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Emory Healthcare names chief nurse executive

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L-R: Linda McCauley welcomed Sharon and Ruthie Pappas to Homecoming this fall. Ruthie is a BSN student in the School of Nursing.

Sharon H. Pappas PhD RN NEA-BC FAAN will join Emory in November as chief nurse executive (CNE) for Emory Healthcare. She comes to Emory from Centura Health in Denver, Colorado, where she served as the system’s CNE and chief nursing officer (CNO) for Porter Adventist Hospital, one of 15 Centura hospitals. 

In her role as Centura’s CNE, Pappas oversaw nursing practice, education, informatics, research, and operations for more than 5,500 nurses.

Pappas has served with Centura since 1991. Her accomplishments include implementing care coordination across ambulatory and acute settings, leading the framework and practice development for population health, establishing a nursing executive residency, leading the nursing team to Magnet designation and redesignation, and achieving high nursing, physician, and patient satisfaction. 

Emory Healthcare’s new CNE has strong roots in Georgia. Pappas grew up in Canton, some 40 miles north of Atlanta, and worked at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon. She received her BSN from the Medical College of Georgia, her MSN from Georgia College, and her PhD in nursing from the University of Colorado. This December, Pappas’s daughter, Ruthie, will graduate with a BSN from Emory.

“Sharon’s expertise will be a tremendous asset not only to Emory Healthcare but also to the School of Nursing,” says Dean Linda McCauley. “Emory Healthcare is an important partner in training future clinical leaders, advanced practitioners, and researchers. Under Sharon’s leadership and commitment to nursing excellence, Emory will continue to advance the exceptional standard of care through evidence-based practice, collaboration, and an emphasis on professional development and lifelong learning.”

Once at Emory, Pappas will fill the position held by School of Nursing alumna June Connor 81MN RN on an interim basis. Connor will continue in her longtime role as CNO and chief operating officer at Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital (EUOSH). Under her leadership, EUOSH achieved Magnet status for nursing excellence in September. As a result, Emory Healthcare is the only health system in Georgia with three Magnet-designated hospitals. The others are Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital (1995) and Emory University Hospital (2014).

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