An Environment of Caring
John J. Perkins Jr., MBA, PTA, is a community outreach manager, supporting St. Charles and St. Catherine of Siena hospitals. He helps survey the communities we serve with an eye toward improving health patterns. “We host events at school districts, senior centers, public libraries and parishes., where people can receive screenings and education that can often detect health issues,” said John. Upon discovery, patients are encouraged to see an appropriate specialist who can pre-empt diseases from developing if unchecked.
Does the work bring John a level of personal fulfillment? “Oh my, yes. I’ve gotten so many letters from people thanking me for changing the direction of their health. The work we do quite literally prevents strokes or heart attacks that might otherwise occur. That’s when you know you’re making a difference.”
John’s been making a difference for more than 32 years with Catholic Health. He began his long employment with a sledge hammer in hand, originally hired as a temp laborer for the engineering department.; part of a construction crew putting in a new dialysis unit at Good Samaritan Hospital in 1989. “It was in August and the temperatures were high. We all sweated a lot to get the job done. But it was great experience,” John recalled. “Every day I’d check out the job openings for more permanent work, and I finally landed a job in housekeeping, as we called it back then. Now it’s called environmental services. I learned how to buff and wax the floors, and keep the rooms spic and span.”
John took advantage of Catholic Health’s tuition reimbursement programs, earning his associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s. “I remember a great bit of advice I received from one of my mentors: Why be just a year older when you can be a year smarter. So I made it a point to stay on the path to professional growth.”
Over the years, John has spent time as an operating room orderly, a physical therapist assistant, a physician liaison and EPIC physician co-champion, before beginning his current role in the community outreach program.
“I’ve been part of the team at Good Samaritan Hospital, St. Charles and, for the last few years now, St. Catherine of Siena; so I guess I know Catholic Health pretty well,” explained John. “Everywhere I go I see the same level of care and commitment. It’s just a great environment, where our people all do their best to return patients to their families.”
Stay the course, John. You represent what Catholic Health stands for.