for developing innovative clinical care models and end-of-life programs.

Currently serves on public and private boards.