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School of Medicine Alum Leads COVID-19 Task Force

Dr. Alexander Garza (MD '96), Chief Medical Officer for SSM Health, has been named Incident Commander of the newly created St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, created to combat COVID-19.

The task force will be working to coordinate supplies, hospital beds and other critical assets across the St. Louis area's major healthcare systems, as well as holding daily briefings to update the region. The first of these addresses was held on April 4 alongside Mayor Lyda Krewson and other St. Louis city officials.

Dr. Garza previously served as Chief Medical Officer to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, an appointment he received from President Barack Obama. In that role, Dr. Garza led the U.S response to the H1N1 pandemic of 2009.

“With his unique background, we are very fortunate to have Dr. Garza to help lead the system’s coordinated response,” said Laura Kaiser, President and CEO of SSM Health.


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