Inspiring Stories

How a WWII Experience Made YOU Our Priority

John W. Estabrook and the Origins of the Meaning of Care

The Meaning of Care is more than a slogan at Methodist Health System. John W. Estabrook started it when he became the administrator of Methodist Hospital. His frustration as a tuberculosis patient after WWII showed him a path to his future.

Rooted in a Bad Experience

John was vocal about the care he received at the west coast tuberculosis hospital.  The staff knew him to be an unhappy patient.

The discharge physician offered him some advice: “You complain so much about everything. Maybe you should go into hospital administration and fix it.”

A Chance to Make a Difference

In 1951, John started as an administrative intern at Methodist Hospital. He was the head administrator by 1959.

“Value is not only determined by cost, but by the quality of care provided to every patient.”

John W. Estabrook

John believed that patients were the first priority.  He also believed that employees' attitudes influenced response to treatment.

Caring was woven into the fabric of his work.

Innovation AND Care

Methodist Hospital's reputation for excellence grew.  John created the Methodist Health System. Other initiatives he started were electronic record-keeping, the first ICU, the first 24/7 emergency department, and the first in-house Medical Information System.

John always put the patient first through all the change and growth.

“I learned so much from being a patient. I just brought forward what I learned."

John W. Estabrook

“He always asked: How will this impact the patient?" said. Cyndy Peacock, president, and CEO of Methodist Hospital Foundation.