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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 11, 2007

New UI lectureship honors prominent Iowa health care executive

A $100,000 gift from Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids will permanently endow a new lectureship at the University of Iowa honoring James Tinker, former president and CEO of Mercy and one of Iowa's leading health care executives, now retired.

The inaugural A. James Tinker Lectureship will be presented Friday, Oct. 12, at the annual Iowa Healthcare Executive Symposium, sponsored by the Department of Health Management and Policy in the UI College of Public Health. The first Tinker Lecturer will be Sister Mary Jean Ryan, president and CEO of SSM Health Care in St. Louis.

Tinker served as president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center from 1982 to 2006. Under his leadership, Mercy completed major capital improvements and earned national recognition for medical advances in areas such as cancer treatment, cardiac care, juvenile diabetes care and orthopedic services. Tinker served on the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2005. In 2007, he was named a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the leading professional society for health care leaders.

"In his nearly 40-year career in health care, Jim has been an educator, administrator, change agent, community advocate and, just as important, a great friend to patients," said Tim Charles, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center. "Jim's leadership has profoundly impacted the lives of patients and professionals in our community, our state and even our nation. The Board of Trustees' decision to endow this lectureship not only honors Jim, but ensures that the values he stood for will be instilled in future leaders of health care."

The endowment gift, made through the UI Foundation, will support the Tinker Lecture as an integral component of the Iowa Healthcare Executive Symposium. Each year, the symposium attracts leading national experts to the UI campus to address current topics in the field of health administration and policy. Information about events and speakers scheduled for the 2007 symposium can be found online at

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information, visit the foundation's Web site at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications and External Relations, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,