About Chris

Dr. Chris DeRienzo is a dedicated husband, a proud father, a mediocre triathlete, and author of Tiny Medicine: One Doctor’s Biggest Lessons from His Smallest Patients.  He’s also a physician committed to improving America’s health and living life as a spectacle of the human engine driven at full speed.

He is proud to serve as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Quality at WakeMed Health and Hospitals.  As a member of the system’s senior executive team, Dr. DeRienzo’s responsibilities include clinical transformation, population health, value-based care, continuous improvement, quality & patient safety, and medical staff services. He is also a practicing neonatologist, a Senior Scholar with the Stanford University Clinical Excellence Research Center, and serves as a Board Advisor to both Premier, Inc. (NASD: PINC) and Mercy Health (Chesterfield, MO).

Recognized by Modern Healthcare in 2018 as one of 15 “Up and Comers” and Becker’s as a “Rising Star,” Chris has published and presented internationally on leveraging analytics to drive continuous improvement and the intersection of humanity and technology in healthcare.  A frequent keynote speaker and advisor to companies ranging from early stage to the Fortune 50, he is also the author of Tiny Medicine: One Doctor’s Biggest Lessons from His Smallest Patients (Big Eye Books, 2019).

Chris’s previous roles include serving as Chief Quality Officer at Mission Health, a $2B integrated health system based in Asheville, NC.  His leadership there helped infuse a data-driven, analytics-enabled culture of continuous improvement throughout the organization’s team members, propelling Mission back to recognition by IBM Watson as a Top 15 Health System in both 2017 and 2018.  He also previously served as Chief Medical Officer at the AI-based healthcare company Prealize, where he led the company’s clinical and health economics portfolios through a $22 million funding round.

Board Certified in both Pediatrics and Neonatology, Dr. DeRienzo completed his M.D., Masters in Public Policy, and post-graduate medical training at Duke.  At a national level, Dr. 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.

Outside of work Chris enjoys competing in triathlon.  He finished his first full Ironman in Louisville in 2018, is a two-time Ironman 70.3 Finisher and has twice raced at the USA Triathlon Olympic Distance Age Group National Championships.  He’s also a sucker for bucket list races his friends convince him “really won’t be as hard as they sound” and a frequent early-morning Zwift rider.  He’s seen every episode of The West Wing at least twice and can quote “Two Cathedrals” line-for-line… including the Latin swearing.

Chris lives with his family and their two incredibly energetic dogs in North Carolina.