Dr. Alexander Garza
Chief community health officer, SSM Health
Garza works on the front lines of improving health equity at SSM, which encompasses 23 hospitals, more than 290 physician offices and 12 post-acute facilities, along with offering home care, hospice, outpatient and virtual care services. According to Garza, the key to addressing uneven outcomes is to home in on the “social and economic disparities that produce the health disparities.” Garza’s passion for social justice has shaped his 32-year healthcare career, beginning with his early jobs as a paramedic and flight medic and extending to his work in underserved communities in the U.S. and as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. Before helping to create his current role in 2020, he oversaw quality, patient safety and clinical analytics as the system’s chief medical officer.