Industry Leader John Burks Passes Away

Updated March 23, 2017 with memorial service information (see below)

John Burks Passing


It is with sadness and a heavy heart that we inform you of the unexpected passing of John Burks from a significant infection on Saturday, March 18.

John was a visionary healthcare leader who possessed unique industry insights and who made numerous contributions to healthcare and supply chain improvements. John started his career at American Hospital Supply and worked for Medline and Enterprise Systems before joining VHA. At VHA John was an innovator and pioneer, starting what is now called NOVAPLUS, the largest private label program in healthcare. John spent significant efforts working to streamline the supply chain and managed Novation’s relationship with Neoforma and was the founding Board Member for the Coalition for Healthcare E-Standards (CHeS). John held the position of Associate Vice President of Supply Chain Services at Scott & White and was instrumental in the consolidation of supply chain services in the merger that created Baylor Scott & White. He also worked with the Wetrich Group as well as leading Burks Healthcare Concepts where his skills and knowledge helped many firms, and he was consulting for ROi at the time of his passing.

John’s life was significantly impacted through Scouting. John was an Eagle Scout, as were each of his three sons. John spent many hours as a volunteer for the Scouts, and one of his highlights was attending the 13th World Jamboree in Japan. John was a family man at heart and was planning on spending more time with his growing family upon his planned retirement at the end of this month. John was also a man of God, and his plans included working as a volunteer for the church in retirement as well. No mention of John would be complete without his life partner, soul mate and wife, Monica. They had many great adventures together and were quite the team. Spending summer weeks in northern Wisconsin or traveling to Italy, they were a wonderful and gracious couple.

While the world lost a wonderful man far too early, God must have had a need for an Eagle Scout.

“John was a colleague, a role model and a friend,” said Jody Hatcher, President, Sourcing and Collaboration Services at Vizient, Inc. “He always put hospitals and patients first in all he did – and always with a smile on his face. He was tremendous innovator – in technology, industry standards, in improving supply chain programs – and his contributions to the industry continue to have a positive impact. He will be missed.”

UPDATED: A memorial service for John Burks will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 26, at First United Methodist Church Granbury, TX 76049. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers or money please consider donating to one of John’s favorite organizations:

The Boy Scouts of America:

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR):


32 Comments on "Industry Leader John Burks Passes Away"

  1. John was a leader and a teacher – I learned a great deal while reporting to John at VHA. We celebrate his life and pass on our condolences to his family.

  2. What a wonderful man. The industry has lost a great leader today. Thoughts and prayers to his family.

  3. John had great respect for the people who worked for him and with him. Always open to new ideas and companies that could make a difference. We will all miss him and his contributions on both sides of the desk.

  4. I am extremely saddened to hear of John’s passing this weekend. I have known and worked with John during much of my medical device career. Like many others, I have always admired John’s industry knowledge, business acumen and exceptional people skills. He was a respected friend and his premature departure leaves a great void in our industry.

  5. John was an intelligent and intelligent thought leader for the healthcare supply chain. He will be missed.

  6. Harry Anderson | March 20, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Reply

    John was a great guy and a real giver to help others. I will miss him.

  7. Bill Elliott | March 20, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Reply

    I was deeply saddened to learn of John’s passing. I had the privilege of working with John at both VHA and the MED Group. He was a creative and energetic innovator as well as a guy with a great sense of humor. His spirit will live on with me and the many others he touched during his career.

  8. Megan McGuire | March 21, 2017 at 12:38 am | Reply

    John was such a kind man and a mentor to many. Every time I left a meeting with him I felt inspired! He made a huge impact on our industry. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family.

  9. So saddened to hear of John’s passing. John was a worthy competitor, but an even better colleague and friend. A true industry leader. He will be missed by all. His wife and family will be in our prayers.

  10. John was a great man, friend, leader and mentor. He was passionate about making difference in the industry and will be truly missed.

  11. Gene Schneller | March 21, 2017 at 11:09 am | Reply

    John showed a great interest on efforts to bring young people into the practice of health sector supply chain. His entire style was inspirational – to all with whom he came into contact. Always looked forward to talking about our mutual interests. I’m sure we will all miss those encounters.

  12. John was a great leader and co-worker in the industry. Thoughts and prayers to his family.

  13. Phil Profeta | March 21, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Reply

    John was not only a mentor to me – but became my close and trusted advisor and co-worker at Baylor Scott & White. I will always remember and relish our time as colleagues. My heart goes out to Monica and his family…

  14. I am very saddened to hear this news. I enjoyed getting to know John during his tenure at Baylor Scott & White Health. My thoughts, prayers, and sincere condolences go out to John’s family. God bless!

  15. John was an early hire at Novation. Mark McKenna was the first Exec we hired and John quickly thereafter. John was an immense help in the merger of supply chains from VHA and UHC to create Novation. His insight as to the blending of disparate cultures was so strategic. He handled our suppliers with dignity yet with purpose and pace as the combining of contracts was complex from so many perspectives.
    When John and I spoke, we always discussed our sons being Eagle Scouts. He spent a lot of his free time giving to Scouts and Scouting.
    My sympathy to Monica and John’s family. He laugh will be missed.

  16. Derrick Williams | March 21, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Reply

    I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of John Burks. John and I became close while working at Baylor Scott & White. I learned a lot from him, not only health care but life lessons. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. God Bless!

  17. Martin W. Middough | March 21, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Reply

    One of my all-time favorite people. He will be missed. RIP

  18. John was innovative, inspirational and always wanted to make a positive contribution to the Supply Chain Industry. Despite the challenges in the industry he always had a smile and passion to do what was right. He was a close friend and mentor and I will miss him greatly.

  19. I met John several years ago and always enjoyed our talks. He was sincere and genuine with a great sense of humor. Even though I didn’t have frequent communication I enjoyed catching up with him when our paths would cross. I knew he was a man of integrity and would always take the extra step to help. Quality people are really what help make life great and John was one of those! Prayers and sympathy to his family.

  20. Christie Dockray | March 22, 2017 at 9:54 am | Reply

    I am very saddened by Johns passing. I enjoyed working with him at Baylor Scott & White. My prayers go out to Monica and family.

  21. I first met John when he was at VHA. He was knowledgeable of the industry, cared about what you were doing, and interested in your family. He loved sharing about his family which you knew was important. In later years when our paths would cross we simply picked up where we left off. Prayers for his family during this time of loss.

  22. Rj McNaughton | March 23, 2017 at 12:23 am | Reply

    Very saddened to hear about John. He Will be missed. He was a great leader but even better person. God bless. My prayers go out to his wife and family.

  23. I met John almost 20 years ago when I first came into healthcare and the first thing I noticed was his sincere passion for our industry. He was not in the world of healthcare contracting on accident, he loved this industry and it was his life’s work. The other unique aspect about John’s career was that he was successful on all 3 sides of the desk as a GPO, Supplier and Provider executive. Our industry is better because of John. Prayers to all his family and friends!

  24. I first met John when I worked at VHA in the early 1990s. I learned so much from him that has benefited me to this day; he was a great mentor. I always enjoyed catching up with John when we would run into each other at a conference or event. I will miss that the most. Prayers to his family.

  25. I met John when we both worked at VHA. He ALWAYS had a big smile on his face and you could see him coming from a mile away. I was so happy for him when he moved to Grandbury and in more frequent times loved to hear the joy in his voice when he spoke of his grandchildren. John has left a legacy of service, caring and love for others. He will be missed.

  26. Mickey Wormsley | March 23, 2017 at 10:57 am | Reply

    John was a great person and i enjoyed knowing him most of all his career and listening to his vision and advice . He always made time to meet and listen to any suggestions.
    He will be missed by me first as a friend

  27. Wes Snodgrass | March 23, 2017 at 11:04 am | Reply

    Very saddened and stunned to learn of John’s passing. He was a pleasure to work with both as a customer and a colleague. He was a good friend and a better man.
    Thoughts and prayers to his family and many friends.

  28. I worked with John on a number of projects through the years. His efforts toward the improvement of the healthcare supply chain was well known ad will always be acknowledged. At times his passion and intensity made him seem to be tough, but he always was ready to laugh even at himself. I admired his dedication to his family above all else.

  29. will always remember John for his friendship and mentoring as I first got involved in national accounts. Thoughts and prayers to his family

  30. John and I were paired in the Novation/Neoforma partnership. He was a smart, straightforward, and very funny guy. I and a lot of others will miss him.

  31. I am extremely sadden to learn of the passing of John. He was a true industry leader and mentor to so many. John always had time for someone, listening to what you had to say, offering some sage advice, and if lucky you would get a funny comment at the end that would make everyone laugh.
    As a true friend and fellow Boy Scout troop Scoutmaster I had the pleasure of both hearing about and sharing many scouting stories. However, when a story included something about his sons, the pride he had for them would shine through. It should because John and Monica raised 3 wonderful young men! In scouting we teach our scouts to “leave a place nicer than when you arrived” and I would venture to say John left everyone he touched a little better than prior to his arrival.
    My prayers go out to his family. I will finish with the Scoutmaster saying “May the great Scoutmaster of all scouts be with us till we meet again!”

  32. Christine Tylicki | April 10, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Reply

    John was a wonderful teacher and incredibly reliable individual to work with. He did not hesitate to “knock down walls” to pursue his great ideas. John will always be remembered with a smile on my face. I wish peace to all of his family as they transition through this difficult tiem.

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