Mary Garner started in the GIA business office working in the insurance department in 1991. Today, she works full time as a certified medical coder, and at age 80 is considering her retirement – perhaps this July on her 30th anniversary. “I’m thinking about getting a dog when I retire,” she shares. “My sister has a dog that I’m in love with.”
Her thoughts about GIA immediately turn to the physicians: “They’re the best doctors in the world! After working with them for 30 years, I get to see another side of them – their personal side. I see how they interact with our patients and make everyone feel confident that they know exactly what they’re doing.”
She advocates for the importance of gastrointestinal health and urges everyone: “Get screened! Get your colonoscopy. It could save your life.”
When Mary is not at work, she spends weekends with her two sisters in Newport. She loves collecting dishes, and her favorites are from Blue Ridge pottery – especially the poinsettia pattern – and The Hall China Company’s jewel tea pattern.
She finds pieces at garage sales and displays them in her home, although “I’m running out of space.” Blue Ridge is special because it originated as a Tennessee company, and she enjoys going to Blue Ridge Pottery Club’s annual show in Erwin, Tennessee, held in early fall. “Their colors and teapots are my favorites.”
Mary is always on the lookout to help people in need, saying “I want to do things to make people’s day a little better.” And, when asked to share her secret talent, she quickly and kindly noted, “I’m not about to tell it.”