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New Bozeman Deaconess Health Group VP
915 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
January 8, 2014
Chris Darnell left sunny South Carolina to become the new Bozeman Deaconess Health Group vice president during the coldest week yet of winter, but the weather hasn’t chilled his enthusiasm for the new job.
“Everyone has been so warm in welcoming me,” Darnell said. “I am impressed with the talent, teamwork and commitment of the staff and pro-
viders, and by the mission-oriented, community-based focus of the
A native of Virginia, Darnell spent the past 15 years in Charleston, SC, primarily at the Medical University of South Carolina. His roles ranged from coordinator to director to administrator, and most of his experience involved working with physicians and managing practices. He also held an administrative fellowship and earned his master’s and doctorate in health administration.
He then moved to East Cooper Medical Center also in the Charleston area, where he served as vice president for strategy and development, leading strategic planning and developing the physician network among other endeavors.
“I like the focus here of taking care of the community and improving health,” Darnell said. “My wife and I were looking for the right career opportunity, a smaller community with cultural offerings, and a better work/life balance, since we have two young
children. And I love the outdoors and skiing.”
At BDHG, Darnell will focus on integration and leading the Health Group to become a stronger, more unified group practice, rather than multiple independent clinics under one umbrella, while meeting the needs of the community in terms of access and availability to quality care. “This is an opportunity for me to work with others to impact change and make a difference,” he said.
Darnell studied economics as an undergraduate where upon graduating he saw two options for work: health care or “making a lot of money. I started as a stockbroker, but wasn’t a good salesman,” Darnell laughed. “I realized, at the end of the day, there isn’t a more important service than healthcare. If you don’t have your health, you have nothing.”