Hillcrest Leadership Series – Interview with Women’s Service Line Administrator John Tucker

“My interest in health care started early,” shares John Tucker, MBA, women’s service line administrator at the Peggy V. Helmerich Women’s Health Center. “Playing doctor as a kid, we had to use our dogs and cats, even frogs. That’s where it started. I wanted to help and heal.” Those two words – help and heal – are simple, yet can have a profound impact on others. For John, they are the foundation for who he is and what he does. “I have a motto: find someone to do something for. I look for those opportunities to make something better for someone, whether it is one of our patients, visitors or staff.”

The desire to care for others from an early age has led John to multiple opportunities across the country and overseas throughout his career in health care. He began in the Navy as a hospital corpsman for more than two decades, providing medical support to Marines returning from active duty. It was during this time John received a degree in respiratory therapy – a specialty of personal importance to him. “You hear from a lot of respiratory therapists that they have gone through watching someone in their family deal with breathing problems. My brother and dad were both severe asthmatics. They both died from complications associated with asthma-triggered heart attacks and cardiopulmonary diseases. Both were 34.”

Perhaps in every patient and family member John encounters in his career, he sees his own family. Respiratory therapy was not only a platform to carry forward their legacy; it was an opportunity to care for a variety of patients. “We are all over the building,” he adds of respiratory therapists. “We have to know so many things. I had to know how to treat pediatric patients. I had to know how to treat adults. There is a wide range of knowledge and ability required to care for patients with respiratory problems and other medical conditions.”

That foundation of being able to care for patients of all ages with a variety of medical needs continues to broaden John’s career in health care. With his family, he moved from Florida to Tulsa in November of 2016. Having led teams in respiratory therapy, neonatal intensive care, cardio pulmonary services and sleep medicine - to name a few -  this was his first opportunity in women’s services. “It is a cliché,” he admits. “We have the privilege of participating in the miracle of life on a daily basis. Although all of those cases may not be the best scenarios, we still have the opportunity to be there and help that mother, father and family. I love it. I love this opportunity.”

Coming into an environment with an established team and way of doing things is something John is keenly aware of as a leader. “I listen,” he says. “I met with all the leaders during my first few months here. I wanted to know who they were and what their goals and desires were as people. We have a great team here. I’ve been really impressed with how people have approached me here, knowing that I was new. Everyone has been very welcoming.”