Forty Under 40: Kelli Huntley

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 3,187 views 

Class of 2019 Forty Under 40 Kelli Huntley Vice President of Finance Mercy Health Northwest Arkansas

Kelli Huntley chose to use her skills as an accountant to work in the healthcare industry because she enjoys contributing to an organization with a “greater purpose.”

Originally from Pine Bluff, Huntley graduated with an accounting degree in 2004 from the University of Arkansas and then earned her MBA from Texas A&M University.

Starting as an accountant at Planters Cotton Oil Mill in Pine Bluff, she then moved to Baylor Healthcare System in Dallas, working on physician compensation. In 2012, she joined Mercy Northwest Arkansas working in clinic financial operations as director, executive director and then regional executive director.

Mercy recently promoted her to oversee the financial operations for Mercy Hospital and Mercy Clinics in Northwest Arkansas. She also helps lead Mercy’s ongoing $277 million expansion.

Huntley enjoys the balance between mission and margin in Mercy’s approach to healthcare. “You’re not isolated to finance here. You get to think beyond the numbers, to really think about the people and the lives we’re changing.”

Huntley’s goal is to be part of “the calling we have at Mercy to be able to make this sustainable into the future for the patients that need our care.” One challenge is to “figure out how to provide increasingly better care with increasingly less money, as far as how we’re reimbursed.”

A self-described workaholic, Huntley is driven by wanting to add value and help leave a lasting legacy and impact on people.

Huntley is on the Helen R. Walton Children’s Enrichment Center and the Dialysis Center of NWA boards, as well as the Mercy Health Foundation Board of Trustees.

She and her husband enjoy traveling “to get away and have an experience … having learned that experiences matter so much more than stuff.”