As the vice president of Enterprise Strategy, Garrett Muramoto helps McKesson plot a course to the future of healthcare. Whether he’s thinking about the evolution of the global healthcare supply chain or the digital enablement of the healthcare consumer, Garrett is focused on a future that helps more patients get and stay healthy.

In this edition of Expert Spotlight, we sat down with Garrett to discuss what his team is working on now and what he anticipates for the future of healthcare.

How would you describe your role at McKesson?

Muramoto: I’m part of our Corporate Strategy and Business Development team. We drive the research and analysis that underlie McKesson’s global enterprise strategy. We also help identify and develop the opportunities that will create future growth for the company and position McKesson to successfully navigate the ever-changing healthcare environment.

What’s your favorite part of your work?

Muramoto: My favorite part is definitely tackling the interesting and complex questions that come with working in strategy for one of the world’s largest healthcare services companies. We have such a diverse portfolio of businesses, and I really enjoy being able to work across these different business units. My team and I get to work with people all over the globe to address some of the company’s most challenging problems and truly impact the company’s future.

Recently, we’ve been focused on a multi-year strategic growth initiative that is positioning the company for the future. This strategy outlines the overall structure for how we’re going to lead the company into the future. It’s been fulfilling to see how our different business units are embracing this effort to drive the company forward.

What has your career path been like?

Muramoto: I’ve always been interested in both business and science. I started out with an undergrad degree in genetics, so after graduation I worked for a biotech company developing cancer vaccines. After that, I went to Duke University Medical Center where I helped develop a research program that focused on stem cells in blood and bone marrow. That’s partially why I’m so passionate about the new gene and cell therapies that are coming out—I think it’s phenomenal what they can do.

After my time there, I went back to business school. I completed a healthcare-focused MBA program at The Fuqua School of Business at Duke, which led to a role with Monitor Deloitte’s life sciences and healthcare strategy consulting practice. There, I had the chance to work on projects across the healthcare industry, including ones for payers, providers and pharmaceutical companies. And after that, I joined McKesson. I spent about three years with the corporate strategy team in our US Pharmaceutical business, and now I’ve been on the Enterprise Strategy team about a year and a half.

What are you working on right now that you’re most excited about?

Muramoto: I’ve been working on a project over the past few months to look at potential disruptors in the healthcare landscape. These include new companies that want to get involved in the healthcare space, particularly on the technology side. A lot of the conversation is about what these companies are doing to enter into healthcare, and how that has the potential to change the economics and dynamics in the healthcare supply chain.

We see both headwinds and tailwinds as we look at the disruptive forces that are impacting healthcare, and our goal is to identify the opportunities and challenges this might create for McKesson. Part of our scope within Enterprise Strategy is to constantly be looking ahead at what we think will happen five to 10 years down the line.

What do you do to stay on top of your health and wellness?

Muramoto: I have two little boys, so I spend a lot of time running around with them. They’re getting into basketball and swimming, so trying to keep up with them definitely keeps me busy. I also try to get plenty of cardiovascular exercise for my heart and lungs—I enjoy running 10Ks. And meditation has also become a really integral part of my overall wellness routine.

Can you tell me about a recent experience you’ve had with the healthcare system? It could be positive, negative, or just eye-opening.

Muramoto: My grandfather got pretty sick last year. He had a stent put in and went in for a cardiovascular issue but became very weak during his hospital stay, which led to a fall. That led to a hip joint replacement. And after that, he had another fall. It was sort of like a domino effect of hospital stays for him. Ultimately, we got him 24-hour home care so he could stay home. This gave him the support he needed to eat healthy, do his physical therapy, and get strong again.

It reinforced to me the importance of what you do outside of the healthcare system to recuperate and how little support there can be for that. Yes, it’s important to treat the immediate symptoms, but after you’re released, what can we do to prevent another hospital stay and really ensure someone recovers and stays healthy? My family and I found ourselves stepping up to fill that void. It opened my eyes to the importance of caregivers and the pressures they face. Making sure they have what they need to care for their loved ones is crucial.

What do you think today’s patients need most when it comes to better care?

Muramoto: First and foremost, I think people need more access to education. They need easier access to their health data and information, whether it’s their medical records or information about coverage. But taking it one step further, they need more than just the access alone. They need help understanding the data and contextualizing it to better navigate the healthcare system. I also think people need more affordable care options. There’s a lot of work being done on that now, but we need to continue to think about how we can make care more affordable for a larger number of people.

What do you think is about to change in healthcare?

Muramoto: I think the entrance of more consumer-oriented tech companies is going to really change accessibility and convenience of care for patients. We’ve seen Amazon and Apple take a shot at this before, so the potential is there. Healthcare is such a big business opportunity that I’m excited to see more tech-oriented services and products help improve patient care.

We’re also evolving our strategy with the mission of improving patient care in every setting. A great example is our recent acquisition of CoverMyMeds that uses technology to help patients get access to specialty medications for complex diseases, while reducing cost and complexity for doctors.

What do you hope will change when it comes to patient care?

Muramoto: We need an increased focus on mental and behavioral health, as well as the social determinants of care that help patients stay healthy. I think these are a part of healthcare that are still relatively underappreciated. As we get better at addressing not only the physical symptoms of diseases and tackling the day-to-day barriers to better health, like diet, transportation, education, and environment, I think this can really amplify the effectiveness of healthcare and empower patients to make better choices for themselves and their families.

Related: Learn more about McKesson’s technology hub services for biopharma companies

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McKesson editorial staff is committed to sharing innovative approaches and insights so our customers can get the most out of their business solutions and identify areas for operational improvement and revenue growth.

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