James E. Shmerling, DHA, FACHE

President and Chief Executive Officer

James E. Shmerling was named President and Chief Executive Officer at Connecticut Children’s on October 1, 2015. For over three decades, Dr. Shmerling has served in management roles in children’s hospitals and is nationally recognized as a leader in issues concerning children’s health and wellness. Prior to joining Connecticut Children’s, Dr. Shmerling spent the last eight years as the Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Hospital Colorado, one of the top ranked children’s hospitals in the nation. Before that, he was the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt from 2002 to 2007. He was the Senior Vice President of Methodist Healthcare and President of Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center from 1995 to 2002, and was Le Bonheur’s Chief Operating Officer from 1991 to 1995. He served as the Associate Director of Hospitals at Indiana University Hospitals and Administrator of the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children from 1987 to 1991. Dr. Shmerling’s career in children’s hospitals began in the Children’s Hospital of Alabama where he progressed in administrative responsibilities from 1979 to1987, the last of which was as its Associate Administrator.

He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Education from the University of Tennessee in 1976. In 1980, he was awarded a Master of Science Degree in Hospital and Health Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Samford University in 1984 and his Doctorate of Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1999.

Dr. Shmerling is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE). He is an adjunct faculty member in the Hospital Administration programs, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Additionally, Dr. Shmerling is active in several national healthcare organizations. Currently he serves as: Board member of the Children’s Hospital Group, Dublin, Ireland Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Salt Lake City, Utah, Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Children’s Hospital Association, Alexandria, VA Chair of the Child Health Patient Safety Organization, Inc., Overland Park, KS, a component entity of the Children’s Hospital Association Chair Elect on the Governing Council of the American Hospital Association’s Section for Maternal and Child Health, Washington, D.C. Past Board Chair of the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO), Denver, Colorado Board member of Virtual PICU Systems, LLC, Los Angeles, California Dr. Shmerling is a native of Nashville, Tennessee.

Gil Peri, MBA, MPH

President and Chief Operating Officer

Gil Peri has more than two decades of leadership experience in strategic planning, performance improvement and business development for healthcare systems.

Peri last worked at Children’s Hospital Colorado, where he served as the senior vice president & chief strategy officer for three years. During his time there, he successfully implemented an enterprise financial and operational performance metrics system. His earlier experience includes serving as vice president for strategic development & operations at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio.

Peri holds a master’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in public health from the University of South Florida.

Glenn Focht, MD

President, Connecticut Children’s Specialty Group

Dr. Focht has close to 20 years of experience as a physician and health care clinician and administrator. Dr. Focht came to Connecticut Children’s from Boston Children’s Hospital, where he was the Chief Medical Officer with the Pediatric Physicians’ Organization at Boston Children’s.

Prior to that, he was the first president and physician executive for the provider organization, which consists of more than 350 physicians practicing 37 specialties in 19 communities. As the chief executive of Central Maine Group, Dr. Focht delivered winning direction and stewardship to an organization with annual gross revenues in excess of $100 million.

Prior to his tenure at Central Maine Group, Dr. Focht served as the Vice President of Medical Affairs for Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass. In this position, Dr. Focht was responsible for operating and leading a group practice of more than 80 physicians, 24 practice locations, and yearly gross revenues exceeding $35 million.

From 1999 through 2004, Dr. Focht served as Medical Director of Quality Care and Education, and Chief Medical Officer, for Milford Regional Hospital (Milford, Mass.).

Dr. Focht was also a clinician at Tri-River Health Center (Uxbridge, Mass.), an affiliate of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, from 1994 through 1999. It was during this time that he also won awards as a member of the faculty at UMass Medical School.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Dr. Focht did his residency at University of Massachusetts Medical Center. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and liberal arts from Messiah College in Grantham, Pa.

Christine Finck, MD

Executive Vice President, Surgeon-in-Chief;

Peter Deckers Endowed Chair of Surgery;

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Surgery,

University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Christine Finck, MD has served as Chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery since 2007 and is an associate professor of pediatrics and surgery at UCONN Health. Most recently, she took on the role of Associate Director of Academic Affairs, advocating for various clinical, academic and research efforts across the institution and serving as a mentor to our pediatric research investigators.

Through her own research, Dr. Finck is revolutionizing health outcomes of pediatric and neonatal diseases, most specifically spearheading efforts focused on identifying and treating those that affect the lungs, esophagus and brain. This past May, those innovations were recognized by The Group on Women in Medicine and Science, who awarded Dr. Finck the Outstanding Clinical Scientist Woman Faculty Award.

Dr. Finck received her bachelors degree from Boston University and her medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University at Syracuse. She completed a surgery residency at SUNY Upstate Medical University at Syracuse and a pediatric surgery fellowship at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Juan C. Salazar, MD, MPH

Executive Vice President, Physician-in-Chief

Dr. Salazar is Physician-in-Chief, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Medical Center. He is also the Director of the Pediatric and Youth HIV program at Connecticut Children’s and serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the UConn School of Medicine.

Dr. Salazar has received several NIH and private Foundation grants to study Pediatric HIV, congenital syphilis and Lyme disease. Dr. Salazar and his colleagues at the Spirochetal Research laboratories at the University of Connecticut Health Center are actively studying the immune response of children and adults who become infected with the Lyme disease bacterium. He also collaborates with translational and clinical researchers in Southern China and in Cali, Colombia.

Cheryl Hoey, RN, BSN, MBA

Senior Vice President, Clinical Services;

Chief Nursing Officer

Cheryl Hoey currently holds the title of Senior Vice President for Clinical Services, and Chief Nursing Officer. Major accomplishments since joining the Connecticut Children’s team in 2011 include developing a shared governance model for nursing, implementing a Nurse Residency program, launching the Nurse Leadership Academy, partnering with quality colleagues to implement a culture of safety program in conjunction with the Connecticut Hospital Association state-wide collaborative, and collaborating with UCONN School of Nursing to develop the Institute for Nursing Research at Connecticut Children’s. Hoey was the Labor Team lead in the Managing Value and Performance (MVP) initiative at Connecticut Children’s, as well as presently leading an organization approach to improving the patient experience.

Hoey served in both the director and manager capacities at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital for 33 years. There she became a nursing and operational leader in many initiatives, including quality practice, co-chairing the Children’s Hospital’s Quality & Safety Committee, and chairing the hospital-wide Healthy Skin Steering Committee. With a strong focus on Family Centered Care, she founded and was cochair of the Family Advisory Board in 2003. Hoey was part of the leadership team that led YNHH to a successful Magnet designation in 2011.

In 2006, she earned her Master’s of Science in management and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven. Hoey was the 2014 recipient of the Connecticut Nurses Association Doris M. Armstrong Diamond Jubilee Award for outstanding contributions to nursing leadership.

Sarah Matney, MSOL, BSN, RN, CPON, CENP

Vice President, Ambulatory Operations

Sarah Matney holds the title of Vice President, Ambulatory Operation. Sarah has extensive healthcare operations, leadership, patient and family experience, continual improvement, and patient safety and quality experience. In her current role, she collaborates with internal and external team members to create an environment that hardwires excellent clinical care, access to the appropriate care for all of the children and their families in Connecticut and its surrounding regions, and an environment that all clinicians and team members can find joy in each day.

Previous to this role, she served as a Practice Administrator in the Specialty Group. She also held the position of Business Director of the Cancer and Blood Disorders Service Line. When Sarah arrived at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in 2000, she served in a variety of nursing positions both at the bedside and in leadership roles and has broad experience with nursing leadership and clinical operations.

Matney graduated from Quinnipiac University School of Business with a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership. She received her Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing degree from Pensacola Christian College. She is certified in Executive Nurse Practice (CENP) as well as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse (CPON©).

MacDara Tynan, MD, MBA

Vice President, Provider Engagement

MacDara Tynan MD, MBA is a Vice President of Connecticut Children’s Specialty Group and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

Dr. Tynan is a member of the Division of Hospital Medicine where he has previously served as the Medical Director of our St. Mary’s Hospital Satellite. He is the Medical Director of Utilization Management in addition to being the interim Division Chief in Pediatric Cardiology

Dr. Tynan did his medical school degree at University College Dublin, he did his pediatric training in London and Birmingham in the UK and completed a fellowship in Hospital Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He completed a Physician Executive MBA at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2007.

Join Our Team!

At Connecticut Children’s, treating children isn’t just our job, it’s our passion. And as a leading children’s hospital experiencing steady growth, we’re always looking to expand our team with exceptional people who share our vision to help children grow healthy.

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