Dr. Kristina “Kris” Cherry assumed her role as chief nursing executive at the University of Mississippi Medical Center on Jan. 3, 2022. She oversees more than 3,000 UMMC nurses representing about half of all hospital staff positions.
She came to UMMC from Tennova Healthcare-Cleveland, a two-campus hospital system in Cleveland, Tennessee, where she served as chief nursing officer.
Cherry provides leadership for the defined standard of nursing excellence and enhances the organizational vision and mission of the health system. She develops, recommends and implements solutions to meet organizational goals and standards.
She also works with other nurse leaders to improve quality of care and patient satisfaction and to identify innovative and strategic ways to improve financial performance.
Cherry has more than 30 years of nursing experience, including 15 years in nurse executive level positions in community, academic and for-profit medical centers. She has been successful in the development of leaders and 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, Tennessee, Cherry was a nursing administrator at St. Frances Hospital in Bartlett, Tennessee, where she was the chief nursing officer; Houston (Texas) Methodist Medical Center, as associate chief nursing officer; and CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana, as chief nursing officer.
She has earned 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 research through publications in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Quality and Patient Safety and Journal of Nursing Education and Practice.
Cherry received her Master of Nursing degree from Emory University and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is a nationally certified nurse executive-advanced, a family nurse practitioner and an alumnus certified critical care nurse.