Tanner News

Business Chronicle: Tanner’s Howard Among Metro’s ‘Most Admired’ CEOs

Tanner Health System President and CEO Loy Howard has been named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s list of the metro area’s “Most Admired CEOs.

Howard was among 39 Atlanta-area leaders named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle list, and one of two recognized from the healthcare industry. Other CEOs were recognized for education, financial services, technology, transportation, utilities and energy, commercial real estate and more.

Other “Most Admired CEOs” include Kim Greene, president and CEO of Southern Company; Chris Womack, president and CEO of Georgia Power; Rich McKay, president and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons; and Derek Schiller, president and CEO of the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta icon Ted Turner was recognized for lifetime achievement.Tanner President and CEO Loy Howard

Honorees will be celebrated at a dinner reception Aug. 18.

In his almost 30 years of leadership, Howard has turned Tanner into one of the Southeast’s last true nonprofit, community-led healthcare organizations. Navigating the ever-changing healthcare landscape, he’s kept Tanner growing with new services, facilities and technologies that rival the health system’s larger regional competitors.

When Howard came to Tanner as CEO in 1994, the health system consisted of two hospitals — Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton and Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica, which at the time was still working from the former Villa Rica City Hospital that opened in the 1950s.

Over time, Howard negotiated the addition of Bremen’s Higgins General Hospital to the Tanner family, spearheading a multi-million-dollar investment that expanded and modernized the facility. He built Tanner Medical Group into one of metro Atlanta’s largest multi-specialty physician groups; built the first new inpatient behavioral health facility in Georgia in at least two decades, Willowbrooke at Tanner; saved Randolph County, Alabama’s last remaining hospital, Wedowee Hospital, with the construction of the new Tanner Medical Center/East Alabama; and helped make health care a hub of the Villa Rica economy with the construction and subsequent expansion at Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica.

“Working in this community has been an honor,” said Howard. “We’ve been blessed to have local leaders who understand and value the importance of health care. Our flexibility in being able to make decisions locally, among leaders who best understand our community’s needs, has proven an advantage. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved — and I’m excited for what’s to come.”

One significant expansion coming to Tanner at the beginning of 2023 is the launch of Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton’s open-heart surgery program — long a goal for the tenured CEO.

“Heart disease kills more people in our community than anything else,” Howard said. “We’ve built a wide-ranging cardiac program that begins with prevention, provides access to cardiology specialists in four local cities in a clinic setting and provides two regional accredited chest pain centers and interventional cardiology programs. That’s significant for a rural region like ours. Open-heart surgery will be another significant step in saving lives.”