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Tonya Darner Named Chief Executive Officer of UP Health System - Marquette

Tonya Darner has been named the permanent chief executive officer of UP Health System – Marquette (UPHS – Marquette), a Duke LifePoint hospital.  Darner has served as the hospital’s interim CEO since early November and chief operating officer since 2021. 

A seasoned healthcare leader, Tonya has over 25 years of experience in medical practice management and healthcare administration providing oversight and leadership to complex clinical teams, financial stewardship, and implementation of healthcare strategy positively affecting overall patient care.

Tonya served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years, eventually becoming the 4th medical operations squadron superintendent in 2007. After retiring from the military, Tonya managed the development and operations of several specialties through progressive leadership roles at UPHS – Marquette. Among those roles were senior director of neurosciences, imaging, and on-call specialists service lines, and director of regional operations for neurosciences, occupational medicine, behavioral health, pediatric specialty clinics, and radiology service lines. Before returning to Marquette, Tonya served as the chief operating officer for Aspirus Wausau Hospital in Wausau, Wisconsin.

“Tonya has demonstrated an exceptional track record of success in all of her previous roles,” said UPHS – Marquette Board Chair Jerald Napier, MD. “She has a deep understanding of our organization’s values and our region’s healthcare landscape, and we are confident in her competency, experience, discipline, and dedication to furthering our mission of making communities healthier for the patients and families of the Upper Peninsula.”

Darner earned a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Mount Olive College in Mount Olive, NC, and a master’s degree in business administration from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and Air Force Sergeant’s Association.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue working alongside these amazing people serving the healthcare needs of the Upper Peninsula,” said Tonya. “UPHS – Marquette has a rich history of providing high-quality care across multiple specialties, and I look forward to this next chapter as together we continue to seek new and greater ways to advance our mission of making communities healthier and for UPHS – Marquette to be the place where people choose to come for healthcare, physicians and providers want to practice, and employees want to work.”

Tonya and her husband, Sean, moved to Marquette in 2011 after they first visited the Upper Peninsula in the early 1990s. “We love the area and community, we have family here, and Marquette is where we wanted to establish our post-military roots.” In her time outside of work, Tonya enjoys hiking, mountain biking, reading, and cheering on the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings and Lions, as well as the Ohio State Buckeyes.

For more information about UPHS – Marquette, visit


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