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Allison McCarthy, MBA

Allison McCarthy

Allison McCarthy is an ICF Credentialed Coach, a natural extension of her successful career that spans executive roles in major organizations and as an entrepreneur and principal of a successful consulting firm she co-founded.

Allison works with organizational leaders to develop essential skills such as presence, influence, relationship building, emotional intelligence, and delegation. When talented professionals have blind spots or personality traits that hold them back, they deprive themselves and their organizations of the gifts they have to offer. Allison’s approach stresses honesty and transparency. Through active listening and asking powerful questions, she gives clients a safe space that encourages self-awareness and leads to strategies for change.

The Professional Stretch

“We all struggle with reaching another level. It’s uncomfortable, it’s scary. And my job is to help them feel they can do it, to support them. When they start to get into their fears, to unpack it. What are they really afraid of? Or what could they do to inch forward a little bit that isn’t so scary? It’s really about the stretch. It’s the professional stretch, whatever that looks like for them.” Allison McCarthy

Allison created and served as Principal of Barlow/McCarthy for nearly 20 years, leading consulting engagements in areas of strategic growth for hospitals and health systems. Her clients include C-suite executives, vice presidents, and directors. She led a 12-person consulting team.  

Following her retirement from Barlow/McCarthy, Allison accepted an interim role as President and Chief Operating Officer of Care New England Medical Group, a 500-provider enterprise in Providence, Rhode Island in February 2020. There, she interfaced directly with the Board of Directors and CEO of Care New England Health System. When COVID-19 struck shortly after her arrival, she led the group through the pandemic as well as a system cyber-attack, all while leading the day-to-day operation of the group. 

Allison began her career at Malden Hospital in Massachusetts where she created and led programs designed to grow hospital revenue through the growth of physician referrals. Leveraging her expertise in this essential strategic function, she joined the much larger Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston as Vice President of Physician Services.

She earned a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Health Care from Boston University and holds Coaching Certification from Rutgers University and the International Federation of Coaches (IFC) and is DISC certified. 

To learn more or experience an abbreviated coaching session, contact Allison at amccarthy@barlowmccarthy.com.


I had the opportunity to be connected with Allison when I was considering making a change in my current job situation. The decision to make a change was a difficult one for me as I found myself with less career in front of me than I did behind me and I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. Aside from being able to tap into her incredible resume of experience, it was important for me to work with a woman who could understand the issues and complexities that women face in healthcare administration. Her approach of real-world problem solving, situational coaching, coupled with knowledge of current business periodicals and publications, helped me continue to grow, open my eyes to new approaches, and different schools of thoughts. My work with Allison helped me gracefully transition from my old job of nearly 10 years into a fantastic career promotion with confidence, curiosity, and success. I am grateful to have her coaching expertise, have recommended her to other colleagues and will regularly come back to her for a tune-up.

Allison was instrumental in coaching me to become a more effective leader. She has vast experience in all aspects of healthcare & she always has great ideas or practical solutions no matter how complex or difficult the situation. The time I spent with her for our coaching sessions were the most enlightening and enjoyable of my working weeks. She validated all of my good ideas, gave wise counsel as to how I can improve on my communication and ideas, and provided a great sounding board for any complex or difficult situations especially those involving multiple stakeholders. I would highly recommend Allison’s coaching services to any healthcare leader who wants to improve on their skillsets as well as have a highly experienced sounding board on how to tackle any difficult situations.

I engaged in coaching to review where I was in my career and what my next steps would be. Coaching has helped me identify strengths and weaknesses, and often times, how they complement one another. I learned to embrace my positive attributes and not be critical of them – be proud of and happy about where they have gotten me in life. The fears and limiting beliefs that I had let build up needed to be addressed. I can FEEL my confidence growing through the sessions, and as I go through my daily life.