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Appointment of Health System Chief Nursing Executive

December 2, 2021

TO:UMMC Faculty, Staff and Students

FROM:  Dr. Alan Jones, Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs

SUBJECT: Appointment of Health System Chief Nursing Executive

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kristina “Kris” Cherry as our new chief nursing executive. Dr. Cherry will report to me and assume her new role Jan. 3.

Portrait of Dr. Kristina “Kris” Cherry

Dr. Cherry will oversee more than 3,000 UMMC nurses representing about half of all hospital staff positions. She comes to us from Tennova Healthcare Cleveland, a two-campus health system in Cleveland, Tenn., where she served as chief nursing officer.

Dr. Cherry will provide visionary leadership for the defined standard of nursing excellence and enhance the organizational vision and mission of the health system. She will develop, recommend and implement system-wide solutions to meet organizational goals and standards. She also will work with other nurse leaders to improve quality of care and patient satisfaction and to identify innovative and strategic ways to improve financial performance.

Dr. Cherry brings more than 30 years of nursing experience to the Medical Center, including 15 years in nurse executive level positions in community, academic and for-profit medical centers. She has a proven record of success in the development of leaders, service lines, enhancing physician and associate engagement, improving clinical and operational performance and creating a culture of excellence. She is known for her passion for a patient-centric approach to care, staff wellness, inclusion and development.

Before her service in Cleveland, Dr. Cherry was a nursing administrator at hospitals including St. Frances Hospital in Bartlett, Tenn., where she was the chief nursing officer; Houston (Texas) Methodist Medical Center, associate chief nursing officer; and CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria, La., chief nursing officer.

Dr. Cherry has been recognized with multiple honors, among them top nurse leadership awards and accolades for procuring research grants. She has served as an active member or officer of several community boards and professional organizations, including the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Nurses Association and the American Organization of Nursing Leadership. She has contributed to nursing science through publications in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Quality and Patient Safety and Journal of Nursing Education and Practice.

A bachelor of science in nursing graduate of Tuskegee University, Dr. Cherry received her master of nursing from Emory University and doctor of philosophy in nursing from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. She is a nationally certified nurse executive-advanced, a family nurse practitioner and an alumnus certified critical care nurse.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Cherry to the Medical Center family.