For the second consecutive year, Tanner Health System’s president and CEO, Loy Howard, has been named among Georgia Trend’s “100 Most Influential Georgians.”
The feature — published in each January edition of the statewide business, industry and economic development magazine — cites Howard’s nearly 30-year tenure leading Tanner from a two-hospital system to a regional destination for care.
When Howard came to Tanner in 1994, the system had two hospitals — Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton and Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica, which was still operating from the wood-frame former Villa Rica City Hospital built in the 1950s.
Since, Howard has led the system through the construction of the new Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica hospital that opened in 2003, as well as the addition of Higgins General Hospital in Bremen to the Tanner system. The health system has also built Willowbrooke at Tanner and Tanner Medical Center/East Alabama under Howard’s watch, along with many expansions in beds, surgical capacity and emergency care.
The system also grew with Tanner Medical Group, which is now one of the largest multi-specialty medical groups in metro Atlanta.
The health system has thrived from a clinical services perspective as well. With two locations for interventional cardiology, two accredited chest pain centers and, most recently, the arrival of open-heart surgery, Tanner has taken a stand against heart disease, long the region’s leading cause of death. Cancer care has also thrived through Howard’s tenure, with the latest enhancement being the major expansion and renovation of the Roy Richards, Sr. Cancer Center in Carrollton. Along with additional clinical space, the cancer center project will also include the installation of a new Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator — the most accurate, sophisticated radiation delivery system available.
“Growing health care at home is how we ensure our neighbors and loved ones have access to the care they need,” said Howard. “It’s making sure you have fast access to the right care when you’re having a heart attack or stroke. It’s making sure you don’t have to spend hours driving for daily radiation treatments for cancer.
“Tanner’s successful as an organization because it serves a community that believes in the value of health care, and because we’ve had a board of directors, a medical staff and a team of employees who embrace that mission.”
Along with the “100 Most Influential Georgians,” Howard has also twice been among Georgia Trend’s “Georgia 500.” He was also one of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Most Admired CEOs” in 2022, and was among 15 honorees in Georgia Trend’s “Legacy 35” in 2020. The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals named Howard “CEO of the Year” in 2018, and in 2016, he earned the “Chairman’s Award” from the Georgia Hospital Association.