(May 12, 2017 – ANNAPOLIS, Md.) For someone who finds fulfillment in helping others, life is not about having it all – it’s about doing it all.
As president of John Hopkins HealthCare LLC, senior vice president of Managed Care and Population Health for John Hopkins Medicine, and senior counsel for the John Hopkins Health System, Patricia M.C. Brown is doing it all—and then some.
“I think it’s fair to say that, from a young age, I assumed that in order to be fulfilled, I needed to do it all,” Brown recollected. “I didn’t buy this concept that it’s hard to be a good mom and a good friend and a professional and a community leader. I didn’t think that was right.”
John Hopkins Health System President and Johns Hopkins Medicine Executive Vice President Ronald Peterson also recognized her innate ability juggle many tasks.
“What impressed me then still impresses me now,” said Peterson, who Brown calls a mentor. “I noticed early on that she has the capacity to handle complex issues simultaneously.”
On May 17, Brown will be inducted into the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s Business Hall of Fame – an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership, vision, character, courage and community commitment.
Brown’s career in health care officially began when she became a law clerk at the Maryland attorney general’s office.
“I always wanted to be in the public sector, and health care is where I found my niche.”
After 10 years at the attorney general’s office, Brown joined Johns Hopkins as counsel under another mentor, Joanne Pollak. For the next four years, Brown was responsible for providing round-the-clock, bedside legal advice.
“When the pager went off in the middle of the night, my husband always said it was the happiest time of my life because I’d jump out of bed and say, ‘They need me! They need me and now I can be of help to them,’” Brown said.
Although Brown’s role at Hopkins has evolved over time, she has always been motivated by the mission of the research institution.
“Our primary goal is to discover new innovations, new solutions for not just ourselves, but for the world,” Brown said. “Those of us who stay at Hopkins stay for a reason: We love being part of that mission. It’s why we’re here.”
While Brown was raised by parents who didn’t have much, she recalls feeling as though her family had everything. Wanting to help those less fortunate, Brown dreamed of doing more.
“I started thinking, ‘I need to diversify a little bit,” Brown remembered. “Then the phone calls started coming in, ‘Will you do this? Will you do that?’ Suddenly I’m in this full-blown – I sit on nine boards, I’m leading this and I’m doing that.”
During this very active decade of her life, United Way of Central Maryland became the first major organization that Brown committed significant time to as a volunteer. Immediately, her focus was on women. She was essential in creating UWCM’s Women’s Leadership Council.
“We believed women could do more in the community,” she said. “We got together and said, ‘When was the last time anybody actually asked you to contribute a significant amount of money?’ and most of us would say, ‘Well, actually those called usually go to our husbands.’”
Brown’s influence at UWCM was immediate, and it impressed the organization’s new president and CEO.
“When Patty Brown speaks, everyone in the board room, everyone who’s a volunteer listens,” said Franklyn Baker. “She has so much respect throughout the city and throughout the United Way system.”
When Brown started law school in the 1980s, “health care law” did not exist. As a leader of this growing sector, Brown justifies her desire to accomplish more.
“I have found that [real] leaders are the type of people who want to do it all,” Brown said. “They’re not just in one lane; they’re in several.”
The 2017 Maryland Business Hall of Fame Awards will be held Wednesday, May 17 at the Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport Hotel. Brown will be inducted along with Prince George’s Community College President Charlene M. Dukes, Ed.D. and recently retired McCormick & Company Chair, President & CEO Alan Wilson. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh will be the featured speaker.