Timothy Thompson-Cook lives by his own personal mission statement: "To always leave people better off than they were when I found them." As Vice President for Service Excellence, Outpatient Services, and Ambulatory Care at Harbor-UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) Medical Center in Los Angeles County, this personal philosophy proves to be a cornerstone for his professional success.
A 2012 graduate of Argosy University, San Francisco Bay Area, Thompson-Cook earned a Master of Business Administration in Business Administration program with a concentration in Healthcare Administration. Thompson-Cook recently accepted expanded responsibilities for overseeing several additional departments. In addition to leading Service Excellence, Outpatient Services, Ambulatory Care, and the HIV Aids program’s administrative support, he now supervises Radiologic Imaging Services, and the hospital’s Ambassador Program, which focuses on guest services in an active and complex campus.
“In addition to implementing a culture of Service Excellence, my overall job is to identify resources that each department lacks, and secure the tools to help employees work efficiently and effectively on behalf of patients,” he says. He goes on to say, "I tell people all the time that I am in a support role. My job involves removing barriers that prevent staff from being able to do their jobs. I also tell staff that when patients arrive at the hospital, it often feels like the worst day of their lives. For us, it's just another day at work. Each of us must realize we play a vital role in every patient’s experience, every day. It is our responsibility to do everything possible to optimize every patient’s encounter with us.” Employees and patients alike now benefit from his expertise.
Success on the job stems from his ability to be flexible and adapt to a constantly changing environment, skills Thompson-Cook previously mastered in the U.S. Navy. A veteran of Operation Desert Storm, he served in both active duty and reservist capacities from 1985 until 2001.
During his time in the military, Thompson-Cook earned associate’s degrees in Radiologic Sciences and Liberal Arts from San Diego Mesa Community College. He studied biology, chemistry and psychology at San Diego State University (SDSU). While there, he received two separate National Institutes of Health grants to conduct AIDS research in Kampala, Uganda during the summers of 1999 and 2000.
While continuing research as a MARC Scholar (Minority Access to Research Careers), Thompson-Cook took a leave from SDSU to become a traveling Radiologic Technologist. In 2009, he returned to his educational roots and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Argosy University, San Francisco Bay Area in 2010.
Even as he pursued higher education, he continued to fulfill numerous healthcare and leadership roles. Thompson-Cook served as Chief Radiologic Technologist at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center and Manager of Radiology Operations at San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC).
While working on his master’s degree at Argosy University, he received a fulltime Fellowship in Lean at CPMC and ultimately became one of two Lean Fellows for a one-year assignment, which he completed in March 2012.
“Argosy University challenged me to question and push back against doubts about completing a graduate degree in the midst of my demanding personal and professional life,” says Thompson-Cook. “I genuinely felt like they believed in my potential, sometimes more than I did. When I felt exhausted, they were right there offering encouragement and reminding me just how close I was to finishing.”
Thompson-Cook is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, as well as the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, where he maintains national certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and California Radiologic Technologists.
He shared a quote from Michelangelo Buonarroti with the hope of helping others, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” For now, he is content working to provide optimal patient experiences by taking the rigors out of strenuous employee responsibilities. “I’ll fix what I see wrong, and then I’ll move on to my next growth opportunity,” Thompson-Cook says. “I don’t know what or when that will be. I do know that growth is what it’s all about.”
Argosy University (www.argosy.edu), with 28 campus locations in 13 states and online, is a private, accredited academic institution dedicated to providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to students through its seven colleges: Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education, Health Sciences, Undergraduate Studies, The Art Institute of California and Western State College of Law. With one of the largest communities of graduate students in the nation, Argosy University offers graduate degree programs in Psychology, Business, Counseling and Education. The institution offers undergraduate degree programs in Psychology, Business, Liberal Arts and Criminal Justice and, through The Art Institute of California, serves as an important source of education for design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts students and professionals. Degree levels and programs offered vary by location. Full and part-time law programs are offered through Western State College of Law. Argosy University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, California, 94501, http://www.wascsenior.org). Licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education, License No. 2610, 2630. See auprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, federal salary data, alumni success, and other important info.