“I am ecstatic about the growth that PHM has had

– Alice K. Tucker


Alice Tucker has been a board member and highly regarded member of our Pacific Health Ministry ‘ohana for more than 30 years. Over the years, she has provided valuable insights and support to our organization and remains an active member of our team. We’re excited to share with you more about our history with her as she explains how the organization has grown, as well as the impact chaplains have had on both the community and her personally.

Where are you from originally?

I’m originally from Dallas but I’ve lived in Hawai‘i since 1954 with some time off while my husband got specialty training on the mainland. We came back in 1961 and I’ve now been here long enough for me to lose my accent.

What was your profession?

I was the Director of Volunteer and Employee Services at Rehab Hospital for 19 years. I adored the volunteers and the staff! I loved my job and that was how I was introduced to Pacific Health Ministry.

Did you know anything about chaplaincy before becoming a board member?

No way! It’s the best-kept secret in town. While medical professionals can help you with your physical ailments, they are not trained in counseling or the spiritual care of patients. That’s where the chaplains come in and they’re so valuable.

Have you ever personally experienced the impact of chaplains?

I had my first chaplain encounter in a hospital in San Francisco while my husband was getting his training. After giving birth, my baby was three pounds. We were very concerned because my previous child has been nine and a half pounds. At that time, they sent in a Catholic priest who talked to me and I found the experience to be so comforting! He came in twice to visit me and make sure I was doing ok. I welcomed his visits.

When and how did you become a board member? Why do you continue to support the organization?

A friend of mine who was on the PHM board invited me and told me that they wanted to include someone from Rehab Hospital. I’ve been on the board for almost thirty years. I first became a board member when PHM was still known as Interfaith Ministries of Hawai’i. I continue to support the organization because of the terrific work that they do.

Why do you think people should support PHM?

If you or a family member have ever been in the hospital and are having a serious medical challenge, you know their value because they come and talk to you. They calm you down and don’t lay their religion on you at all. If you are religious or not, they help you see the bigger picture and it’s extremely comforting. Even if you don’t want to talk, they will sit there with you as long as you need.

Have you had any other interactions with PHM?

Once I was in the hospital due to a car crash. At that time, Chaplain Al Miles found out I was at Queen’s Medical Center and he told all of the Clinical Pastoral Education students to visit me. They were young students so I asked them to tell me where they were from, how they found PHM, and how they knew they wanted to go into chaplaincy. The stories they told were so inspiring and uplifting. It was terrific!

How have you seen PHM grow into the organization that it is now?

I am ecstatic about the growth that PHM has had. In the very beginning, only three hospitals saw the value of chaplaincy. Now, there are chaplains in nine institutions on Oahu and two neighbor islands have some of our chaplains in their hospitals. Moving forward, it would be great to see PHM introduce chaplaincy to the nursing homes as well.