Arkansas Children’s Hosts Investiture Ceremony for Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nursing

Arkansas Children's celebrated the investiture of Heather Cherry, DNP, MHA, RN, NE-BC, as the recipient and steward of the John Boyd Family Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nursing on Feb. 1.

Establishing endowed chairs provides Arkansas Children's the ability to recruit top leaders in the medical field who provide the best care for patients. Those named to a chair are among the most highly regarded leaders and specialists in the field of pediatric healthcare. Cherry serves as senior vice president and chief nursing officer of Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH). As chairholder, Cherry will use the endowed funds to enhance the pursuit of pediatric nursing excellence.

“Arkansas Children's is grateful for Heather Cherry's exceptional leadership and her compassionate team of nurses," said Marcy Doderer, FACHE, president and CEO of Arkansas Children’s. “Her vast experience and collaboration across service lines has strengthened Arkansas Children’s Hospital and elevated our level of nursing excellence and quality patient outcomes.”

Cherry, who has more than 20 years of nursing leadership experience in children’s hospitals, was recruited to ACH in 2023. She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, a Master of Health Administration from Saint Louis University, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Jewish Hospital College of Nursing and Allied Health in St. Louis. Cherry is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Leaders and American College of Healthcare Executives.

“I am delighted to congratulate Heather Cherry on this esteemed honor. The generous donors who made this chair possible are the embodiment of true champions for children,” said Enid Olvey, president of Arkansas Children’s Foundation. “Their philanthropic support has made a tremendous impact on our patients and families, and I’m grateful we can honor the Boyd family’s legacy in perpetuity.”

The Boyds lived in the small Arkansas town of Fountain Hill. John W. Boyd and his wife, Monitte, had two daughters, Mary Ann and Caroline. John and Monitte owned and operated the general store in Fountain Hill for 32 years. Throughout those years, he purchased bits and pieces of timberland and other property. When John died in 1986, the Boyds owned over 3,500 acres of timberland. Before John passed away, he requested a portion of the family’s estate be left to Arkansas Children’s after his wife and daughters’ lifetimes. Nearly two decades later, Mary Ann fulfilled her father’s legacy. The Boyd bequest to Arkansas Children’s included the creation of the John Boyd Family Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nursing.