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