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Patrick McNamee: Technology Guru


By Christine Imbs

One of the first things Patrick McNamee did when he joined Express Scripts and moved back to St. Louis was to join Norwood Hills Country Club.

“I used to caddy at Norwood Hills when I was a kid,” he says. “It’s a tough set of courses, and they have some great golfers there.”

Secretly, McNamee would like to be one— a great golfer that is.

“If I could, I’d really love to be a professional golfer,” he says. “I watch those guys, and I really admire them. But it’s just a fantasy. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or the innate skills to be a professional golfer.”

McNamee may not have the innate skills for the PGA, but that suits him just fine. As CIO for Express Scripts, he’s thrilled to be part of such an exciting industry and company.

“You bet it’s exciting. And Express Scripts is a fairly young company, so it has a lot of energy and creativity,” he says. “I love it.”

Express Scripts is one of America’s largest pharmacy benefit managers, providing the pharmacy benefit for over 50 million people nationwide through employers, managed-care plans, unions and governmental entities. Headquartered in St. Louis, the company has major administrative offices in multiple states, including Minnesota, Arizona, New Jersey, and Florida, as well as Canadian operations in Quebec and Ontario.

“It’s just a great company with a great growth rate that’s important to our country,” McNamee comments. “I couldn’t be more excited about merging technology with operations, continuing to find efficiencies across our organization, and helping members with what they need. And of course, being back in St. Louis has been terrific.”

McNamee was raised in North County and attended Saint Louis University High School, where his love of math and science, among other things, seemed to move him toward an engineering career.

“I also had an interest in experimentation, electricity, and stereo and high fidelity equipment,” he says. “And as a young kid I was always taking things apart and putting them back together. So I guess I always knew I’d go into technology and engineering.”

McNamee ended up attending Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he enrolled in its biomedical engineering program. It’s something he says he probably wouldn’t have done, if not for his sister, Sharon.

“Sharon was a role model,” he explains. “Our parents gave us the opportunity to go to college, but they didn’t push us. The fact that Sharon was so self-motivated and got to a PhD made me think I could do it, too. She’s currently a professor at Saint Louis University.”

From Marquette University, McNamee joined the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, doing research and image processing. He then joined General Electric, where he served as president of GE OEC Medical Systems; senior vice president, CIO, and chief quality officer at NBC, a division of GE; CIO of GE Power Plants; and CIO/eBusiness Leader for GE Transportation. He was working for Misys Healthcare Systems, which developed and sold practice management and electronic medical records software to physicians, when he discovered Express Scripts.

“Coincidentally, Express Scripts was back in St. Louis, where my mother and a couple of sisters still lived,” McNamee says. “I loved the company, the leadership, the growth rate, the technology challenge and the requirement to be a business leader. So with all that going for it, I joined them.” And McNamee says it’s been a great two and one-half years. He’s not only chief information officer, but he’s now responsible for all of Express Scripts operations, including its mail-order pharmacies, call centers and front-end order processing. Plus, he’s back in good old St. Louis.

“It’s been terrific being back here again. Of course, I left at age 18, so I don’t really know it all that well. But still I’m running into a lot of old friends and old businesses,” he says. “And, of course, being close to my family’s been great too. Really, it’s just been a lot of fun. And St. Louis is a great place to be.”


TalkingPOINTS

BORN: St. Louis.
FAMILY: Wife, Sandra; no children.
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University.
FAVORITE BOOK: “Jack: Straight from the Gut” by Jack Welch and John A. Byrne
CURRENT READ: “The Grand Slam” by Mark Frost about golfer Bobby Jones.
PHILOSOPHY: “Get out of your comfort zones. You’re not going to be as successful if you don’t.”

 

 

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U.S. Cellular Taste of
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Patrick McNamee
Patrick McNamee

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