Former Trauma Center Director to Oversee Quality Improvement and Safety
MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Dr. Robert A. Cherry, 45, a an accomplished trauma surgeon and a leader in quality and patient safety who advanced his career while serving as medical director of Penn State Shock Trauma Center, has been named Loyola University Health System's chief medical officer and vice president of clinical effectiveness. He starts in his new position on Dec. 30.
"Loyola is fortunate to have Rob on our senior management team," said Sharon O'Keefe, president, Loyola University Hospital. "He is a proven leader and has exhibited tremendous skill as a consensus-builder and a champion for quality improvement and patient safety."
In his new role, Cherry will work collaboratively with medical staff leadership to set and achieve the health system's strategic goals for quality and safety. He will oversee LUHS' Center for Clinical Effectiveness and the Chief of Staff's Office as well as the departments of Infection Control, Patient Relations and Interpretive Services.
LUHSâ decision in 2007 to bring the physiciansâ practice group within the health system will be advantageous as Loyola navigates the changes of health reform, Cherry believes. âLoyola is extremely well-positioned to enhance its leadership role in performance improvement, patient safety and access to care," he said. "We need highly effective and innovative academic medical centers that can lead the kind of change that people are demanding of health care."
Cherry comes to Loyola with more than 11 years' experience in staff-leadership positions within trauma and critical care as well as in quality improvement. He has served as associate chief quality officer at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. During his eight years there, he was the section chief of trauma and critical care and the trauma program medical director.
In 2004, Cherry and his team established an online master's degree program in homeland security, the only such program to be developed and implemented by a medical school in the United States. Part of the impetus for such a program came from Cherryâs experience serving in New Yorkâs Lincoln Hospital in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The program has grown and expanded with more than 300 student course enrollments last semester.
Cherry received his medical degree from Columbia University in New York and his masterâs degree in health-care management from Harvard University School of Public Health. He completed his residency training in surgery at North Shore University Hospital, New York University Medical School, and a fellowship in trauma and surgical critical care at R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland.
In addition to his numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals, Cherry also has received several honors, including best manuscript at the annual scientific meeting of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma in 2002; being included in the Guide to America's Top Surgeons; and being named one of the Best Black Doctors of the Tri-State Area by the Network Journal in 2002.
Cherry will begin the year at Loyola with his new team. âI am looking forward to working with the medical staff in driving our mission and values for the benefit of the community,â he said.