Oral History Collection

Press Release

Contact:          Sara Beazley, sbeazley@aha.org, (312) 422-2017

John G. King Oral History Released
Leader in multi-institutional systems of faith-based hospitals 

CHICAGO (December 17, 2015) – The Center for Hospital and Healthcare Administration History announces a new publication in the Hospital Administration Oral History series: 

In the early ‘60s, John King’s dad drove over to the nearby town of Owatonna, Minn., and talked the local hospital administrator into letting young John work as an orderly at the hospital during his summer vacation from Dartmouth.   This early hands-on experience of caring for patients and time spent talking with the administrator of Mary Hitchcock Hospital, Hanover, N.H., motivated John to enroll at the well-known master’s program at the University of Minnesota, studying with renowned program director James A. Hamilton. 

John King was sent to do his graduate school residency year with Carl Platou at Fairview Hospital in Minneapolis, where he was later hired on full-time.  Fairview was in the process of launching new programs, pioneering in inpatient psychiatric treatment in a general hospital, for example, and was developing the concept of the satellite hospital.  In this oral history interview, John reminisces about what he learned from Carl Platou about effective ways of working with the governing board.  He talks of the challenges of leading downtown Fairview, the original hospital, including boosting morale among staff who remained there at the time that the brand new satellite hospital was opened. 

Later in his career, John King worked with Holy Cross Health Systems Corp., South Bend, Ind., and Evangelical Health Systems, Oak Brook, Ill., both established faith-based systems.  At EHS, a focus was on rightsizing the board structure throughout the system and on integrating and coordinating corporate services.  John later moved to Legacy Health System in Portland, Ore., where he led consolidation and integration efforts at this faith-based system. 

In this oral history interview about his life and career, John reminisces about lessons learned in the process of integrating organizations after an event like building a new satellite hospital or acquiring existing facilities.  He talks about the precursors of population health that the leadership team was trying out at Fairview in the early ‘70s.  His advice for young people interested in a career in health administration takes him back to his own college years – volunteer, or get a job as an orderly and see what working in a hospital is like. 

The full text of this new oral history interview is available at no charge on the Center website at http://www.aha.org/chhah.  Other recent oral history interviews which can be found on the website include that of Dr. Paul Batalden, Scott Parker, Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Jr., Sr. Mary Roch Rocklage, Dr. David Lawrence, Percy Allen, and Edward A. Eckenhoff. 

The Center for Hospital and Healthcare Administration History was established by the American Hospital Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives and is coordinated by the AHA Resource Center in collaboration with the Health Research & Educational Trust.  For more information about the Center and its programs, visit the website or contact Sara Beazley, director, at (312) 422-2050.


Oral histories preserve the first-person recollections of leaders who shaped the past and laid the foundation for the future.  Since 1978, the American Hospital Association and the Health Research & Educational Trust have jointly sponsored an oral history project coordinated by the AHA Resource Center.  Over 90 interview transcripts are available in this oral history collection. 

In the 1980s, the oral history interviews were conducted and edited by Lewis E. Weeks, former editor of the journal Inquiry.  These interviews, known as the Lewis E. Weeks series, are fully indexed in: Index to the Hospital Administration Oral History Collection.  Selected excerpts from these interviews are also published in the book: Weeks, L.E., and Berman, H.J.  Shapers of American Health Care Policy: An Oral History.  Ann Arbor, MI: Health Administration Press, 1985.

Printed copies of the oral history transcripts may be borrowed from, or examined on-site at, the American Hospital Association Resource Center in Chicago.  For more information, please call (312) 422-2050.

Copyright notice: Visitors to this site have a non-exclusive, nontransferable, limited and revocable right to use materials posted on this site solely for the user’s personal, non-commercial use.  Materials posted on this site are copyright protected, and may not be reproduced, transmitted, published or distributed by the user without the express written consent of the copyright holder.


Published oral histories are available for the following individuals:

Chaiker Abbis (1986)
Faye G. Abdellah (1984)
John E. Affeldt (1987)
Percy Allen II (2013)
Odin W. Anderson (1984)
Ron J. Anderson, M.D. (2014)
Solomon J. Axelrod (1987)
Paul B. Batalden, M.D. (2014)
Lowell E. Bellin (1984)
Howard J. Berman (2011)
August F. Bloese (1985)
Madison B. Brown (1985)
George Bugbee (1984)
H. Robert Cathcart (1988)
W. Montague Cobb (1984)
Wilbur J. Cohen (1984)
Edward J. Connors (1984)
John A. D. Cooper (1986)
George Crile, Jr. (1984)
Nelson H. Cruikshank (1984)
Robert M. Cunningham, Jr. (1984)
Richard J. Davidson (2010)
Leon Davis (1984)
Thomas C. Dolan (2014)
Avedis Donabedian (1984)
Edward  A. Eckenhoff (2015) Video
C. Wesley Eisele (1988)
Paul M. Ellwood, Jr., M.D. (2011)   Video
I. S. Falk (1984)
Stanley Ferguson (1994)
Gary L. Filerman (1984)
E. Evelyn Flook (1985)
Spencer Foreman, M.D. (2008)
Thomas F. Frist, Sr., M.D. (1986)
Thomas F. Frist, Jr., M.D. (2013)
Sidney R. Garfield (1986)
Aladino A. Gavazzi (1987)
Symond R. V. Gottlieb (1987)
Leo F. Greenawalt (2012)
Merwyn R. Greenlick (1988)
John R. Griffith (2010)
Frank S. Groner (1989)
Joan S. Guy (1985)
James Hague (1984)
Jack A. L. Hahn (1994)
James A. Hamilton (1984)
T. Stewart Hamilton (1987)
Miles C. Hardie (1987)
Robert L. Harman (2015)
Gerhard Hartman (1984)
John F. Horty (1989)
Everett Johnson (1993)
Lloyd R. Johnson (1987)
Richard L. Johnson (1994)
John G. King (2015)
Herbert E. Klarman (1997)
Karl S. Klicka (1984)
Sister Irene Kraus (1988)
Lowell C. Kruse (2015)

Bernard J. Lachner (1996)
Ben W. Latimer (1989)
David M. Lawrence M.D. (2013)
George F. Lynn (2014)
John Robert Mannix (1984)
Billy G. McCall (1989)
Foster G. McGaw (1985)
John Alexander McMahon (1987)
Walter J. McNerney (1984)
Matthew F. McNulty, Jr. (1998)
John S. Millis (1985)
Wilbur D. Mills (1984)
Wade Mountz (2009)
James R. Neely (1985)
Russell A. Nelson (1986)
Stanley R. Nelson (1988)
Maurice J. Norby (1984)
D. Kirk Oglesby, Jr. (2012)
Jack W. Owen (1988)
Scott S. Parker (2013)
Andrew Pattullo (1984)
Earl Perloff (1984)
Daniel Pettengill (1984)
Carl N. Platou (1995)
Haynes Rice (1984)
Elliott C. Roberts, Sr. (2012) Video
William T. Robinson (2011)

Sister Mary Roch Rocklage (2011)  Video
Milton I. Roemer (1985)
C. Rufus Rorem (1984)
Austin Ross (2012)
William A. Rothman (1984)
Ruth M. Rothstein (2009)
James H. Sammons (1987)
Paul J. Sanazaro (1985)
Ernest W. Saward (1987)
Sister M. Maurita Sengelaub (1986)
Sam Shapiro (1988)
Cecil G. Sheps (1993)
D. Eugene Sibery (1988)
Robert M. Sigmond (1984)
Robert M. Sigmond: Part II (2009)
Vergil Slee (1984)
Albert W. Snoke (1987)
Anne Ramsay Somers (1984)
John M. Stagl (1989)
David W. Stewart (1987)
Richard J. Stull (1984)
John D. Thompson (1992)
Robert E. Toomey (1988)
Bernard R. Tresnowski (1986)
Gail L. Warden (2010)
Lewis E. Weeks, Jr. (1993)
Myron Wegman (1989)
Donald W. Welch (1988)
Stuart A. Wesbury, Jr. (1986)
Kerr L. White (1984)
Kenneth Williamson (1984)
Ray Woodham (2010)


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