(Sarasota, FL) — Tanner Health System and its president and CEO, Loy Howard, have received two top honors from the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA).
Howard, who will be marking 20 years as the health system’s chief executive later this year, earned GHA’s prestigious Chairman’s Award. To earn the Chairman’s Award, nominees had to have a history of demonstrating leadership not just in the hospital, but in the community at large. Nominees also had to demonstrate innovation and meritorious service on behalf of the state’s medical community.
GHA has presented the Chairman’s Award to one worthy individual each year since 1997.
During his tenure, Howard has overseen Tanner’s growth from a small two-hospital organization to a major regional healthcare provider, with four hospitals and almost 30 medical practice locations throughout west Georgia and east Alabama.
“Thanks to Loy Howard’s superb leadership, Tanner Health System has provided high-quality care for many years,” said GHA President Earl V. Rogers. “Additionally, thanks to his innovation, the health system has expanded to areas that were previously lacking healthcare resources. He is a most-deserving recipient of this award.”
Howard is chairman and co-founder of the economic development organization Carroll Tomorrow, treasurer of the HealthWest Physicians Hospital Organization, and serves on the boards for the Heard County Water Authority, Carroll County Health Department, Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum and the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, as well as the boards of Tanner Medical Center, Inc. and Tanner Medical Foundation, Inc.
One of Howard’s latest accomplishments as Tanner’s chief executive is the partnership the health system has built with the University of West Georgia. With Tanner’s support, the university’s nursing program will increase enrollment and enhance its facilities while offering scholarships and educational opportunities for local residents interested in a nursing career. As part of the partnership, current Tanner nurses on staff have access to the university’s state-of-the-art training labs to develop new skills to stay up-to-date with advancements in patient care.
“This is such a huge honor for me,” said Howard. “I’ve been fortunate to enjoy the support of a visionary board of directors, an extremely capable senior leadership team, my loving family and a team of employees who are dedicated to advancing health in the communities we serve. I thank GHA for this recognition, and I look forward to continuing to ensure that the people we serve have access to a locally operated, high-quality health system in west Georgia and east Alabama.”
Howard was previously named the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2008, earned the chamber’s Horizon Award in 2002 and has been featured on the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s list of “Who’s Who in Health Care” for several years.
Tanner Health System also earned GHA’s Community Leadership Award for its Get Healthy, Live Well initiative. The award recognizes a GHA-member hospital that has made exemplary contributions to the health and well-being of the people of Georgia through leadership in the area of community health improvement.
“The Get Healthy, Live Well program has made Tanner Health System an integral part of the health of its community,” said Rogers. “We are pleased to honor the health system and its staff with this award and applaud their dedication to improving the well-being of the citizens of their community.”
The Get Healthy, Live Well initiative is working to promote a healthy lifestyle and prevent chronic disease for residents of Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties. After receiving initial funding from the Community Foundation of West Georgia, Tanner was awarded a $1.2 million Community Transformation Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address the critical health issues in west Georgia.
In the last 18 months, Get Healthy, Live Well has grown to include 21 initiatives involving more than 500 volunteers and dozens of community partners in a variety of projects from diabetes prevention, weight loss and tobacco prevention to youth wellness and community gardens.
“We are so proud of everything that Get Healthy, Live Well and our partners have accomplished to improve the health of our community,” said Denise Taylor, senior vice president and chief community health, strategy and brand officer for Tanner. “These programs are changing people’s lives. Many dedicated volunteers across west Georgia have made this work successful, and we’re honored that our combined efforts are being recognized at a statewide level.”
Tanner previously earned the Community Leadership Award in 2010 for establishing Willowbrooke at Tanner and its extensive inpatient and outpatient behavioral health program.
GHA presented the awards during its annual meeting in Sarasota, Fla. Established in 1929, GHA is the state’s largest trade organization of hospitals and health systems, providing education, research and risk management services to its more than 170 hospital and health system members. Additionally, it represents and advocates health policy issues benefiting Georgia’s citizens before the state legislature and U.S. Congress as well as before regulatory bodies.