By Lauren Ware
Lynne Kelley has a passion for safety—the safety of patients and health care workers. That passion has led her around the world and from academia to the private sector. Today, she works for the medical technology company Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) as the worldwide vice president of medical affairs for medical surgical systems. That means that she collaborates with both clinicians and regulatory agencies around the world and manages a team of healthcare professionals who develop and commercialize medical products that are sold globally.
She also gives back to her alma mater, in part by lending her expertise to Geisel’s Center for Health Equity as a member of its board of advisors. “I have visited hospitals and clinics in many other parts of the world and see the challenges that clinicians face in delivering care,” says Kelley. “I’m honored to be able to use both the clinical practice skills and my business experience to help in such an important effort.”
Kelley began her career as a vascular surgeon, training at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Mass General, and in Paris, France, on a Marco Polo Fellowship. While teaching at Yale, she discovered she had a strong interest in clinical trial development. So she took a two-year sabbatical to explore working in a corporate environment at Boston Scientific. “It was a game-changer in terms of my career path,” says Kelley. “I feel really lucky that I ended up at Boston Scientific. They’re highly ethical and they were doing really scientific, cutting-edge work.”
She stayed on at Boston Scientific, designing protocols, working with the FDA, and taking medical device products from clinical trial design to market approval. “I really enjoyed the international aspect of it, working with vascular surgeons and cardiologists around the world,” she says. “I worked with a great team of really smart people and benefited from very strong mentorship.”
Kelley’s current work with BD involves leading a global team focused on increasing patient and healthcare provider safety, reducing medication errors, and drug waste.
“My job is to provide medical direction to BD to ensure that patient safety is always the first thing we’re thinking about,” she says. Fortunately, that’s a mindset that comes naturally to Kelley.