Veteran cardiovascular healthcare executive Jon Gardner became director of Loma Linda University International Heart Institute in June, bringing to the job more than 30 years of leadership experience in growing cardiovascular programs to greater prominence and excellence.

Gardner previously served as vice president for heart and vascular at Centura Health in Denver, where he managed cardiovascular services for 17 nonprofit and 12 affiliate hospitals across Colorado and Kansas.

During Gardner’s four-year term at Centura, the heart and vascular program became Colorado’s No. 1 adult cardiovascular surgery and adult arrhythmia program, and the health system became Colorado’s largest and fastest growing for cardiovascular care.

He has led cardiovascular programs at Duke University Health System, Geisinger/Penn State University Health System and Texas Health Resources Health System, taking each one to regional prominence. 

"We are fortunate to have been able to recruit Jon to join the Loma Linda University Health team, not only because of his significant experience and achievements in leading large cardiovascular services operations, but also because of his commitment and dedication to our mission and whole person approach to patient care,” said Trevor Wright, MHA, chief operating officer for hospitals at Loma Linda University Health.

Gardner said he sees the opportunity at LLU International Heart Institute to do what he relished at each of his previous jobs: raising a top cardiovascular program to the prominence it deserves. At Loma Linda University Health, this includes his plan to bolster the institute’s international outreach.

Gardner said, “The team at LLU International Heart Institute provides the best, most comprehensive cardiovascular care to our community while incorporating the faith component of continuing the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ,” he said.

Gardner said numerous factors convinced him to join Loma Linda University Health, including the caliber of physicians, a strong executive leadership team, quality of staff and the academics and research across campus. He also said he appreciates the organization’s Seventh-day Adventist Christian faith and values, as well as the healthy lifestyle that is modeled and promoted.

Gardner's background

Gardner began his career as a practitioner, working in a heart catheter lab as a registered cardiovascular invasive specialist. He holds a bachelor of science degree in health service management from ­La Salle University and has completed leadership training at Duke University Hospital and Cornell University. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in global community health from Liverpool University. 

Gardner and his wife, Sue, have five adult children. He enjoys mission trips, outdoor activities and entrepreneurial ventures.

About LLU International Heart Institute

To contact LLU International Heart Institute, call 909-558-4200 for adult services and 909-558-4207 for pediatric services.

For more than 50 years, the institute has served as a trusted leader and provider of cardiovascular services in the Inland Empire, offering a wide variety of heart care services.

These services include adult and pediatric cardiology care, interventional cardiology, adult congenital heart disease treatment, cardiothoracic surgery, heart transplantation, vascular surgery, cardiac imaging, pacemaker clinic, cardiac and pulmonary rehab, cardiac diagnostics and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).