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From The Top: Matt Duncan and Kent Gray

Matt Duncan, 47, joined Impact Advisors in 2009 as its principal advisor and managed Impact’s executive relationships with many major health systems and provided advisory services around planning and installing vendor strategies. In his new role, Duncan will lead Impact’s IT Optimization and System Selection service offerings.  |  Submitted
Kent Gray, 45, joined Impact Advisors in 2011 as a principal adviser where he managed project portfolios and various IT services, including governance and live support modeling. In his new role, Gray will oversee development of the southeastern market as well as manage strategic client relationships. |  Submitted

Impact Advisors, a privately held health-care technology consulting firm based in Naperville, recently promoted two of its top guns to vice president: Matt Duncan and Kent Gray.

The pair plans to take the company to greater heights both in terms of informational technology services as well as broadening the company’s marketing efforts.

Duncan, 47, joined Impact Advisors in 2009 as its principal adviser. He managed Impact’s executive relationships with many major health systems and provided advisory services around planning and installing vendor strategies. In his new role, Duncan will lead Impact’s IT Optimization and System Selection service offerings.

A 1987 graduate of Georgia Tech with dual degrees in international finance and information technology, Duncan said he went to work for Arthur Andersen in Chicago shortly after college and discovered his professional passion.

“I was hired because of my international finance background, and it turned out the company needed help on this health-care project that I got assigned to and I fell in love with it,” Duncan recalled. “I quickly realized that the future of health care was something that was going to continue to grow, and the more you get involved in something, you tend to stay there. I began to build up a good reputation.”

Duncan said that a lot of his work today involves serving as a consultant and working with teams of folks from Impact Advisors who help advise hospital organizations about the myriad of products available that provide EMR or electronic medical services.

“The task is to help these companies pick the right products — and there are hundreds of vendors and products out there, as well as implement them,” Duncan said. “We work with a lot of large organizations, and there are probably only about 10 choices out there that provide viable solutions. We identify those and compare and contrast the costs. And our firm also focuses on implementing solutions.”

Gray, 45, joined Impact Advisors in 2011 as a principal adviser. He managed project portfolios and various IT services, including governance and live support modeling. In his new role, Gray will oversee development of the southeastern market as well as manage strategic client relationships.

Overall, Gray admits the pair’s jobs are fairly similar.

“Matt’s area deals a lot with implementation, but we basically are split up and handle different areas of the country,” Gray said. “I got into health care by working a part-time job at a local hospital in IT while earning my aerospace engineering degree at Georgia Tech. I got a lot of personal satisfaction from directly leveraging technology to improve care. Despite offers to work on key military programs after graduation, I decided to stay in health care, and went on and earned my MBA.”

Gray says he likes seeing the direct outcomes and benefits of his work, and said that he sees his job as one that focuses on standardizing technology and making it simpler for the patients and all the end users. He adds there are challenges ahead for both customers as well as his company.

“From the customer side, we know there are cost pressures, and hospitals are required to constantly do more with less,” he said. “We know they have to learn to do more with less, and our job is to help them prioritize where they are going to spend their money. For our company, we’re challenged to provide specific recommendations and be more efficient and more nimble.”

Both men say Naperville is a great place to have the company headquarters, given both its demographics and proximity to Chicago.

“We have about 80 percent of the health systems in Chicago as our clients, including Edward Hospital out here,” Duncan said. “Naperville is a friendly and sophisticated town.”

“I’m a Midwest guy, and I feel like living in Naperville for people here is a joy,” Gray added. “It’s the perfect blend of a workplace and life, and there is a good balance of big corporations and industry as well as having a small- town feel.”

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