Updated August 16, 2018
Originally interviewed August 4, 2017
Montez Carter, UM School of Pharmacy Pharm.D. class of 1998, is the president and CEO of St. Mary’s Health Care System in Athens, Ga., and chair of the Georgia Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees for the 2017-2018 term. The School of Pharmacy spoke with him about pharmacy’s role in his evolving career.
School of Pharmacy: Can you give an overview of your career?
Montez Carter: I began my career at Greenwood Leflore Hospital where I worked in various roles including Clinical Pharmacist, Director of Pharmacy Services and Associate Director of Performance Improvement and Support Services. Since joining St. Mary’s Health Care System, I have served in the roles of Vice President of Operations, President of Good Samaritan Hospital and currently, President of St. Mary’s Hospital. I also currently serve on the American Hospital Association’s Region 4 Policy Advisory Board and the Georgia Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees.
SOP: What do you hope to accomplish or facilitate as chair of GHA?
MC: I hope to work alongside our talented health system and GHA leadership to ensure we continue to live out our missions in the communities we serve. This is a vital time for our association to be an integral part of health policy discussions on both the federal and state levels to advocate for the patients we care for, the colleagues we work with and the communities we partner with to meet local needs.
SOP: What are some of the biggest issues the GHA currently faces?
MC: On the state level, the disparity of care between rural Georgia and urban Georgia continues to be a significant and growing challenge. Another significant issue is the government payment programs of Medicare and Medicaid that pay less than actual costs to deliver services to patients.
On the federal level, issues include access to care for the uninsured, stabilization of insurance markets and the need to improve certain elements of the Affordable Care Act.
SOP: What has been your focus or specialty throughout your career?
MC: Pharmacy is a great profession and has enabled me to interact with virtually all components of the healthcare system since I began my career as a clinical pharmacist. Although I started as a clinical member of the team, my role has shifted to administratively supporting those who deliver care at the bedside. My purpose has always been centered around how I could use my expertise to add value to patient care, and that continues to be my ultimate focus today.