Mark McDonald
Director of Strategic and Operational Integration

Raised in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado, Mark started his career in public service early. Graduating from the New Mexico Fire Academy and obtaining his EMT-Basic license while still a senior in high school, Mark’s draw to the management of emergency situations grew quickly. After high school, Mark immediately attended the University of New Mexico and obtained his education as Paramedic at the UNM EMS Academy.

 

For the first several years of his career, Mark worked in rural areas of New Mexico providing Advanced Life Support care while also beginning to navigate different areas of providing education to other rural clinicians. At the age of 22, Mark accepted a position as a Critical Care Flight Paramedic in rural Southeastern New Mexico. Obtaining his Critical Care Paramedic - Certification and the experience of over 100 critical care air ambulance flights, Mark’s three years as a flight Paramedic, two of which he also served as a Clinical Base Lead, were quite formative.

Mark’s interests in healthcare administration, particularly in the area of expanding equitable access to rural New Mexicans, provided an opportunity to exit the flight line and work in corporate business development. In his time in healthcare business development, Mark oversaw regional over-performance and growth for the entire duration of his post (3 years). “The opportunity to expand and preserve access to a life-saving program, all the while working with our other corporate leaders to ensure patient costs did not cripple patient’s lives, was truly a passion,” Mark says.

Mark’s passion for advocating and fighting for equity led him to run for public office: first for New Mexico’s House of Representatives in the 67th District, and then followed by a short stent in New Mexico’s US Congressional District #3. After both unsuccessful attempts, Mark remained active in New Mexico politics, which led to his eventual connection to GRM.

Working as a part-time Project Manager for the GRM project in Matamoros, Mexico, Mark’s friend Ryan connected Mark to a “postcard project” being led by several engineers working full-time in the Matamoros encampment in 2020. After coordinating with these engineers and camp residents to write postcards rebuking the Migrant Protection Protocol policy, Mark was then given the opportunity to volunteer as a Paramedic with GRM in Matamoros. “I couldn’t leave. There was more work to be done, and I wanted to help in doing it”, Mark said when asked why he quit his healthcare business development job to join GRM, first as a Project Manager for GRM’s Matamoros, Mexico clinic site. After a year and 9 months serving in that role, Mark was offered and accepted a position as GRM’s Director of Strategic and Operational Integration. “Being a part of GRM has been one of the most important career and personal decisions I have ever made. The ability to be a small part of a team that works to promote equity, access to healthcare to those who need it most around the world, and to continue to see our teams truly change the world is the greatest position a person could ever have. I really believe that.”

 

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