GARDNER--Harold Hepworth, M.D. 1938-2020 Dr. Harold "Hank" Gardner, Physician-entrepre- neur, professor, author and philanthropist, died peacefully at his winter home in Los Angeles. He was 82 years old. Born February 9, 1938 in Grover, Wyoming to educator parents, Lorean and Delos Gardner, he was the fifth of eight children. He attended Star Valley High School where he was an award winning thespian and an all-state football and basketball player. In 1956, he was admitted to the University of Wyoming on both academic and athletic scholarships. He played point guard on the Wyoming Cowboys' 1957-58 team, which advanced to the NCAA tournament. At the end of his time at the university, where he was pre-med, he was faced with the decision of following a path in theater, sports or medicine. He often told his friends that, "doctors seemed like the smartest people around. I want to be one of those guys." He was admitted to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry where he graduated with honors and a degree in medicine in 1965. In 1967, he was drafted by the United States Army and spent a year in Vietnam serving as a medical officer where he was awarded the bronze star. Upon returning home from the army, Dr. Gardner began what would be a long and illustrious career in both medicine and business. His time in Vietnam and Australia, as a Mormon missionary, were both instrumental in helping him formulate his individuated thinking and skills as a leader who was unafraid to question and make changes to a broad range of social and economic issues. Shaped by his experiences, he believed strongly that "It was more important to understand the person with the illness than the illness the person has." Following his post-doctoral work in gastroenterology and internal medicine in 1971, he was a pioneer in the managed care and HMO movement, starting and running the nation's first HMO hospitals in New York and then Detroit, Michigan. He held academic appointments at the University of Rochester, Wayne State University and Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and in his later years, he was an adjunct professor in the University of Wyoming School of Business and Health. As an innovator in the field of medicine and business, Dr. Gardner found a way to merge data science and behavioral economics with health-care advocacy for individuals. As a physician-businessman he started and ran several companies including Primary Prevention, Inc., Options & Choices, Inc., and HCMS Group LLC that helped some of the nation's largest corporations manage health care costs while investing in their employees' improved health. A strong advocate of the individual's role and choice in health care decisions, he was on the forefront of looking at health and health care as an essential element of human capital. Through his career, he was dedicated to bringing affordable solutions to the health and health benefits marketplace. He ran his last company, HCMS Group, until he was almost 80. Even as his health failed in the past few years, there wasn't a day that went by where he wasn't working on a solution to the fragmented and dysfunctional health-care system. He was a generous supporter of his alma maters, University of Wyoming and the University of Rochester and he always rooted for and supported his Cowboys' basketball team. Hank was an avid outdoorsman and loved to camp out at Greys River, ski, golf and fly fish. He loved travel and bringing his family together. At one of his final gatherings, he told his six grandchildren, "I have had one hell of an engaging and productive life." Hank is survived by his two daughters and their spouses, Deirdra and Jason DiNapoli, Kimberly and Michael Mulcahy, whom he shared with his former spouse, Mary Gardner; six grandchildren, Olivia DiNapoli, Claire Mulcahy, Henry DiNapoli, Ella Mulcahy, Grace DiNapoli, Camille Mulcahy; his former spouse, Marilyn Fiske, six brothers and sisters, Delworth Gardner, Vivian Jones, Laniel Reasch, Marjorie Bradshaw, Julia Sarvey, Joel Gardner and their spouses, children and great-grandchildren.
Published in New York Times on Mar. 22, 2020.