Nursing Leadership


The University of Mississippi Medical Center is fortunate to have two experienced nursing leaders at the helm of our nursing program.

Terri Gillespie, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

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  • Chief Nursing Executive Officer
    University Hospitals and Health System
  • Chief Nursing Officer
    University Hospital

Gillespie has 30 years of nursing experience – most of which has been with the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Before joining UMMC, Gillespie worked in the Emergency Department at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, NC. While at UMMC, Gillespie has worked as a staff nurse in the Adult Emergency Department, Nurse Manager in the SICU/PACU, Clinical Director of Adult Critical Care and Operations Director of the eICU, the first electronic ICU in the state of Mississippi and most recently as Chief Nursing and Clinical Services Officer of Children’s Healthcare of Mississippi. During her tenure with UMMC, she has also been heavily involved in raising awareness of organ donation, transplantation and promoting end of life training.

Gillespie holds a BSN from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, and an MSN – Executive Track from the UMMC SON. She is currently enrolled in their Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program. She is also a member of the Mississippi Nurses Association (MNA), American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), STT, American Association of Critical Nurses (AACN) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA).

Active for several years in community and professional organizations, Terri has many awards to her credit including Master Preceptor Award from the UMMC School of Nursing in 2011; Nurse Executive Award from the Mississippi Hospital Association in 2010; Innovation Award for eICU from the Mississippi Organization of Nurse Executives; name one of Mississippi’s Top 50 Business Women in 2011 by the Mississippi Business Journal and was recently named UMMC’s Nurse Administrator of the Year in 2014.

Michelle Welander, DNP, RN

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  • Chief Nursing and Clinical Services Officer
    Children’s of Mississippi

Welander, a longtime nurse and leader at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, was named Chief Nursing and Clinical Services Officer of Batson Children's Hospital and its statewide network of clinics, Children's of Mississippi, in October 2014.

She joined the Medical Center 20 years ago as a staff nurse after earning her BSN at the Mississippi University for Women School of Nursing in Columbus. Welander worked her way up to director of children’s heart services and clinical director of children’s critical care before assuming her current role as chief nursing and clinical services officer. During that time, she also earned her MSN in nursing and hospital administration summa cum laude and her DNP from the UMMC School of Nursing.

Welander is a member of several professional organizations, including the American College of Health Executives, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Nurses Association, the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the Southeast Pediatric Cardiovascular Society.