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Jaimala K. Pai
Jaimala K. Pai

In-House Counsel 2021: Jaimala K. Pai

Caring for a parent with a rare disease drew Jaimala K. Pai to the health care field. It also informs her approach, as Medtronic’s senior legal director & chief counsel for cardiovascular diagnostics and services (CDS).

Patients are on Pai’s mind in handling CDS’s legal issues from strategic partnerships, marketing, and cutting-edge clinical studies related to implantable cardiac monitors, remote monitoring services, and an app-based device management system.

The pandemic dominated Pai’s work last year as senior legal director over the Global New Business Models and Value-Based Healthcare Legal Center of Expertise.

Pai worked on a cross-functional team to bring COVID-19 tests to manufacturing workers to ensure continued production of ventilators for COVID-19 patients, among other essential devices

Pai also led a team that developed guidance for programs aimed at helping health care providers and patients to a new normal after the initial COVID-19 surge. While regulators made exceptions to ease burdens on medical facilities, they did not do so for med-tech. Pai and team created parameters and training that aligned with existing laws and helped health care providers and patients adapt.

Through these challenges, Pai’s focus remained anchored on patient care. “It felt like we were making a difference and were a part of this entire health care movement of trying to provide the best care for patients,” Pai said.

As an in-house counsel, Pai prefers to serve as a generalist, deploying her broad skillset like a Swiss Army knife.

Pai, a 2012 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow, remains active with the group dedicated to building a more open and diverse legal profession. She mentors diverse University of St. Thomas School of Law and University of Minnesota Law School students and diverse Medtronic employees, in addition to fielding calls from diverse junior level attorneys when they seek career advice.

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