Honoring Local Presidents
Mercy Hospital Joplin
Gary Pulsipher, President and CEO of Mercy Hospital
What is a typical day of work like?
This is very much a people job; I’m always meeting and working with others, which I really enjoy. Every day is a new day, so although it can be unpredictable, it’s always exciting.
What do you do to support the community?
I serve on community boards including Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States and am a committee member on the Health and Wellness initiative with One Joplin. Several years ago, Joplin came up in a study as the least healthy city in Missouri, so the Health and Wellness committee is working on how we can get our community to lead healthier lives. I’m also active with my church. Dr. Godfrey and I enjoy being involved in the communities around our Carthage, Missouri, and Columbus, Kansas hospitals.
As a youngster, what did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?
A professional golfer. My dad and I started golfing when I was about 8, and we’d go golfing twice a week; it was awesome. I loved playing growing up and I plan to pick it back up after retirement.
What is one of the most gratifying experiences you have had in your career?
My first administrator job was in Lebanon, Missouri, where the hospital was almost out of business. It was a challenging undertaking but very rewarding to see that little place come back. Today, it’s still one of our strongest hospitals in Mercy. That’s what got me started working with Mercy back in 1994.
Dr. Tracy Godfrey, MD, President of Mercy Clinic
What do you love most about your field and what you do?
As a physician leader, I work in clinical and administrative areas. It doesn’t matter which side, it’s the personal interaction I love most about my work. The people of Mercy make it a pretty amazing job.
Where did you get your education?
I went to school in Carl Junction and then attended the University of Missouri – Kansas City, where I completed their combined B.A./M.D. program. After I finished my family medicine residency through UMKC, I returned home to Carl Junction, where I still live today.
In your opinion, what does it take to be an excellent leader?
To be a good leader, you have to be a good listener. You need to hear what people’s problems are and then give them room to make their own decisions so they can figure things out for themselves. The key is giving people the tools they need while allowing them to be independent in their thinking.
What advice would you give to a young person starting out in their career?
Learn as much as you can. Make sure, whatever path you choose, that you are following your passion. You should enjoy going to work every day. I think having an open mind and realistic expectations is important, as well.
Mercy Hospital Joplin follows a unique dyad model of leadership that allows for more strategic cooperation between healthcare administrators and clinicians.