Jon Ruckle, MD

Jon Ruckle, MD

Board Member

Jon joined the climbing program in 2016 as a community volunteer.  He had done a lot of backpacking, but never had an opportunity to learn technical mountaineering or summit Mt. Rainier.  He heard about the Climb out of Homelessness program and saw this as an ideal opportunity to help others while achieving some long-term personal goals.  While training, he was impressed by the key elements the program offered, saw the life changes in the program climbers, and committed to staying on with the program.  In 2016-2017 he reached the summits of all 5 Washington glaciated peaks, and Mt. Hood twice, always climbing with program climbers, volunteers, and/or program alumni.  He credits the team for each successful climb.

Jon sees the program as a tangible metaphor for success in other areas of life – providing affirmation, faith, hope, teamwork, proper equipment, training, and discipline while building relationships, trust and confidence.  With stepwise positive reinforcement and the intrinsic satisfaction that comes from achieving incremental goals, the program provides everything needed for success as long as the participant continues to put forth the effort.  “I’m here to give you encouragement” is how he greets new program climbers as they start training, and he enjoys developing the relationships during the program and maintaining them after, as the alumni move forward in life.

Professionally, Jon is a Physician.  He trained at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  He has many years of clinical practice and research experience and remains active as a consultant and medical monitor for clinical pharmacology studies.  Jon lives in Tacoma, WA has a son, four daughters, and three grandchildren.  His diverse interests include history, travel, vintage cars and motorcycles, distance running, skiing, and a range of other outdoor sports.  He is also a Board member for The Rescue Mission in Tacoma and attends University Place Presbyterian Church.