LITTLE ROCK, AR. (Sept. 27, 2022) – Arkansas Children’s Hospital has hired veteran nurse leader Kris Maddalena, MSN, BSN, as its senior vice president and chief nursing officer.

Maddalena, who brings more than 15 years of nursing leadership experience to the role, will lead the largest division of Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s workforce. Her dynamic experience will help build, support and leverage a nursing team already creating a new era of health for Arkansas kids. Maddalena began serving in the position earlier this month.

“Kris has a track record of fostering a culture of ownership through accountability, respect, continuous improvement and shared governance,” said Arkansas Children’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jamie Wiggins. “As chief nursing officer, she will provide clinical and administrative leadership for planning, organizing, directing, monitoring and evaluating safe and high-quality patient care at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. We couldn’t be more excited to see how her leadership further strengthens our commitment to delivering unprecedented child health.”

Joining the Arkansas Children’s team brings Maddalena’s career full circle. She grew up in Arkansas and began her healthcare career as a patient care technician at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Maddalena returns to the region from Advent Health in Tampa, Florida, where she served as assistant chief nursing officer. Under her leadership, the hospital experienced improvement in physician engagement, nursing care and overall quality of care.

Before joining AdventHealth, Maddalena held several leadership positions during her tenure at SSM Health in Missouri and University of Florida Health in Jacksonville, Fla. She made significant contributions to operational improvement, team member development and implementation of standard work to ensure optimal quality outcomes for patients.

Kris holds a Master of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain College of Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She is certified Green Belt Lean Six Sigma and holds ANCC Certification in Nurse Executive – Board Certified and AONL certification Executive Nursing Practice (CENP®). She is registered by both Florida and Missouri State Boards of Nursing.


Arkansas Children's is the only healthcare system in the state solely dedicated to caring for Arkansas' more than 700,000 children. The private, non-profit organization includes two pediatric hospitals, a pediatric research institute and USDA nutrition center, a philanthropic foundation, a nursery alliance, statewide clinics, and many education and outreach programs — all focused on fulfilling a promise to define and deliver unprecedented child health. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) is a 336-bed, Magnet-recognized facility in Little Rock operating the state’s only Level I pediatric trauma center; the state's only burn center; the state's only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit; the state's only pediatric intensive care unit; the state’s only pediatric surgery program with Level 1 verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS); the state’s only magnetoencephalography (MEG) system for neurosurgical planning and cutting-edge research; and the state's only nationally recognized pediatric transport program. Arkansas Children’s Hospital is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in seven pediatric specialties (2022—2023): Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Pulmonology and Urology.  Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW), the first and only pediatric hospital in the Northwest Arkansas region, is a level IV pediatric trauma center. ACNW operates a 24-bed inpatient unit; a surgical unit with five operating rooms; outpatient clinics offering over 20 subspecialties; diagnostic services; imaging capabilities; occupational therapy services; and Northwest Arkansas' only pediatric emergency department, equipped with 30 exam rooms. Generous philanthropic and volunteer engagement has sustained Arkansas Children's since it began as an orphanage in 1912, and today ensures the system can deliver on its promise of unprecedented child health. To learn more, visit

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