Chairman John H. Eaves has issued the following statement, “On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, we are heartbroken by the loss of our colleague and friend, Vice Chair Joan P. Garner, who passed away this morning after a lengthy fight with triple-negative breast cancer. We will miss her thoughtful service, her passion for equity, and, especially, her smile and her warmth. Our thoughts and prayers are with her spouse and our friend, Judge Jane Morrison, as well as the rest of her family.
Commissioner Garner joined the Board of Commissioner in 2011, representing a dynamic and vibrant district in Atlanta. She put her heart and soul into her service to citizens, with a particular focus on health. She worked tirelessly to fight against health disparities and became our Executive Sponsor of the “All People Are Healthy” priority area. She also joined me in co-founding the Fulton County Task Force on HIV/AIDS and championed numerous other health initiatives. She also sponsored numerous programs for young people. Even in within the last month she greeted students at the annual “Don’t Touch The Fire” conference for at-risk youth.
Commissioner Garner was also committed to service on a statewide and national scale. She was currently serving as Third Vice President of ACCG – Georgia’s County Association. She was also very actively engaged with the National Association of Counties, serving as past Chair of the National Association of Counties’ Healthy Counties Initiative Advisory Board, Chair of NACo’s Medicaid and Indigent Care Subcommittee, and as Chair of the Health Policy Committee.
In the midst of our sorrow, I am so glad we took the opportunity to honor Joan and her work on behalf of citizens of Fulton County at our meeting last week. As a group, we were able to let her know how much we cared for her as an individual, and how much we admired her exemplary service to citizens. Her courage and unwavering commitment to service during her long health battle has been an example to all of us.”