Evanston Regional Hospital promotes Willard to CEO


EVANSTON — Evanston Regional Hospital (ERH) has named Cheri Willard as chief executive officer and chief nursing officer beginning June 10. Hospital officials said Willard has been a natural fit since she took the reins as interim CEO in November 2018, following Jeremy Davis’ departure. 

Willard has lived in Evanston since she was 7 years old. She has made a positive impact on ERH throughout her career, according to hospital officials. Before her role as interim CEO, Willard served in progressive clinical roles at ERH including the chief quality officer, chief nursing officer, case manager, quality director and registered nurse. She also owned and operated a local home health and hospice agency in Evanston to meet a critical community need. 

Willard earned her Master of Business Administration and Master of Nursing while raising a family and working full-time.

“She’s already hit the ground running as the leader of our hospital,” Evanston Regional Hospital Board Chair Tony Gillies said. “Cheri knows our staff, physicians and community so well and has a unique understanding of ERH and the community.”

“I am fully committed to Evanston Regional Hospital’s vision to improve the health and wellness of the community we serve,” Willard said. “We know patients are looking for convenient, accessible and quality care. Over the past year, we have focused on improving access to care through online scheduling for clinic appointments, pledged fast ER care, as well as local access to top-notch physicians and providers. 

“Our team of nurses, physicians, surgeons and staff are doing great things for the community we serve,” Willard added. “Each person plays a critical role in helping patients feel better. Together, we can continue to make a difference in our patients’ lives and to our community as a whole.”

Gillies reiterated confidence in the decision to promote Willard.

“We are confident that with Cheri at the helm of our organization, we will continue to build on and improve access to quality care, close to home,” Gillies said.

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