Fulton County Commission Vice Chair Joan Garner died today, April 18, after a battle with cancer.

Fulton County Vice Chair Joan Garner.

Garner had represented the commission’s Atlanta-area District 4 since 2011. She was known for work on healthcare issues, and she was the commission’s first openly gay member.

In a written statement, Fulton Chairman John Eaves expressed sorrow and praised Garner’s work on such issues as HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

“She put her heart and soul into her service to citizens, with a particular focus on health,” said Eaves.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed expressed condolences in a Twitter comment. “This is a terrible loss,” he wrote. “We will miss her.”

In a social media post, the city of Sandy Springs offered “thoughts and prayers” to Garner’s family.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.