Cynthia Armstrong Persily, PhD, RN, FAAN

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  • 2001 Alumni
    Cynthia Armstrong Persily

President and CEO

Highland Hospital Association

Charleston, WV

Dr. Cynthia Persily is currently President and CEO of Highland Hospital Association, Inc. in Charleston, WV. Highland Hospital Association, Inc. includes an 80 bed acute psych-mental health hospital, a large outpatient behavioral health practice, 3 pharmacies, a primary care center, and a foundation. Dr. Persily is charged with setting strategic direction, assuring financial viability, development of new business, and evaluation of programming for the organizations.

Prior to becoming President and CEO of Highland Hospital Association, Inc., Dr. Persily spent 20 years at West Virginia University, where most recently she served as Professor and Chairperson of the Charleston Division of the School of Nursing, and Associate Dean, Graduate Practice Programs. Dr. Persily was the founder and Executive Director of the West Virginia Nursing Leadership Institute, funded by HRSA, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Northwest Health Foundation Partners in Nursing’s Future, and local and regional foundations.

Dr. Persily served as a gubernatorial appointed member of the WV Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses for over 10 years, serving as the Board Secretary/Vice Chair, and as President. Dr. Persily also served a 3 year term as a member of the National Advisory Council for the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows program, of which she is an alumnus.

Dr. Persily is currently serving a gubernatorial appointment to the WV Center for Nursing Board of Directors, where she previously served as President of the Board. In the community, Dr. Persily serves as a board of trustees member for Edgewood Summit, Inc. , a full service elder living community in Charleston, WV; as a member of the Advisory Board for the WV Partnership for Elder Living; a member of the boards of directors of Partners in Health Network, and First Choice Services, Inc.;  and as a member of the board and steering committee of the Kanawha Coalition for Health Improvement. She has previously served as a member of a variety of community boards, including Kanawha Players, and Mountaineer Montessori School, where she served a three year term as President.

An accomplished author and researcher, Dr. Persily served as Co-Director and subsequently Director of the HRSA Office of Rural Health Policy funded WV Rural Health Research Center. Her textbook, Team Leadership and Partnering in Nursing and Health Care, was published by Springer Publishing Company in June, 2013.