Thursday, December 30, 2010

Loyola's New Chief Medical Officer is Champion of Patient Safety

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.

LUHS’ decision in 2007 to bring the physicians’ practice group within the health system will be advantageous as Loyola navigates the changes of health reform, Cherry believes. “Loyola 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 Cherry’s experience serving in New York’s 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 master’s 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. “I am looking forward to working with the medical staff in driving our mission and values for the benefit of the community,” he said.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.