The neighborhood and state have lost a leading health care advocate, Mario Gutierrez, who was a unique and humorous friend to many.
Mario died Aug. 16 at age 68. He was eulogized a week later to an overflow crowd of friends and admirers at Sierra Health Foundation. Mario lived on Cutter Way with his wife, Dr. Debra Johnson, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is also survived by their two children, Gabi and Pablo.
Mario advocated to reduce health disparities for those denied equal access to health care, including migrant workers, rural residents and Native Americans. He was executive director of the California Center for Connected Health Policy, which he had built into a national policy center on telehealth. The primary goal of telehealth is to use telecommunications to bring health care to rural residents in a timely fashion.
Mario was more than a health policy guru, he brought people together to make needed changes and connections to improve health care delivery.
— Andrea Rosen, Viewpoint Staff