BioPat Gardner was first elected to the House in a 2001 special election. Representative Gardner is
currently serving on the Appropriations Committee, Health Subcommittee of Appropriations,
Higher Education, Natural Resources and Transportation Committees. She serves as Co Chair of
the Women’s Legislative Caucus and the Vice Chair of the Fulton Delegation of the Georgia
Pat has lived in Morningside for the past 37 years with her husband, Jerry Gardner, and they
have two children, Anita and Bradley. Prior to moving to Atlanta Pat taught high school Spanish
for eight years in California, Michigan and Virginia. A graduate of the University of Michigan,
Pat studied in Spain for a year and lived in India for another year.
Gardner became the Executive Director of the Georgia Psychological Association in 1977 until
her recent retirement and has been a tireless advocate for mental health services. As a Certified
Association Executive (CAE), she has worked in leadership positions with the Georgia
Association of Association Executives and as President of the American Psychological
Association’s Council of State Executives.
An advocate for universal access to health care initially for children, Pat has initiated efforts to
expand the current PeachCare system to make it available to every Georgia family based on their
ability to pay and more recently chaired a work group to investigate duplication in the eligibility
systems of Medicaid and PeachCare. She chaired a study committee to evaluate how to reinstate
the COLA for state retirees and another one to look at how to provide health insurance benefits
for small employers. She passed a bill requiring more recycling on Capitol Hill and sponsored
Sustainable Businesses Day at the Capitol for the 6th year in a row.
She has received commendations from the Georgia Conservation Voters , the Georgia Network
of Mental Health Consumers, the National Mental Health Association of Georgia, the
Association on Developmental Disabilities, and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. The
Women’s Policy Group awarded Pat their legislative award in 2004.