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.

Chris is proud to currently serve as Senior Vice President of Quality and System Chief Medical Officer for WakeMed Health and HospitalsWakeMed is a 941-bed integrated health system based in Raleigh, NC that includes three hospitals, 1,200+ medical staff members, 550 employed providers, and more than 50 clinics throughout the Triangle.  As a member of the system’s senior executive leadership team, Dr. DeRienzo’s accountabilities include clinical transformation, population health, value-based care, continuous improvement, quality & patient safety, and medical staff services.

Previously Chris served as Chief Medical Officer of Cardinal Analytx (now Prealize) and as Chief Quality Officer for Mission Health, a $2B integrated delivery system based in Asheville, NC.  In this role, he had senior executive responsibility for quality, safety, experience, analytics and population health across Mission’s inpatient, ambulatory, and post-acute enterprise.  His leadership helped infuse Mission with a data-driven, analytics-enabled culture of continuous improvement, propelling the system back to recognition by IBM Watson as a Top 15 Health System in both 2017 and 2018.

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,” Chris has published and presented internationally on leveraging analytics to drive continuous improvement, implementing data science in healthcare, and the intersection of humanity and technology.  A frequent keynote speaker and the first ever HIMSS SPARK (TED-style) Speaker, he also advises both state and national governments and companies from early-stage to the Fortune 500. He is an Adjunct Professor of Population Health with Stanford University’s Clinical Excellence Research Center 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, Dr. DeRienzo completed his M.D., Masters in Public Policy, and post-graduate medical training all 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.  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 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.