Sherry Kwater is the chief nursing officer for Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Penn. She is also a member of the Barco’s Nightingales Foundation Nurses Advisory Council. Sherry was appointed as chief nursing officer in January 2012, having joined the staff of the medical center in August of 2010.
Sherry has over 30 years of healthcare executive experience and a desire to improve quality and consistency of care to their patients. Because Penn State Hershey is a teaching institution, Sherry finds it the perfect environment to focus the nursing students, medical students and residents on doing the right thing at the right time, in the right way, the first time. Sherry believes that no matter where you work, from the finance department to the clinical areas, the focus on quality and safety should be on everyone’s agenda.
Sherry also leads the patient care strategic initiatives related to nurse staffing, patient safety, nursing research and community outreach. In an interview in 2012, Sherry was asked if there was a personal experience that influenced her decision to go into nursing. She shared this story:
Before I decided to go into nursing, my husband and I had a child who was terminally ill. There was a nurse who worked with us at the hospital. She helped us understand what our options were and how to make our daughter’s end-of-life experience a meaningful family event. Although she passed away in the hospital, it didn’t feel that way. This nurse was so passionate about making sure we understood what our daughter’s passing would feel like, sound like, and look like. She was so good at describing every emotion, that by the time I experienced each one, I was able to recognize them as being normal. I’ve had dozens of mentors over the years, but she was wonderful and probably influenced me the most. She made me want to be a nurse and have that kind of effect on people’s lives.
We are very proud to have such a compassionate and accomplished representative of the nursing profession agree to be a member of the Barco’s Nightingales Foundation Nurses Advisory Council.
~Michael and Frida Donner