Julia McDowell

Driving Innovation at Humanity’s Tipping Point


Julia McDowell is vice president, AI program lead for Highmark Health. In this role, she commonly says, “I build bridges between machines and people.” As Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to transform every aspect of our lives including how we experience healthcare, Julia works to help Highmark Health’s team members trust the technology and understand how it can help them.

Julia has been a member of the Highmark Health team since 2013. Her roles – from HR Business Partner to Director of Talent Engagement to VP of Enterprise Change – have centered around enabling business strategy with people. That taught her how the spectrum of automation can transform work and how to care for the people impacts to maximize value creation.

Julia stepped into health care for a career growth opportunity. When her young husband was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, she learned how complicated finding the right care can be and was fortunate to have enough understanding to know how to navigate the system. This motivates her to enable innovation in support of Highmark Health’s Living Health model.

Prior to Highmark Health, Julia worked in positions at Thermo Fisher Scientific. She graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Business Administration and earned her master’s degree at Robert Morris University in Instructional Leadership. She is the past president of Penn State Beaver Alumni Society board and is a volunteer at the Light of Life Rescue Mission.

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