Public service, community involvement and an appreciation for the art of the compromise are key to moving public policy along in the community's best interest. That's what Mark Duncan has believed throughout his nearly two-decade career and the philosophy he brings to Riverside.

Riverside Health System is pleased to announce it has named Duncan the Director of Government Relations, a new position that allows Duncan to act as a liaison between the health system, elected officials, business organizations and the community.

"I'm delighted to be at Riverside," Duncan said. "I don't just have a deep connection to Riverside having been born and raised here, but I also have an appreciation for Riverside's institutional values –quality care, teamwork and deep community involvement."

Born at what is now Riverside Regional Medical Center, Duncan was raised in Newport News and attended Ferguson High School, where he got his first taste of politics working for then Congressman Herb Bateman.  Duncan went on to earn his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University where he studied history and political science, all while continuing to work part-time for Congressman Bateman,  in Yorktown and Washington, D.C.  After college, Duncan served as chief-of staff to Virginia State Senator Tommy Norment before joining the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation where he handled the community and government relations function for the foundation for the last 17 years.

In his first 100 days at Riverside, Duncan is working to visit all of the health system's facilities from the Virginia Eastern Shore to the Peninsula, up through Williamsburg and the Middle Peninsula, and across to the Northern Neck and Tappahannock. In the coming months, as the Virginia General Assembly prepares for its 2017 session, Duncan said he will also be closely monitoring the Certificate of Public Need regulation discussions and other issues that could potentially impact the health system.

Ultimately, over the coming years, Duncan hopes to further showcase not just the health impact Riverside brings to its patients, but also the economic impact Riverside has on the communities it serves. Riverside, a not for profit health system,  employs about 10,000 team members, purchases goods and services as part of regular operating expenses, pays utilities, constructs new facilities, is responsible for taxes, donates charity care and more. The health system as a whole is the third largest in the state  and in many of the localities where its hospitals are located is the largest employer of the region.

Added up, it equals nearly $1 billion in direct impact to the economy.

"That is the story we need to be telling," Duncan said. "Not just to the policy makers affecting health care, but also to our community and our internal Riverside team. Riverside makes a difference and that's a great story to tell."

 

Published: December 14, 2016