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Alumni Spotlight: Chris DeRienzo, MD

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Chris DeRienzo, MD

Chris DeRienzo, MD, Chief Quality Officer for Mission Health, is among Modern Healthcare’s 2018 class of "Up and Comers". Modern Healthcare, the leader in healthcare business news, research and data, annually honors emerging leaders who are 40 years of age or younger, who have made significant contributions in the areas of healthcare administration, management or policy early in their careers.

“Chris’ deep commitment to clinical excellence, patient safety and continuous improvement using data and analytics are key drivers of his success,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, President and CEO of Mission Health. 

Nominees for this recognition must be 40 years of age or younger as of July 30, 2018, and be working in any sector of healthcare, including providers, insurers, vendors and suppliers. Judging was based on specific actions the nominee took this year to help their organization achieve or exceed clinical, operational and financial goals as well as the specific steps the nominee took to establish or contribute to a culture of innovation and transformation.

“The 2018 class of Up and Comers has no shortage of leaders who step up to face and overcome the challenges reshaping the healthcare industry. Keep your eye on these go-getters who aspire to ‘leave the world a better place than we found it’ and who were motivated to improve patient experiences after their own relatives were caught up in the healthcare system,” said Modern Healthcare Editor, Aurora Aguilar.

In this role at Mission, DeRienzo has executive responsibility across the system for patient safety, clinical analytics, clinical and operational redesign, patient experience, quality reporting, risk management, performance improvement, infection prevention, accreditation, environmental health and safety, and security. He is also a practicing neonatologist with Mission Children’s Hospital and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

“I am truly honored to be recognized as one of Modern Healthcare’s 15 Up and Comers under 40. This recognition speaks more though to the incredible nature of my team than anything I’ve personally accomplished,” said DeRienzo. “Within our quality department, we partner with people across Mission Health to not only ensure we are a great health system today but also are constantly working to get even better tomorrow. It’s what gets me out of bed every morning, and it’s a privilege to do this work with this team.”

This year’s honorees are profiled in the October 15 issue of Modern Healthcare and Modern Healthcare online.

About Chris DeRienzo

As Chief Quality Officer for Mission Health, Chris DeRienzo, MD, has senior executive responsibility for quality, safety, experience, analytics and population health across a $1.9B integrated health system. He also practices neonatology, teaches at the University of North Carolina as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, and volunteers as a member of the Mercy Health (Chesterfield, MO) Board Quality Committee and the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly Board of Directors.

Board certified in both pediatrics and neonatology, DeRienzo completed his MD, master's in public policy, and post-graduate medical training all at Duke. 

Board certified in both pediatrics and neonatology, DeRienzo completed his MD, master's in public policy, and post-graduate medical training all at Duke. Recognized by Modern Healthcare in 2018 as one of 15 “Up and Comers” Under 40 and Becker’s as one of healthcare’s “Rising Stars,” DeRienzo has published and presented internationally on leveraging analytics to drive continuous improvement, implementing data science in healthcare, and the intersection of humanity and technology. He is a frequent advisor to state and national government and to companies from early-stage ventures to the Fortune 500 on issues related to healthcare quality, safety, analytics, and leveraging technology to improve communication.

At a national level, DeRienzo was just the fourth medical student elected and re-elected to serve on the AMA Board of Trustees. He is a past president of the Durham-Orange County Medical Society and has served in leadership roles within the American Academy of Pediatrics and the North Carolina Medical Society. He was appointed in early 2018 by the North Carolina Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve on the Medical Care Advisory Committee, advising the Department on all aspects of Medicaid transformation, and has spent time advising the NC Quality Center on Safety Culture, the NC Division of Public Health, and the NC Institute of Medicine.

Outside of work DeRienzo enjoys competing in triathlons. He finished his first (and potentially only) Ironman race in Louisville in 2018, is a two-time Ironman 70.3 Finisher and raced at the 2017 USA Triathlon Olympic Distance Age Group National Championships. 

DeRienzo lives with his family and their two "incredibly energetic dogs" in Asheville, NC.

For more information about Mission Health, please visit or @MissionHealthNC.