Getting to know David and Scott James

This Sunday is a celebration of dads and role models and the power of positive male influences. We couldn’t think of a better way to mark the occasion than inviting one of our favorite father/son duos from our professional family to share a bit about their personal and career journeys.

Separately, David and Scott James maintain strong leadership roles within our healthcare system, guiding their teams to achieve success each and every day. Together, they are men who share a passion for athletics, family and the great outdoors. In or out of the office, David and Scott James are two of the tenacious, trusted, dependable People of Parkview.


Names: David and Scott James

Official title:
Scott: COO Parkview Cancer Institute, SVP Surgical and Cancer Service Line Leader

David: Vice President Specialty Practices

Describe your education and career journey:
David: I received my Master of Science degree in Health Administration from the University of Oklahoma Heath Science Center, Department of Public Health, in 1984. That same year, i started my first hospital CEO position for a county hospital in Kansas. Per Modern Healthcare Magazine, I was the youngest hospital CEO at the time. In 1987, I accepted a position with HCA Management Company, soon to become Quorum Health Resources, to manage a hospital in Oklahoma.  I was transferred to a hospital in Pennsylvania and then Michigan.  Scott and I started an ambulatory surgery center and imaging center development and management company that completed and managed national projects. After divesting the company in 2009, I managed two group practices before joining Parkview.

Scott: I received my undergrad in Healthcare Administration from Indiana University, and my MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Originally, I wanted to be an elementary education teacher and coach, but my farther asked me to join him and do healthcare consulting.  I switched my major and transferred because of IU’s program. My mother and father have always been in healthcare, and, honestly, I said I would never do it. But I did and I love it.  I wouldn’t change a thing.

What is a typical day like for you?
Scott: Truly making myself available for the Parkview Cancer Institute and surgical teams.  My day consists of mentoring, decision making and building relationships.

David: Most of my days are spent in meetings, working with physicians and other managers. 

What’s it like working together?
Scott: Working with my father for many years doing consulting helped with our Parkview interaction.  My dad works within Parkview Physicians Group and covers surgical practice operations. With my role as a service line leader for Surgery, we cross paths frequently and strategize together. It works really well.

David: It’s a pleasure for me to see that he has matured into an excellent leader.

You both have very demanding roles. What are some lessons your father taught you that impact your approach to the work you do at Parkview?
Scott: Work smarter not harder. My dad is an extremely hard worker and fully dedicated.  Growing up, that was instilled in me.  I work hard to immolate his work ethic.

David: My father taught me to work hard and to stay with a job until it has been completed.  He also taught me to never let other people tell you something is impossible. 

David, what was Scott like as a child?
David: Scott was a joy to raise. He was a great kid and fun to be around.  When he was very young he would make everyone laugh without even trying.  He was an outstanding athlete, in football, basketball and baseball. He was awarded All State in baseball in his junior and senior year.  I always enjoyed watching him play.

What is one of your fondest memories?
David: There are so many! It’s hard to pick a few. Scott always liked to use big words when he was very young. For example, he would ask for acetaminophen instead of Tylenol.  After he learned to walk, he would follow me everywhere, and he always wanted to help.  It was fun to see the excitement on his face when he made a great play or hit a home run.

Scott: Fishing when I was young.  My dad, Uncle Clifford (my dad’s brother), and some of my cousins went fishing and camping one night. I remember setting up a trot line for catfish, catching a snapping turtle, my dad and my uncle chasing and catching an armadillo and having him teach the entire time.  They would take 2 liter bottles, tie a line to them and throw them out in the water.  During the night you would see the bottles start racing around the large pond. My dad, uncle and older cousin would jump in the water and bring in these huge catfish. We were a very outdoors family, which today is the same for me, my wife and kids.

Scott, as a father now yourself, what mannerisms or parenting techniques have you carried over from how your father raised you?
Scott: Being confident, kind and compassionate for everyone. Never judge and work hard.

David, what’s it been like watching Scott grow into the father and professional he is today?  
David: Scott is a fantastic father. And although his position at Parkview is very demanding, he always makes time for his family. Scott’s caring for people is very genuine and it shows in his management style. I often receive comments about how people enjoy working with him. I have watched Scott progress from his first management job to the executive position he is in today and it makes me proud that he maintains high standards and that he realizes it’s an awesome responsibility to serve people in need of healthcare. 

What do you like to do together when you get to spend time together outside of work?
Scott: Attend sporting events, fish, firing range and play pool.

David: I enjoy just spending time with him no matter what we are doing.  We spend most of our time together watching the grandkids play sports and talking.  It’s fun going camping with Scott and his family, too, although we usually go home at night. (We go for the campfire and visit.) 

What kind of father was your dad and what kind of father are you?
Scott: Very involved, direct, but a lot of fun.  We turn into big kids, really.

What’s the best “dadism” you’ve ever heard?
Scott: Visualize it first, then it will happen.

David: I read this somewhere …  Someone told a father, whose kids were playing in the yard, that they were destroying the lawn, and the dad said, “I am raising kids not grass.”

David, what was your proudest moment as a father? 
Watching Scott walk across the stage at Notre Dame and accept his MBA. He earned that degree while holding down a high pressure management job and raising three small boys.

If you could tell people to read one book in their lifetime, which would it be?
Scott: “The Definitive Book of Body Language” by Allan and Barbara Pease

David: “Wisdom of the Ages” by Wayne W. Dyer

What would we find on your bucket list and what do you plan to check off next?
David: My wife and I have never been on a cruise so we are scheduled for one in June 2018.

Scott: I would like to retire early from healthcare and become an elementary teacher and coach. I love teaching and coaching kids!

How will you spend your Father’s Day?
David: We will be taking care of and enjoying the grandkids while Scott and his wife attend a friend’s wedding in Nevada. 

Scott: On a plane, heading to a wedding of an old high school friend. We will celebrate when we return.


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