It may seem impossible to find time for family, philanthropy and a non-stop medical career, but Dr. LaKeeya Tucker has found a way to master them all and still remain humble. “I knew that I wanted to be an OB-GYN since I was in my first year,” said Tucker. “I did a rotation with a family medicine doctor and he did delivery. After that, I had a passion for doing deliveries … so I ventured out and did an OB rotation. I love the surgical aspect and the office portion as well.” Tucker found her place at Alliance Obstetrics and Gynecology early in her career. Having started there right after her residency, she has helped the practice grow to become one of the largest in the area. “When I started, there were five and now there are 10 of us,” said Tucker. “We started out in the Sparrow Professional Building and our space was small and cramped. Now we have 14,000 square feet. We have literally doubled in size in both doctors and space.” Tucker found a home at Alliance and notes that it is easy to work at a place that aligns so perfectly with her personal beliefs and values. “I love that our mission statement focuses on the same things I do for my own life,” said Tucker. “It’s important to build relationships with people. (We) focus on making (our office) feel small and quaint so you don’t feel swallowed up in this big building.” Tucker explained that at Alliance, everyone believes in treating others the way they would want to be treated. “I know it is rare to find a place that lines up perfectly with what I believe, so I feel very blessed to be part of this practice.” Tucker is passionate about what she does. She finds inspiration in her patients and values every opportunity she has to work with the women in her community. “I love every encounter with every patient. I feel like it is such a joy to have encounters with each patient. I love teaching the women how to keep themselves well. It makes me feel good that they feel so good,” said Tucker. In keeping with her positive personality, Tucker doesn’t even see the challenges associated with her job as obstacles in her day. She believes it makes life more interesting. Tucker prefers to look at the different hurdles as opportunities to grow and learn from other doctors. “It can be challenging if we have a complex surgery, but I always feel like if I have a challenging case, I have a backup system (where) I can ask for help,” said Tucker. “It’s nice to have people to bounce things off of. I can always learn new things, especially since no two days are the same. I think it makes (my job) more exciting. I love not doing the same thing every day. I love mixing it up.” Tucker does just that by planning and participating in numerous health events. She believes in sharing her knowledge with the community and giving every woman the opportunity to live a healthy, happy life. “I am huge on philanthropy. ‘It’s a Breast Thing’ is my baby. It’s a program that helps breast cancer patients … afford things they otherwise couldn’t. We pay out a lot of grants. This year alone we have given over 13 different grants and plan on giving out even more,” Tucker said. Tucker knows that all of her philanthropic efforts go toward making the community a healthier place and her family at Alliance has supported her many efforts. Along with Tucker, the entire Alliance staff believe it’s important to give back to the community, and they show their support by participating in various service projects. For example, Tucker coordinates the Pap-O-Rama project. “Everyone here did so much work. We were able to provide 130 cervical cancer screenings for the community and provided follow-up for those with abnormal results,” said Tucker. “It’s a great event and we have so many partners in the community that make it possible.” “We have been so fortunate to be able to do these things. It is important to remember that we are not entitled to all that we have. We have to be thankful for the things we have been given and give back to the community to help those in need,” said Tucker. And Tucker doesn’t stop there. She takes part in countless other committees, events and programs throughout the year. Tucker is an active member at the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. She is also a member of the Lansing/East Lansing Links and multiple medical societies and volunteers her time to educate women at different events when possible. It’s hard to imagine she has time to fit so many things into her schedule, but Tucker attributes her ability to do all the things she loves to the support of her husband and children, as well as her faith. When Tucker ventured to Detroit for her residency she met and fell in love with her husband Larry Tucker. She attributes a great deal of her success to her dedicated partner. She says Larry helps hold everything together and takes wonderful care of their children Kianna, 10 and Kenneil, 6 1/2. “My husband helps me a ton, he is always there to keep the household together. He makes it easy. Together we can do it all, we just find a way,” said Tucker. When asked how she keeps everything together at the end of the day, her answer is simple. “I have my faith and my family,” Tucker said. “You just have to do it and not think so much. You can’t sweat the small things, you have to prioritize. You have to balance and try to keep things in perspective.”
Ami Iceman-Hauter is the Brand Manager at M3 Group in downtown Lansing. Iceman is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelors degree in creative advertising.