Visionary – Gary Honts

CEO and President, JFK Memorial Hospital

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Photo by Ethan Kaminsky


"My role as the president and CEO of JFK Memorial Hospital is not only the day-to-day oversight of the hospital but also to be a good partner in our community,” says Gary Honts. “When businesses look at Coachella Valley for redirection, growth, or relocation, they’re looking at what the valley has to offer. Our role is to make sure that the quality of care is there.”

JFK is a community hospital serving the East Valley and offering general surgery, orthopedics, and vascular and gastrointestinal services, among others, Honts says. The hospital also has a close relationship with Desert Regional Medical Center, allowing quick transfer for patients who need care from DRMC’s trauma center.

Honts says his vision is for “JFK Hospital is to be a top 100 hospital in the nation for community hospitals. Our management is passionate about providing that level of care. We have a cultural change underway at JFK, focused more on patient safety, service, and outcomes. It can be seen today in our emergency department — we’ve reduced our wait time significantly.”

Honts notes that the hospital is an economic driver to the community, recruiting new physicians, which leads to additional office staff jobs as well.

The hospital also works with the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership on local workforce development. “Once a year, we have a mock disaster that lets students see what it’s like to be a patient and go behind the scenes to see the career opportunities. It helps keep our talented children and skill sets in our own community,” he says.

Honts offers high praise for the Coachella Valley lifestyle, too. “If you want the metropolitan lifestyle and the beaches, that’s two hours away. Here, you can look up and see the stars, sit in a comfortable climate, have a glass of wine, and visit with your friends. You can go biking in the morning, golfing in the afternoon, and to a play in the evening. The friendliness can’t be matched.”

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