2020 Best & Brightest EMBAs: Tyler G. Jones, Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Tyler G. Jones, MD

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management

“Passionate physician executive committed to innovating and implementing strategies that increase access to healthcare.”

Age: 44

Hometown: Portland, OR

Family Members: Supaporn (wife), August (son, 4), Alastair (son, 2)

Fun fact about yourself: About six months before completing my college degree, I was studying art and working on restoring an Etruscan mural in Italy. It was during that time I decided to go to medical school. Prior to that, I’d only taken one basic science class during college.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

East Tennessee State University: Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (Concentrations in Painting and Sculpture)

James H Quillen College of Medicine: Medical Doctor

Where are you currently working? Oregon Health and Science University, Chief Medical Officer – Oregon State Hospitals

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

  • SMI ADVISER – Clozapine Task Force
  • NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF STATE MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM DIRECTORS – Medical Director Council Executive Committee, Western States Representative
  • Speaker: Collaborative Problem Solving as a Tool in Leadership
    36th International Congress on Law and Mental Health, Rome, Italy, July 22nd, 2019
  • Speaker: Difficulties with Profiling Lone Violent Actors: Underutilization of Evidence-Based Assessment 36th International Congress on Law and Mental Health, Rome, Italy, July 24th, 2019
  • Outstanding Service Award – Oregon Health and Science University

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of the help and support I received while juggling multiple obligations to school, family, and work during the first spring quarter. During that time, I was actively prepping for expert witness testimony in two large private cases. Along with my regular work, travel for school, conferences, and making sure to spend quality time with my family, it was hectic. My cohort, teammates, and the EMBA faculty were aware of the demands on my time, showed genuine interest and support, and helped me navigate those multiple obligations and challenges.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Taking many of the lessons learned from Kellogg and applying them in the very complex and harrowing situation we all found ourselves in during the start of the coronavirus pandemic. My hospitals house many patients with complex medical problems and vulnerable ages. Because of the congregate nature, these hospitals posed a serious threat of a widespread outbreak.

Through business school, I was able to apply experience gained in crisis management, the leadership of a large complex and bureaucratic organization, and the supply chain management of PPE. I analyzed data about our population and model how the virus might impact our facilities very differently than an acute care hospital, and communicated that effectively to explain the data to the governor’s office, courts, and community partners. All of that experience gained from Kellogg, the incredible support of a large and invested team, and a healthy dose of luck meant none of our 600+ long term care patients have tested positive during the months leading up to and including the first peak of the virus outbreak.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I’ve had many fantastic professors, and this is not an easy choice. Mitchell Petersen made an already interesting finance capstone course accessible and pushed me to learn more deeply about the mechanics of cash flows and valuations. I really appreciated his passion for teaching, high expectations for questions and engaged learning, and regard for students long after class ended.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? Kellogg emerged as my top choice because of the team-based collaborative approach to learning, the humility of the alumni and faculty who spoke with me during the application process, and the focus on leadership in the program.   

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? Stepping into an immersive experience every class weekend. Sharing conversations and learning with and from a diverse and talented group. The camaraderie of the shared experiences and the invaluable friendships formed.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? You don’t have to know it all. As a team, your access to knowledge, experience, and perspectives is exponentially greater. Being able to use that structure and the larger network well makes you a much more valuable contributor.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family, and education? With two small children, teaching and writing as a professor, a full-time job managing multiple facilities, a busy private forensic practice, and adding twice-a-month trips to Chicago, there were no perfect answers. With the help of my wife and good graces of my children, my Kellogg career coach, a fantastic team at work and at school, and the support of bosses, I was able to apply time and priority management skills I learned at Kellogg.

Developing succession planning at work and delegating for aspiring leaders to develop new skills, being clear about my expectations and priorities, saying ‘no’ to more projects, and trusting in the support and talent of all of those mentioned above made it come together. Now I wonder what I was doing with all the time I had before I started. The lessons learned have given me more time to focus on what’s truly important to me.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? There is no more perfect time than now, don’t wait.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? The biggest myth is time. Either that there is a right time or not enough time. The time is there and you choose how to spend it. Whether the time be spent wondering and wishing or actually doing something to further your personal and professional learning and development, that choice is yours.

Going back to school does take commitment, setting priorities, and the support of your friends, colleagues, and family. You will develop time management skills and learn to set expectations for others and, most importantly, for yourself.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I spent a lot of time wanting to learn from all of the talented and bright classmates in my cohort. That may have led me to enjoy the learning and miss some opportunities to share my own experiences, expertise, and leadership journey.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I admire Reina Berlien’s keen wit, exceptional intelligence, humility, and kindness. She is talented, has an incredible work ethic, is well-respected by and concerned for her peers, and deeply values and cultivates her friendships. It’s been an honor to get to know her and I look forward to following her successes.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when… I found myself wanting to shift into more senior executive roles in healthcare and blend the knowledge of strong business management and medical practice.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Leading a large health system and providing increased access and parity to patients.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As a worthy teammate that they can call on anytime for support and assistance.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • Starting and leading a company that changes the status quo in telehealth.
  • Auditing one of my global electives that was impacting by the coronavirus outbreak.

What made Tyler such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“I remember distinctly meeting Tyler in the summer of 2018 at a restaurant in downtown Chicago at a welcome dinner for newly admitted students to our Evanston campus EMBA program. I was initially impressed by the fact that Tyler had flown from Oregon where he lives and works to meet his soon-to-be classmates. Maybe not unique, but impressive nonetheless. After chatting with Tyler that evening individually and with the group it’s not surprising I reflect back now on how he views the world and brings a tremendous mix of empathy, listening skills, inquisitiveness – and dry humor – as strengths that make him a uniquely strong leader.

Tyler’s work as an executive and practitioner in the mental health industry brings a unique perspective to our world at Kellogg both inside and outside the classroom. He is keenly aware that he can help solve some of the challenges in our healthcare system. He is doing his part now to ask questions about his world, being vulnerable by projecting that he doesn’t attest to know it all, and he seeks to adapt frameworks and approaches from faculty, his cohort-mates, and the administration. He’s a model Kellogg leader from my point of view – looking for high impact through innovation, change, and collaboration while checking his ego at the door. Tyler has changed many lives for the better in his career, and I have no doubt during and after his time as an EMBA student at Kellogg, he will accelerate progress for others, and himself.”

Greg Hanifee
Associate Dean, Degree Program Operations


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