The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

August 25, 2011

Gary Duncan, CEO of Freeman Health System, to retire

JOPLIN, Mo. — Gary Duncan, chief executive officer of Freeman Health System for the past 15 years, is retiring, but will continue to serve until a successor has been named.

Duncan, 66, in an interview Thursday morning, said he advised Freeman’s Board of Directors in October 2010 of his plans to retire in two years.

The search for a new chief executive officer will involve a look inside the organization for prospective candidates. If an internal candidate is identified, Duncan would continue to serve as CEO until January. He would have emeritus status through October 2012, when he would officially retire.

If an internal candidate is not found and an external search is launched, Duncan would continue to serve as CEO through October 2012.

Duncan said it is important for the hospital system to have a seamless transition as the federal Affordable Care Act is implemented over the next several years and as the local market changes in the aftermath of the May 22 tornado.

Duncan said the hospital system grew significantly during his tenure, citing the growth of the Freeman Heart Institute and Freeman Cancer Institute. But, he said, “I am most proud of the staff we have built. For a system of our size, we have an excellent staff. We have created an environment where people succeed.’’

He said his work was facilitated by a board that was both “decisive and visionary when it came to doing what was good the community.’’

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