Becky Tucker

Modern Healthcare - - SPECIAL FEATURE - —Maureen McKin­ney

When Becky Tucker took a job in 2001 as an ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant at Texas Health Pres­by­te­rian Hospi­tal Plano, she al­ready had her sights set on a ca­reer in health­care ad­min­is­tra­tion. But she didn’t imag­ine that just nine short years later, she would be named ad­min­is­tra­tor of a newly opened 53,000-square-foot out­pa­tient fa­cil­ity, over­see­ing all op­er­a­tions at a cen­ter that she helped plan and de­sign.

“At times, it was al­most sur­real,” Tucker, 35, says of her quick rise through the ranks at Texas Health Re­sources, a 14-hospi­tal sys­tem head­quar­tered in Ar­ling­ton.

Tucker’s in­ter­est in health­care ad­min­is­tra­tion was sparked while work­ing in the front of­fice of a physi­cian prac­tice dur­ing col­lege. A co-worker was pur­su­ing a mas­ter’s de­gree in the field, and Tucker thought it sounded like the per­fect fit for her.

“I re­al­ized I could marry my two pas­sions: in­ter­act­ing with pa­tients and the busi­ness of health­care,” she says.

Tucker served as ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant in med­i­cal af­fairs at Texas Health Pres­by­te­rian Hospi­tal Plano un­til 2003, when she com­pleted dual mas­ter’s de­grees in busi­ness and health­care ad­min­is­tra­tion from Texas Woman’s Univer­sity, Dal­las. What fol­lowed were a se­ries of suc­ces­sively higher ap­point­ments at Texas Health Har­ris Methodist Fort Worth, first as an ad­min­is­tra­tive res­i­dent, then as an ad­min­is­tra­tive fel­low, and fi­nally, be­gin­ning in 2006, as di­rec­tor of the hospi­tal’s am­bu­la­tory clin­ics and physi­cian ser­vices.

In that role, which she held for four years, she grew the hospi­tal’s ex­ec­u­tive health pro­gram, which pro­vides well­ness ser­vices for se­nior-level ex­ec­u­tives of area com­pa­nies.

And she par­tic­i­pated in ev­ery phase of the plan­ning of Texas Health Har­ris Methodist Out­pa­tient Cen­ter, Burleson, an eigh­tacre cam­pus that in­cludes a free-stand­ing emer­gency depart­ment and an ad­vanced imag­ing cen­ter. Tucker was named ad­min­is­tra­tor of the out­pa­tient cen­ter just months af­ter its April 2010 open­ing.

“Becky is a great story of some­one who found an en­try-level po­si­tion in our health sys­tem and who was able to ad­vance by up­grad­ing her skills and de­vel­op­ing a lead­er­ship track record,” says Bar­clay Ber­dan, Texas Health Re­sources’ se­nior ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent and chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer. “I can’t think of many oth­ers who have come down that path­way.”

Tucker, who serves on the boards of lo­cal chap­ters of the United Way and the Alzheimer’s As­so­ci­a­tion, pre­dicts the na­tion’s fo­cus on out­pa­tient care will only grow as new mod­els of health­care de­liv­ery and pay­ment emerge that em­pha­size pop­u­la­tion health and well­ness. And she says she hopes to use her ex­per­tise in the out­pa­tient realm to tackle new chal­lenges within Texas Health Re­sources.

“I re­al­ized I could marry my two pas­sions: in­ter­act­ing with pa­tients and the busi­ness of health­care.”

35, ad­min­is­tra­tor, Texas Health Har­ris Methodist Out­pa­tient Cen­ter, Burleson

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