Infantile screeching and wailing rings through the halls of a Muskogee pediatric clinic.
Dr. Tracy A. Hoos II just keeps talking.
“Crying or screaming just becomes white noise to me,” Hoos said. “Maybe that’s why I can’t sleep well sometimes. I need crying kids in the background.”
Hoos has come to know those sounds well since starting his pediatric practice at Children’s Clinic in July 2010.
Of course, taking care of dozens of sick or hurt kids can be stressful, Hoos said.
“Sometimes in the summer we see 20 to 30 kids a day, and if we have a bad flu season, we might see more than that,” he said. “But I still find it fulfilling. Kids don’t complain as much as adults. You can have a really sick kid and they’re playing.”
As he nears his 37th birthday, Hoos feels he’s found the right profession.
After graduating from high school in 1994, Hoos went to Northeastern State University and earned a degree in psychology. Then he worked in case management, emergency services at Parkside Psychiatric Hospital in Tulsa.
“I’ve always wanted to go into fields that helped people,” he said. “I worked in the mental health field for six years, but I got a desire to go back to school. As I met Dr. Mike Stratton, he exposed me to pediatrics and I fell in love with it. It’s part of my nature to help others.”
A big change from when he was growing up.
“My dad had Buckaroo Nursery for the longest time,” Hoos said. “I spent most of my time pulling weeds, watering plants, moving trees.”
Meet Dr. Tracy Hoos II
AGE: 36 (turns 37 Wednesday)
EDUCATION: Hilldale High School, 1994; Bachelor of Arts, Northeastern State University, 1998; Oklahoma State University, 2007.
FAMILY: Wife, Kristi Hoos; two sons, Trey, 9, and Cadyn, 6.
CHURCH: Timothy Baptist Church.
HOBBIES: Exercise, playing drums. “Spending time with my family is the biggest thing.”
Keeping up with
Tracy Hoos says he wants to set a good example as he talks to parents and children about being healthy.
“I have to walk the walk myself,” he said.
He doesn’t just walk. He runs. He bikes. He swims. He goes to Muskogee Swim and Fitness at 5:30 each morning to work out. The workout includes 45 minutes of weight training.
“I have a couple of people there who try to keep me accountable,” he said.
He tries to run every day — two or three miles on some days. Hoos said one goal is to participate in sprint triathlons, which involve 5K run, 750-meter swim and a bike ride.
He also seeks to eat properly by avoiding fried foods and sweet beverages.
Still, he admits, “We’ll go out and get some Hamlin’s chips and dip.”
Hoos hasn’t always been so health-conscious. In college, he weighed up to 250 pounds.
“Then I saw a picture of what I looked like,” he said, showing a picture of his obese self holding his infant son. “That’s when I decided I needed to do something.”
He said he first tried such diets as Atkins and South Beach.
“I’d lose 20 pounds and gain it all back,” he said.
He also recalled his first day of serious exercise.
“I had kind of a ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality,” he said. “My first day of running, I thought I was going to die after running for five minutes.”
He said he learned that proper dieting involves “a complete lifestyle change.”
Working toward a
Hoos is committed to ensuring that he, his family, his patients and his community get healthy. He is chairman of the Health and Wellness Committee of the City of Muskogee Foundation.
Such involvement in community affairs began at Hilldale High School.
“I’m a type A personality,” he said. “I always want to have something to do and to make sure it gets done.”
In school, Hoos was involved with the student council, Key Club and German Club.
“We actually got to go to Germany one year. That was fun,” he said. “My mom thought it was important to keep me active in school and she was right. I think that’s why I’m active and involved in different organizations. The more you get involved, the more you can make a difference.”
Hoos said he got involved with the City of Muskogee Foundation a few years ago. He said one of the concerns the Health and Wellness Committee seeks to address is to curb obesity in the community.
“Pediatric obesity is a huge problem,” he said, adding that Muskogee has a higher obesity rate than the national average.
Hoos said the Health and Wellness Committee also helps people get out of poverty by sponsoring Muskogee’s Community Circles or Bridges out of Poverty program.
Music as a
After a stressful day at the clinic, Hoos finds respite hitting the drums. It’s a tension-relieving hobby he said he took up a couple of years ago.
Hoos said his family was never into music, and neither was he. Hoos recalled being more involved with school activities.
“Trey’s musical,” Hoos said. “My oldest son wanted to take drum lessons, and I was talking about how much fun it was for him.”
Trey started taking private lessons with Jeff Jones. Soon, Hoos was taking lessons, too.
“I really became addicted,” he said. “It relieves stress when you can bang on things in an organized way.
“But I don’t know how much my wife likes it.”
Hoos said he bought a Pearl drum set large enough to give him and his son five pieces each. He said they have a room where they practice. He joked that his wife wishes it were padded.
“When I’m in the room, he can come in and make some noise with me,” Hoos said. “We have it set up where we can see each other.”
Hoos said he practices two or three times a week.
“I go in and sit down at different times,” he said.
Despite all the time he spends on the drums, Hoos said he doesn’t think he’s ready to perform in public yet. His church, Timothy Baptist Church, uses drums.
“I don’t think I’m good enough to do it,” he said.
How did you come to be an Okie from Muskogee?
“I was born and raised here. Then, when the hospital was recruiting 50 physicians for Muskogee, right after the agreement with Capella, I was contacted about coming back to Muskogee. I wrote to Dr. Stratton about it.
“Now I’ve come back with no regrets. We got involved with the community, and I’m so glad we came home.”
What do you do with your free time?
“Soccer games and swim meets. Some reading and yard work.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT MUSKOGEE?
“I love the people, the sense of community.”
How do you make a living in Muskogee?
“Pediatrician at the Children’s Clinic.”
What would make Muskogee a better place to live?
“They need to promote their resources better. We have great parks here, great trails to walk on. It could be a great hub for a business.”
Is there an Okie from Muskogee you admire?
“My parents have helped us out so much as I was going through medical school and in my life in general. And Dr. Mike Stratton, who has done so much for families. He introduced me to pediatrics and eventually coming back to Muskogee. He has been a real inspiration.”
What’s the most memorable thing that has happened to you since you have lived in Muskogee?
“It’s hard to pick just one. It must have been when my boys and I were running on the big trail at Honor Heights Park — the one that goes up the hill and down — and it was so hard. It was just a great time to be with family.”
How would you sum up Muskogee in 25 words or less?
“Wonderful place to live, a great community where people are willing to help each other. It’s just amazing.”