The view from his office window of the hospital construction site serves as a daily reminder of the work that lies ahead. For Mario Garner, a Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine alumnus and the new CEO of New Orleans East Hospital, the work ahead includes building a reputation for quality healthcare for the city’s residents.
Since 2005, those living in Eastern New Orleans have been without a full-service hospital. Now, residents can see light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a $130 million renovation set for completion in spring 2014.
“I have a unique opportunity to reestablish a hospital that was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina,” says Garner, who earned his master’s degree in healthcare administration from the school and a doctorate in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. “I’m committed to assuring a top-performing community hospital that provides quality healthcare to anyone who needs it.”
Upon the announcement of Garner’s hiring, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, another SPHTM alumna who was the New Orleans health commissioner at the time, said that Garner is a strong executive, which is critical to a successful hospital.
“The board had its pick among several excellent choices, and we’re thrilled that Mario has joined our team,” said DeSalvo. “We look forward to working together to restore critical health services that the New Orleans East community needs and deserves.”
Garner, a native of Lake Charles, La., says he is thrilled to be back in Louisiana. Past positions he has held include the role of chief operating officer at Fairview Park Hospital in Dublin, Ga., COO at the Regional Medical Center of Acadiana in Lafayette, La., associate administrator of West Houston Medical Center in Houston, and administrative resident at Tulane University Hospital.
– Alicia Duplessis Jasmin