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Past Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient: Cheri Hunt

Picture of Cheri HuntClass of 1976

Cheri Erekson Hunt is the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award from the UNM College of Nursing. She is currently the vice president for nursing and chief nursing officer at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri.

Cheri is relentlessly elevating the status of nursing within her hospital and across her city, her state, and the nation. She led her organization to a successful re-designation of Magnet Certification, signifying the “gold seal” of approval for the professional practice environment and growth of nurses within the hospital. Cheri designed and implemented a credentialing program that specifically affects the organization’s ability to attract and maintain the most qualified advanced practice nurses, who work in more than 50 subspecialties. In addition, while Chief Nursing Officer at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, she was one of the first to engage with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in the national initiative, Transforming Care at the Bedside. Currently, she is spearheading a new initiative to improve medication administration safety throughout the healthcare system.

Cheri has served on numerous advisory boards and committees in the past two decades, including serving as the president of the Kansas City Nurse Executives. She was also selected to represent practice environments for the statewide task force, as Missouri pursues becoming a recognized state Action Coalition that will implement key recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing initiative. She has served on special-topic task forces, coalitions, and associations within the community, including the Maternal-Child Health Coalition and Mid-America Immunization Coalition.

Cheri has been published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Professional Nursing and the Journal of Nursing Administration. She also co-authored a book chapter entitled “Managing Information and Technology: Caring and Communicating with Computers” (Leading and Managing in Nursing [4th ed.]. Philadelphia: Mosby Publishing).

In addition, Cheri is either the principal investigator or co-investigator on five current large-scale institutional studies, which will improve not only specific types of patient care, but also the work environment of nurses, nurse managers, and the current information system to make patients safer. She presents her findings at national conferences in both podium and poster formats.

Cheri Hunt continually works to advance patient care as well as nursing, and she inspires others to do the same. Congrats!

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