New doctor calls Monticello home
Monticello is now home to its first cardiologist.
Dr. Trace Garner has joined the CHI St. Vincent team and opened his cardiac practice at 366 South Main. He began seeing patients Monday.
“I am so excited to be able to serve the people of Monticello,” Garner said. “When I was first introduced to Monticello about 11 years ago, I knew this was the type of place I wanted to live and work. I was recruited here and it all fell in to place; St. Vincent was a huge supporter of opening a cardiac clinic in Southeast Arkansas.”
Garner did not start out his career in medicine. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy from Hendrix College in Conway.
“After college, I moved to Illinois, right outside of Chicago, and worked in a bank for two years,” Garner said. “I moved back to Arkansas and began studying at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I had a lot of friends who were in medical school at the time.
“I ended up getting my pre-med requirements from UALR and began studying cardiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences where I graduated with my doctoral degree in 2010.”
Garner says it is because of his upbringing and family that once he decided to pursue the medical field—and he knew right away that cardiology was the right field for him.
“My family was in Yell County, a very rural part of the state,” Garner noted. “I saw, even as a young person, that quality healthcare was hard to come by in those types of areas. I knew that I wanted to live in a small town and help provide good healthcare to people in these rural communities that haven’t previously had access.
“My grandmother passed away from heart failure and my dad has cardiovascular problems. I personally understand the struggles that people go through. Having to fight for quality medical care should not be something a person has to deal with when they are sick.”
Upon graduation from UAMS, Garner spent three years as a resident and stayed a year longer as a chief resident. After leaving Little Rock, Garner and his wife Erin, moved to Jackson, Miss. where he completed a three-year fellowship with cardiovascular disease at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
“Monticello is my first official clinic and I am so thankful for this opportunity,” Garner added. “With the help of St. Vincent, we are here in this office temporarily until we can move in to our permanent office in the old Mainline building. But, because of this office, I can see patients now. (In) this office (I) can perform exams, check-ups and with the help of Drew Memorial Health System, I will be able to perform minor procedures.
“Our goal at this office will be to help people stay closer to home. We realize that sometimes it is just out of the question to travel to Little Rock for a doctor’s appointment. With the creation of this clinic, we hope to treat people right here in their hometown.”
CHI St. Vincent is a regional health network serving Arkansas and is part of the Catholic Health Initiatives. They have served Arkansas since 1888 and have a history of many firsts.
Headquartered in Little Rock, their networks include primary care, specialty clinics, urgent care, hospitals, home health, rehabilitation and surgery centers.