Richmond, Va. (April 7, 2017) – Rev. Dr. Sylvia Tucker, director of pastoral care at John Randolph Medical Center, has received the 2017 Meritorious Service Award from the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA). The award honors individuals other than chief executive officers affiliated with member institutions who have a history of making significant contributions to the health care field – on both a state and local level – through commitment to service and leadership.

Nominees must be recognized as leaders in health care management and policy issues and be involved in health care from the perspective of management, or providing support for delivering health care services.

“Reverend Tucker has made significant contributions that far exceed the boundaries of our hospital and surrounding communities,” said Suzanne Jackson, CEO of John Randolph Medical Center. “I am honored to work alongside a leader who brings the highest level of integrity, compassion and spiritual faith to her role as director of pastoral services, and I firmly believe that her dedication will continue to make a positive impact on all of us.”

In 1994, Tucker was ordained and licensed as a Baptist minister. She has been pursuing her ministry full time as chaplain of John Randolph Medical Center since 1995. This history making appointment made her the first female African-American hospital chaplain in the state of Virginia.

She has received many accolades for her service in humanitarianism and civil rights, including the first woman to serve as SCLS National Chaplain; Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award for Religious Affairs; Prince George Chapter of SCLC Civil Rights Award; first African-American female chaplain to be inducted into the History Makers Collection at the Library of Congress; and the first and only SCLC National Chairlady Emeritus to pastor a church.

Tucker received her Bachelor of Arts degree in pastoral ministries from Bible College Seminary in New Orleans, her Master’s degree in Christian education from Rovear Christian University in Richmond, and a Doctor of Theology degree from A.P. Clay Christian Theological College in Kenner, La.

“My life has been centered around being a servant for others. I truly believe if you love God first, yourself, family and others, you will automatically become successful,” said Tucker. “It is important to work hard, treat others with respect, integrity, dignity, love and compassion. I am very thankful and honored to those who made it possible for me to receive the Meritorious Service Award of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, and am filled with so much humility and gratitude.”