Darryl Duncan was the first in his family to go to college.  His decision to go into engineering was greatly influenced by a high school physics teacher and a visit from a WVU Engineering professor to his high school.  He started in Mechanical Engineering, but quickly switched to Industrial Engineering because he liked more of the people focus of IE.

Fate influenced Darryl’s career path.  He did an internship at Fairmont General Hospital (FGH) based upon the recommendation of one of our alumni.  Darryl took immediately to the health care environment and was mentored by the President of FGH.  In fact FGH paid for him to get his Masters in Industrial Engineering and also gave him a job while he was working on his Masters.

Darryl decided to continue his education by getting a Masters degree in Health Care Administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. Darryl graduated first in his class.  When Darryl reflects on his graduate work in health care administration, he comments that the courses were easier than what he had in engineering.

Darryl was accepted into a one-year hospital administration residency in North Carolina.  The hospital had only accepted Duke graduates in the past, but the CEO happened to be a Xavier graduate and the combination of the school connection and Darryl’s engineering background was enough to get selected for the residency.

After completing his residency, Darryl began his administrative career in hospitals across the country.  “I have never had a title less than Chief Operating Officer,” Darryl recalls proudly.  “We moved six times over the course of a 27 year career in order to advance in the field to larger and more complex organizations. Hospitals are essentially a cottage industry, so in order to develop your career a move is often the only avenue available”.

Darryl believes that the future for IEs in health care is very strong.  “We are really a logistics organization,” he says.  “We use lean principles, quality metrics, continuous improvement principles, and other IE tools every day.” He is most proud of the fact Mon Health has a statewide reputation for providing high quality care and a remarkable patient experience. “The challenge for hospitals today is to become more cost efficient while still providing the personal care that our patients deserve,” Darryl says. “That’s something that IE’s know how to do.”

Darryl advises students who want to work in health care to get a Masters degree in health care administration. “It’s the only way you can move into senior level positions in healthcare.”  Since healthcare Masters programs have greatly increased their enrollments, today’s Master’s graduates shouldn’t expect the early high level responsibility that Darryl enjoyed, but the field is still wide open for the next generation.


DARRYL L. DUNCAN, 53, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Monongalia Health System, in Morgantown, WV.  Mr. Duncan has served in this capacity since January 2011. Mon Health System is the parent company of Mon General Hospital, Preston Memorial Hospital, Monongalia EMS, Mon HealthCare Equipment & Supplies and The Village at Heritage Point.  Before being named President and CEO, Mr. Duncan served as Chief Operating Officer of Mon General Hospital from 2006-2011.  Prior to joining Mon Health System, Mr. Duncan had been Chief Operating Officer of Provena Saint Joseph Hospital, a 251- bed hospital in Elgin, Illinois from 2004 to 2006.  Mr. Duncan has more than 27 years’ experience as either a Chief Operating Officer or a Chief Executive Officer in both for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals.  Mr. Duncan received his Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science degrees in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University and his Masters of Hospital and Health Administration degree from Xavier University, in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Mr. Duncan is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.  Mr. Duncan is actively involved in the Morgantown community and recently served as co-chair of the 2015 United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties Fundraising Campaign. He served on the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for six years, including one year (2008-2009) as Board Chairman. He is currently on the Boards of the Morgantown Area Economic Partnership, the CHART Risk Retention Group, the Partnership for Excellence (Baldrige Based initiative serving Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia) and the West Virginia Hospital Association (Chairman).

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