Covenant CEO Remembers Dr. Sonnier

Richard Parks, Covenant Health CEO, shared his memories about Dr. Joseph Sonnier.  Parks attended Sonnier's funeral on Monday and was able to speak with Sonnier's family about the impact Sonnier had not only on the hospital, but the community as well.  "Well, he's been a leaver ever since I've been here," said Parks. "He had a personality that was very unpretentious and treated everybody the same and had varied interests, and could speak about any subject with quite a bit of expertise. He was an interesting guy," said Parks.

Parks explains that Sonnier was a variety man, listing ballroom dance, exercising, and wine as just three of Sonnier's interests outside of work.  "As much as being a physician and being knowledgeable, as all of our medical staff is, I would say that he just cared a lot for people on an individual basis," said Parks.  

Parks also said Sonnier had a special relationship with the Covenant shoe shiner.  "I was talking to our gentleman that does shoe shine work in our lobby, and he indicated that Joe was his best customer, and I think Joe would drop off shoes to him everyday whether they needed to be shined or not," said Parks. "That was his way of helping that gentleman and I think that speaks volumes of how Joe interacted with everybody, didn't matter what walk of life or title they had, Joe was just a regular guy."

The arrests of Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon and David Shepard bring peace to those who knew Sonnier.  "For me, it's better to have some closure to a situation like this than having open ended questions, so I think that's good," said Parks.  He also said that Sonnier's death leaves Covenant with a role to fill. "We are just going to miss someone like that who has been the fabric of the organization and has been one who helped us in different situations and issues," said Parks. "And he had a good head on his shoulders."

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