John Haupert ’83 ’92

Hands On Healing

By Donna Parker

John Haupert ’83 ’92 is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Parkland Health and Hospital System, but underneath that impressive title beats the heart of a man who sincerely wants to help the needy.   

“Every year, I travel to Honduras on church-sponsored medical missions where I help run the primary care clinic, overseeing triage, administration, and supply functions.  Amazingly, there is a clear similarity between what I do at Parkland and what is done in Honduras.  The difference is that, in the U.S., there are safety net hospitals like Parkland for the uninsured and in Honduras, there isn’t.”

“It’s critical that we formulate a comprehensive public health view to discover what we can do within our communities to make basic primary care available to all, before a trip to the hospital becomes necessary.”

John and his Parkland staff already provide on-the-spot health care at the homeless shelters in downtown Dallas, but for John the altruistic efforts don’t stop there.  He loves to travel; in fact, he journeyed to Kenya last year with his family, staying in a safari camp near the Maasi tribesmen. 

“Oh man, going into the Maasi villages seeing women and children living in tiny mud and elephant dung huts, was so striking.  They are truly happy in their huts and I still think about that all the time – that whole experience and how we lose track of how diverse our world is.”

“For example, if at Parkland we have a Hispanic nurse interacting with a Korean family, how does she communicate?  That’s our mission – to provide culturally competent health care.”

“Trinity provided me with the background knowledge to implement plans like these.  It was a phenomenally safe environment where I could grow up safely, while learning.  I cherish the growing up portion as much as the education.”

“My own role models such as Raymond Judd, former University chaplain, an incredibly endearing person, became a friend for life.”

“Richard Burr, department of business administration, taught us as much about real life as he did about strategic planning and who can forget taking voice lessons under Rosalind Phillips, department of music, who is now a close friend.”

“I don’t consider achievements to be income and titles.  My goal is to serve my community by providing exceptional health care.  When I graduated from Trinity, I went to work for a large retail corporation and woke up one day to think there has to be more.  At that point, I returned to Trinity and figured out how to combine those things.  Now, my life’s mission is making a difference for people in need.”

You may contact John via e-mail @ jhaupe@parknet.pmh.org.