Captain Cheryl Christine Ringer

April 22, 1965 to July 7, 2017

Captain Cheryl Christine Ringer
Medical Service Corps, United States Navy
April 22, 1965-July 7, 2017

CAPT Cheryl Ringer passed away July 7 after an untimely short but devastating battle with cancer.  Cheryl was a passionate Naval leader with over 22 years of medical, operational, and administrative experience.   At the time of her death, CAPT Ringer led the Continuous Process Improvement Office at Navy Medicine West (NMW), enhancing high reliability patient care across nine military treatment facilities through the collaborative engagement of medical teams.  Her previous assignments spanned the spectrum from strategic to tactical, including roles as Chief of Policy at the Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical, Healthcare Planning lead at the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department Head for three Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) Branch Medical Clinics, and Executive Assistant to the Commander of NMW/NMCSD.  CAPT Ringer courageously served 14 months as Director of Administration in NATO Role III Hospital Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan and deployed aboard the USNS MERCY as Deputy Director of Medical Operations.

Cheryl Christine Ringer was born April 22, 1965, in New Hope, PA, to Emory Ellsworth and Ruth Margaret (Grove) Ringer. She was educated at Cambridge Springs High School and received a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from Thiel College in Greenville, PA, where she also excelled on the basketball court and softball field.  She went on to earn a Master of Arts in Health Care Management and PhD in Healthcare Administration from Century University. After completing an initial tour as a US Air Force officer, Cheryl pursued a civilian career as the Director of Pima County Home Health, Chief Executive Officer at Tucson General Hospital, and consultant to Pima County Health Systems; all in Tucson, AZ.  She then returned to active duty, accepting a commission in the US Navy and reporting to Portsmouth, VA as her first duty station.

CAPT Ringer’s unique contributions have been recognized with many decorations and awards, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (6 awards), and Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards).  She was highly effective in her work, earning deep respect and admiration from all who served with her.  Our “MVP” remained an avid athlete all of her life.  She will be missed by her many close friends and shipmates in San Diego and around the world.

Cheryl is survived by the love of her life, her wife, Andrea Lapinski, and by her mother, Ruth, brother Jeffrey (Vera), sister Colleen Sutter (Doug), and several nephews and nieces.  A memorial service with full military honors was held Sunday, July 16, at the San Diego Yacht Club.  To honor Cheryl’s lifelong affection for animals, memorial donations may be sent to the Helen Woodward Animal Center, Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

Celebration of Life

  • Date: July 16, 2017
  • Time:
  • Location: San Diego Yacht Club
  • Address: 1011 Anchorage Lane San Diego CA 92106
  • Directions: San Diego Yacht Club

My Deepest Sympathies to you and your family. Today I read the CAPT Cheryl C. Ringer, MSC, USN, Memorial Award: Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) Essay Competition announcement and my heart sank. I met Cheryl at my first duty station at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. She was an amazing officer and person! Her passion for her job was always noticed. She and I were up for the Officer of the Quarter and of course she got it because she was so amazing! Rest in Peace Cheryl!

Linda Dunn Smith on July 19, 2018

I too served with Cheryl in Camp Bastion as Senior American Anesthesiologist. We spent a lot of off time pounding the cement playing hoops to keeps our spirits high. It was a pleasure to have known her and I was very saddened to hear of her devastating illness and passing. My sincere condolences go to Andrea and her family. Sorry for the delay I have only recently read of her passing. CDR Nicki Tarant MC USN Portsmouth, VA

Nicki Tarant on January 07, 2018

I served with Cheryl in Camp Bastion as the OIC the intensive care unit. It was a pleasure to have known her and I was very saddened to hear of her untimely death. My heartfelt condolences go out to Andrea and her family. Sorry for the delay I have only recently been informed Pat Gibson MBE Lt Col British Army

Pat Gibson MBE on November 08, 2017