Irvine, CA (May 20, 2012) – Kimberly Chavalas Cripe, President and Chief Executive Officer of CHOC Children’s Hospital, was the recipient of an honorary doctoral degree for her leadership in children’s health care in the local Orange County community.
In her leadership role at CHOC Children’s Hospital, Ms. Cripe leads one of the top pediatric healthcare systems in the nation. CHOC Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in California to earn the Gold Level CAPE (California Awards for Performance Excellence) Award from the California Council for Excellence (CCE). CHOC Children’s Hospital joined the elite ranks of the nation’s hospitals that have earned Magnet recognition for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and its pediatric intensive care unit is the first in the nation to be recognized with the Pediatric Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. A 2011 Leapfrog Top Hospital, CHOC Children’s was also recognized for clinical excellence in eight specialties by U.S. News & World Report (2011-2012).
A dedicated child advocate, Ms. Cripe was appointed a commissioner for the Children and Families Commission of Orange County (Prop. 10), for which she currently serves as Chair Elect. She has served as the board chair for the California Children’s Hospital Association and on the board of the Child Health Corporation of America.
In recognition of her distinguished career, West Coast University selected Ms. Cripe as the first ever recipient of an honorary doctoral degree in Health Care Management from the 103 year old institution. “Ms. Cripe’s commitment to excellence in health care and unwavering dedication to serving her community is to be commended,” said Dr. Barry Ryan, President of West Coast University. “We are pleased to honor her remarkable achievements with an honorary doctoral degree in Health Care Management to acknowledge her vision in helping shape one of the finest health care institutions in the country.”
Commencement Ceremony Details
For over 100 years, West Coast University has celebrated the achievements and hard work of its graduates during a commencement ceremony. On May 20, 2012, over 450 graduates received their diplomas and are now on their way to rewarding and satisfying careers in health care. As alumni, they will represent West Coast University and its mission as they work to improve their communities through their chosen professions.
The graduates received Master of Science in Health Care Management, Master of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees. West Coast University’s programs are designed to ensure its students are prepared by equipping them with real-world clinical knowledge and simulated experience. West Coast University hopes that its graduates inspire innovation in their fields, achieve professional success, and contribute positively to the community.
Commencement was held at the Bren Events center in Irvine, California where more than 5,000 people attended to participate in celebrating the graduating class. Special recognition was given to Linda Liu as she was honored with the first ever Distinguished Alumnus Award for her participation in the Oxford International Study Abroad Program. In Oxford, she and other study abroad students gained a holistic point of view of nursing which she plans to take into her future practice as a nurse. Ms. Liu also received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing diploma during the commencement service.
The keynote speech of the West Coast University commencement was delivered by Jason Knight, MD who is board certified in pediatrics and critical care. Dr. Knight completed his residency training, including years as Chief Resident, at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and CHOC Children’s Hospital of Orange County, California. West Coast University was honored that Dr. Knight was able to speak at commencement and hope that our students remember the words of wisdom delivered in his speech, and that they carry those words with them as the endeavor into their new careers. Dr. Knight has special interest in congenital heart disease, ARDS, pediatric transport and telemedicine. Dr. Knight was also voted as one of Orange County’s Top Doctors in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
About West Coast University
West Coast University is one of Southern California’s leading health care educators, offering programs in nursing, health care management and dental hygiene at campuses in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, and nursing programs at its new campus in Dallas, Texas. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) awarded programmatic accreditation to WCU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs in October 2009 and its Master of Science in Nursing program in May 2012. WCU’s Dental Hygiene program at the Orange County Campus is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) to offer the only Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene (BSDH) in the County. It is one of only four BSDH programs in California. West Coast University is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC – www.wascsenior.org) and Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS – www.acics.org.) For more information, visit West Coast University. For regular updates on WCU news visit the Dr. Barry Ryan Blog.
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