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Tanner CEO Celebrated by Statewide Hospital Association


Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System, has been recognized as CEO of the Year by the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals (GACH).

The alliance recognized Howard during its 35th annual meeting, held Oct. 10 through Oct. 12 at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. The award is given annually to an exemplary not-for-profit hospital leader in recognition of his or her leadership and commitment to the betterment of health care in our state. 

“Loy Howard understands the inextricable link between a hospital and the community it serves with regard to patient care, the local economy and quality of life,” said Dr. Ninfa Saunders, president and CEO of Navicent Health and chair of the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals. “His impact has not only been felt in the region served by Tanner Health System but also by hospitals throughout our state as he has worked to ensure the implementation of policies designed to help providers better support their communities.” 

Howard was grateful for the recognition, attributing much of Tanner’s success to the health system’s team of healthcare professionals.

“I am humbled and honored to be recognized in this way by my peers in Georgia’s not-for-profit hospital community,” said Howard. “Everything we achieve at Tanner is the result of hard work by an amazing team of men and women dedicated to excellence in every aspect of patient care.”

Howard has served as president and CEO of Tanner Health System since 1994. He has led efforts to expand the system to its current footprint of five hospitals serving two states with more than 3,000 employees. Hospitals in the Tanner system include Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica, Higgins General Hospital in Bremen and Tanner Medical Center/East Alabama in Wedowee, as well as the inpatient behavioral health facility Willowbrooke at Tanner.

The health system also operates Tanner Medical Group, one of metro Atlanta’s largest multi-specialty physician groups. 

In addition to his service at Tanner, Howard is co-founder and chair of Carroll Tomorrow, a county-wide, public-private economic development organization for Carroll County. He serves on the board of directors for the Heard County Water Authority, as well as the board for Tanner Medical Center Inc. and Tanner Foundation. He is also vice-chairman of the GACH. Howard was a 2014 recipient of the Georgia Hospital Association Chairman’s Award and has been named among Becker’s 50 Rural Hospital CEOs to Know. He also earned the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year award in 2008 and its Horizon Award in 2002, as well as the Visionary Award from the Follow Me Foundation in 2000 and the Community Service Award from the Abraham Baldwin Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 2015.

The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals is a statewide association dedicated to furthering the ability of community hospitals to fulfill their primary mission of serving their communities through advocacy for sound healthcare policies and regulations. For more information, visit www.gach.org.

Photo caption:

Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System, was recognized as CEO of the Year by the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals. He was joined by loved ones and members of Tanner’s leadership team. Front row, from left, is Daniel Jackson, board chair for Tanner; Howard; and Howard’s wife, Nola. Back row, from left, are Kim Gilmer, executive administrative assistant; Wayne Senfeld, Ed.S., LPC, senior vice president for business development and behavioral health; Deborah Matthews, RN, senior vice president and chief nursing officer; Ben Camp, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer; Tanner board members Lynn Clarke, Mary Covington and Jeffrey Lindsey; Carol Crews, senior vice president and chief financial officer; and Denise Taylor, senior vice president and chief community health and brand officer.

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