Gary Wiltz – Board Secretary
Dr. Gary M. Wiltz currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Teche Action Clinic (TAC); a network of thirteen Federally Qualified Community Health Centers located in seven parishes in southwest Louisiana, with the main site in Franklin, Louisiana. A graduate of Tulane Medical School and Board Certified Internist, he began his medical career at TAC in 1982 as the Medical Director. Dr. Wiltz initially intended to fulfill his 3-year obligation to the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) in Franklin and return to his hometown of New Orleans to take a fellowship in the subspecialty of Nephrology at Tulane Medical School. However, he soon realized that this clinic and this work of serving the underserved was his divine calling. With this affirmation, he fully committed himself to TAC and over the course of the next 34 years has helped to build what has been acknowledged as one of the nation’s premiere FQHC’s.
Dr. Wiltz was appointed to serve as CEO in 2003, and since this time TAC has continued to grow. TAC was originally founded in 1974 to care for seasonal migrant sugar cane workers. In 1982, the clinic had been without a doctor for 6 months, had a staff of only 8, an operating budget of $100,000 and was in serious risk of being defunded and closed. Without TAC, its patients would have been forced to seek care through the Charity Hospital system some 50 and 100 miles away. TAC now serves over 25,000 patients at 13 sites and its mobile unit, has approximately 200 employees and an operating budget of $20 million. While the growth and success of TAC is often attributed to Dr. Wiltz, he often reminds the community that TAC’s growth and success is attributed to the Board and TAC employees’ support for the mission and vision of TAC, its patient centered approach to care, and community engagement.
In addition to serving as an assistant Clinical Professor in Internal Medicine at Tulane and Louisiana State University Schools of Medicine, Dr. Wiltz has held many positions of leadership at the local, state and national level, including immediate past Chair of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), Chairman of the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) of Louisiana; President of the Southwest AHEC; Chairman of the Louisiana Primary Care Association (LPCA); and Board Member and Chairman of the National Advisory Council for the NHSC. He also served on many local, state, and national healthcare committees, including two Governor’s Health Care Transition Teams and Healthcare Reform projects, as LPCA’s Clinical Director, Secretary, Treasurer and more recently as co-chair of Governor John Bel Edwards’ Health Care Transition Team.
Among his many honors, Dr. Wiltz was named Medical Director of the Year 1994-95 by LPCA, selected as a national recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s prestigious Community Health Leadership Award, and was featured on the Discovery Health Channel’s program, “Bayou Medicine.” He is actively involved in policy development and policy discussion, including serving as guest speaker and panelist on Louisiana Public Square, C-SPAN, USA TODAY and NPR, He also served as panelist on a Health Care Summit held at the White House, discussing health care reform and the Affordable Health Care Act.
In his spare time, Dr. Wiltz and Diane, his wife of 43 years, enjoy the theatre, the Saints, travelling and spending time with their two children, Jonas Wiltz, M.D., and Suzanne Wiltz and three grandchildren.