Cheray Burnett’s family suffered serious healthcare issues as she was growing up. Her mother died of cancer when Burnett was 7, and her father had a severe stroke while she was in high school. That propelled her into healthcare, she says, and now, as VP of Administration at St. John’s Riverside Hospital, Burnett devotes her energy to keeping the hospital at the top of its game in order to serve the Yonkers community.
Overseeing a mix of operations management, strategic planning, and business-development responsibilities, Burnett has had a major role in many important initiatives since she came onboard 20 years ago. From grant-funding to cancer-program accreditation to equipment procurement, she loves being able to improve the hospital’s services. And she is not afraid of hard work.
“Cheray is known to invest herself totally,” says Denise Mananas, the hospital’s director of marketing and public relations. “She spends nights and weekends here, getting it done.”
Burnett is especially proud of the Healthy Yonkers Initiative, a community partnership she was charged with setting up in her first days at the hospital that is still serving the people of Yonkers. “It is the thread of what we have been doing from 1998, when I walked in the door, ’til now,”
Burnett says. Now, after 30-plus years in healthcare, she has taken an active role in mentoring young talent, both at the hospital and in the community. “My advice is always give 200 percent in what you do,” she says.