SWU helped Healthcare System CPO strengthen his leadership
Arkansas Children’s recently selected Jimmy Duncan, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, as a new senior vice president and chief people officer.
Having been in the human resources field for more than 30 years, Duncan feels blessed to be part of an organization dedicated to making a positive impact on those it serves. He says that human resources provides a strategic advantage for most organizations and is executed by having the right structure, talent and processes that positively impact performance.
”When I look at our mission of championing children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow, that is such a powerful goal to get excited about,” Duncan said. “Also, when I look at our values of always wanting to deliver safe care, work collaboratively as a team, demonstrate compassion and achieve results at an excellent level – they align well with who I aspire to be as a leader.”
As Duncan brings his leadership skills into his new role at Arkansas Children’s, he is grateful for the lasting impact of his professors at Southern Wesleyan as he studied organizational management through the university’s LEAP (Now SWU Online) program, commenting “there were some very experienced, compassionate and supportive professors who were invested in helping the students.”
“It was the academic rigor coupled with the robust dialogue that really helped expand our understanding in the classroom. We had a number of people from my organization at the time that utilized the education from Southern Wesleyan to augment their career growth. The LEAP program was a well administered operating model that has made a tremendous impact in the lives of many professionals like me who needed this non-traditional accelerated education option,” said Duncan.
Duncan graduated from Southern Wesleyan in 1993 and then spent 14 years serving the university as an affiliate faculty member in Columbia, teaching classes in leadership, management and marketing while holding the role as an HR executive for SCANA Corporation.
In addition to the energy industry, Duncan also worked in broadcasting, manufacturing, retail management, mining and healthcare – learning along the way how crucial the balance of people, operations, customer service and finance are to any organization.
His advice to anyone interested in a career in human resources is to take into account that the profession is not just about being a “people person” but also developing strong business acumen and the ability to think strategically.
“This role has a pipeline to the CEO’s ear and acts as the voice of our people across the organization. Therefore, it is important to have a relationship with stakeholders at all levels internally and externally,” Duncan said. “Arkansas Children’s is a great pediatric healthcare system and I am blessed to be a part of it. My main focus is to help us continue to achieve the highest levels of recognition and was the top reason I wanted to join the team. I do not believe it would have been possible to achieve this role without the training and support received from the Southern Wesleyan experience.”
Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. For details about degree programs, go online to swu.edu.