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09:30 AM

Children's Mercy Honors Recipients of Endowed Chairs During Chair Investiture Ceremony

Last night, endowed chair positions were formally awarded to four Children’s Mercy leaders during a Chair Investiture Ceremony at the Sheraton Crown Center. Endowed chair positions are academic medicine’s highest and most prestigious honor.

Endowed chairs provide ongoing financial support for research and education and are of strategic importance in elevating the hospital’s academic profile and stature as a national leader in clinical care. They also increase the hospital’s ability to recruit and retain top scientists, advance research and as a result, set Children’s Mercy apart from other pediatric medical programs in the world.

  • The Elizabeth J. Ferrell Chair in Maternal Fetal Medicine was awarded to Timothy L. Bennett, MD, Medical Director of the Elizabeth J. Ferrell Fetal Health Center.

The announcement came during a surprise party for Elizabeth (Zibbie) Ferrell’s 75th birthday held in June 2015. In a surprise of her own, Ferrell said she would share her $2 million birthday gift to fund the endowed chair.

“This gift is for everyone here. I appreciate the friends and colleagues who have had a part in this important endeavor,” Dr. Bennett said at the time. “All the children and families here today speak volumes about what Zibbie and Jim are doing for Children’s Mercy.”

  • The V. Fred Burry, MD and Sandra Hobart Burry Chair in Nursing Advocacy and Leadership was awarded to Karen S. Cox, PhD, RN, FACHE, FAAN, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Children’s Mercy.

“This demonstrates the organization’s commitment to and support of the nursing profession both at Children’s Mercy and nationally,” Dr. Cox said. “The endowment of this chair recognizes the contributions nurses make to clinical care, research, leadership and advocacy. It highlights the positive impact of what nurses do day in and day out.”

  • The Bernell Hevner O’Donnell, RN, Endowed Chair – Chief Nursing Officer was awarded to Cheri Hunt, RN, BSN, MHA, Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Children’s Mercy.

“An Endowed Chair for Nursing bestows a special recognition and level of distinction on our nursing department,” Hunt said. “Very few organizations have an Endowed Chair for Nursing, let alone two chairs! These chairs represent many things: respect, leadership, influence, support and esteem.”

Dr. Randall L. O’Donnell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Mercy, his wife Melva and their daughter, Taryn, first surprised Hunt with the news during an October reception.

The Bernell Hevner O’Donnell, RN, Endowed Chair – Chief Nursing Officer, named after Dr. O’Donnell’s mother, recognizes Hunt for her passion for pediatric nursing, patient care, leadership and education.

  • The Schellhorn Family Endowed Chair in Medical Administration was awarded to Charles C. Roberts, MD, Executive Vice President and Executive Medical Director, Children’s Mercy.

In accepting the honor, Dr. Roberts thanked his wife, Cristy Roberts, PhD, RN, saying he could not have done it without her. Dr. Cristy Roberts also works at Children’s Mercy as Senior Patient Care Services Researcher.

“The depth and breadth of talent at Children’s Mercy is truly our greatest resource,” said Dr. Roberts. “The value of endowed chairs as an investment in the future of children’s health cannot be overstated. I’m truly honored to be recognized in this way.”

Investment of the original gift to establish a chair generates income annually. The principal of the gift is held by the Children’s Mercy Hospital Foundation.

Children’s Mercy has a goal of growing its number of endowed chairs to 30 by 2020.

Current Children’s Mercy Endowed Chairs 

  • Michael Artman, MD, Joyce C. Hall Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics
  • Timothy L. Bennett, MD, Elizabeth J. Ferrell Chair in Maternal Fetal Medicine
  • Karen S. Cox, PhD, RN, FAAN, V. Fred Burry, MD and Sandra Hobart Burry Chair in Nursing Advocacy and Leadership
  • James F. Daniel, MD, James F. Daniel, MD, Endowed Chair in Liver Care
  • Kathy Goggin, PhD, Ernest L. Glasscock, MD, Chair in Pediatric Education and Research
  • George W. Holcomb III, MD, MBA, Katharine B. Richardson Chair in Pediatric Surgery
  • Richard A. Hopkins, MD, Thomas Holder/Keith Ashcraft Chair in Pediatric Surgical Research
  • Cheri E. Hunt, RN, BSN, MHA, Bernell Hevner O’Donnell, RN Endowed Chair
  • (Vacant) Dee Lyons/Missouri Endowed Chair in Pediatric Genomic Medicine
  • J. Steven Leeder, PharmD, PhD, Marion Merrell Dow/Missouri Chair in Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology
  • James E. O’Brien Jr., MD, FACS, Jerry Smith Chair in Pediatrics
  • Bradford W. Olney, MD, Dr. Rex and Lillian Diveley Chair in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Charlie C. Roberts, MD, Schellhorn Family Endowed Chair in Medical Administration
  • Girish S. Shirali, MBBS, FASE, FACC, Melva and Randall L. O’Donnell, PhD, Chair in Pediatric Cardiology
  • James D. St. Louis, MD, Joseph Boon Gregg/Missouri Endowed Chair in Cardiac Surgery
  • William E. Truog III, MD, Sosland Chair in Neonatology Research
  • Shui Qing Ye, MD, PhD, William R. Brown/Missouri Endowed Chair in Medical Genetics and Molecular Medicine
  • (Vacant), Marion Merrell Dow/Missouri Chair in Pediatric Medical Research