Nursing Leadership

Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN


University of Kentucky College of Nursing 

Dr. Janie Heath was appointed dean and Warwick Professor of Nursing for the UK College of Nursing on Aug. 1, 2014. 

She was formerly an endowed professor of nursing and the chief academic officer at the University of Virginia and Georgia Health Sciences University (formerly the Medical College of Georgia and now Georgia Regents University). She has provided academic leadership for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Critical-Care Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and at the University of South Carolina. 

Dr. Heath earned her Master of Science Degree, with a clinical nurse specialist focus, from the University of Oklahoma and her post-master’s with an acute-adult nurse practitioner focus from the University of South Carolina. She completed her PhD in nursing from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., in 2004. 

She has more than 38 years of acute and critical care nursing experience in various positions from staff to administration to advanced practice and academia. She has been awarded more than $12 million for academic and/or research initiatives, generated more than 150 publications and abstracts, and has served on numerous regional and national task forces for tobacco control and advanced practice nursing initiatives. Her primary research program of study involves workforce development using the Rx for Change: Clinician-Assisted Tobacco Cessation Curriculum to effectively intervene with tobacco-dependent populations in acute and primary care settings. 

In addition, Dr. Heath served as a member of the board of directors for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), served as the inaugural chair for the Beacons of Leadership Initiative in Pursuit of Healthy Work Environments, a 30-hospital-wide collaborative in the Washington–Baltimore, area for the Greater Washington Area Chapter of AACN and founded the Nurses for Tobacco Control national coalition for nurse educators. 

Colleen H. Swartz, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC


Chief nurse executive
UK HealthCare

Colleen Swartz became chief nurse executive at UK HealthCare in December 2008. Her prior experience includes serving as chief nursing officer at a regional community hospital, as director of emergency and trauma services flight nursing and as director of the Capacity Command Center for UK HealthCare. 

Swartz holds a DNP degree, master’s degree in nursing as a clinical nurse specialist in trauma/critical care and an MBA. She has completed the Johnson & Johnson Wharton Fellows Program in management for nurse executives. 

The integration of production systems strategies to optimize the care delivery model is of primary interest to Swartz. Her research interests also include study of clinical deterioration and early warning systems deployment in adult and pediatric populations.

Kathleen Kopser, MSN, RN, NE-BC


Associate Chief Nurse Executive
Albert B. Chandler Hospital

Kathleen Giauque Kopser is the senior nurse administrator for UK HealthCare’s Albert B. Chandler Hospital and Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Prior to accepting this position in 2009, she served as the interim chief nursing officer for Chandler Hospital and KCH, and as director for acute care services, inpatient cancer services and renal dialysis. She began her career in a small, 80-bed hospital in Ohio but then returned to her alma mater, the University of Kentucky, in September 1976 and has been employed by UK HealthCare since that time. 

Raised in Fredericktown, Ohio, Kosper earned her BSN and MSN degrees at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. Most recently, her clinical focus has been in oncology nursing, specifically the care of bone marrow transplant patients. She is the recipient of both the MJ Dixon Quality Nursing Award and the Diana Weaver Leadership Award, and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and the American Organization of Nurse Executives. She is also certified in nursing administration through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Lacey Buckler, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, NE-BC

Lacey Buckler

Assistant Chief Nurse Executive
Advanced Practice and Strategic Outreach

Buckler is board-certified as an acute care nurse practitioner and has more than eight years of progressive nursing experience, including key management positions within nursing and advanced practice. Since 2006, she has been integrally involved in advanced practice work, including serving as inpatient APRN supervisor (2006 – present) and cardiovascular nursing services director (2012 – present).

In 2008 she founded and still co-directs the Office of Advance Practice with Vicky Turner. Buckler began her career as a cardiovascular staff nurse before moving into supervisory and managerial roles. With this new position, Buckler will maintain her director role for inpatient Cardiovascular Services.

Patty Hughes, DNP, RN, NE-BC

Patty Hughes

Assistant Chief Nurse Executive

Hughes is a board-certified Nursing Executive and has more than 20 years of progressive nursing experience, including key management positions throughout UK HealthCare. Prior to serving as interim ACNE, she has also served as oncology nursing service line director (2009 – present), Patient Care Manager for Markey 2nd floor (2003 – 2009) and the Clinical Coordinator for the University of Kentucky Blood Brain Barrier Disruption Program (2000 – 2003). Hughes began her career as a medical surgical staff nurse, before moving into supervisory and managerial roles.  

Brandy Mathews, MSN, MHA, RN, NE-BC

Brandy Mathews

Assistant Chief Nurse Executive
Good Samaritan Hospital

Mathews is a board-certified Nursing Executive and has more than 18 years of progressive nursing experience, including key management positions throughout UK HealthCare. Mathews is currently working on her Doctorate of Nursing Practice with an anticipated graduation date of 2016. Prior to working as interim ACNE, she has also served as administrator for Capacity Management (2009 – 2014) and the patient placement coordinator (2005 – 2009).

Prior to joining UK HealthCare, Mathews served as a flight nurse with PHi Air Medical Services from 2003 to 2005. Mathews began her career as a staff nurse in the UK Emergency Department, before moving into supervisory and managerial roles.   

Gwen Moreland, MSN, RN, NE-BC

Gwen Moreland

Assistant Chief Nurse Executive
Kentucky Children's Hospital

Moreland is a board-certified Nursing Executive and has more than 19 years of progressive nursing experience, including key management positions throughout UK HealthCare. Moreland is currently working on her Doctorate of Nursing Practice with an anticipated graduation date of 2016. Prior to working as interim ACNE, she has also served as nursing operations administrator for Kentucky Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Birthing Center (2007 – 2014), patient care manager for the Birthing Center and Newborn Nursery (1995 – 2011) and perinatal outreach coordinator (1994 – 1995).

Moreland began her career as a child/adolescent psychiatry nurse and a staff nurse in obstetrics, before moving into supervisory and managerial roles. 

Kathy B. Isaacs, PhD, RN

Kathy Isaacs

Director, Nursing Professional Development
UK HealthCare

Kathy Isaacs assumed the director of nursing professional development role in September 2013. Her previous experience was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UK HealthCare serving as a staff RN, assistant patient care manager, clinical nurse specialist and patient care manager. Isaacs holds a PhD in nursing with a focus on qualitative research. She received training with the Center for Creative Leadership in Coaching to provide support to those in a leadership role.

Isaacs continues to work to provide opportunities for the professional growth and development of nurses at all levels of practice.

Robyn Cheung, PhD, RN

Robyn Cheung

Director, Nursing Professional Practice & Innovation

Robyn Cheung is a registered nurse and obtained her PhD at the University of South Florida. Her post-graduate work includes a post-doctoral fellowship in health services research and policy at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Nursing under the direction of Dr. Linda Aiken, director, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research. Dr. Cheung was an integral member of the research team and a significant contributor to the seminal paper detailing the association of hospital BSN-prepared nurses with lower rates of mortality, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. During her nine-year tenure at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Cheung published several papers in highly regarded journals.

In 2011, Dr. Cheung relocated to Lexington, where she is the director of nursing professional practice & innovation for UK HealthCare.

Julie L. Hudson, RN, MS, CNOR

Julie Hudson

Enterprise Administrator for Perioperative Services

Julie L. Hudson joined UK HealthCare in September of 2013. Her prior leadership experience includes director of perioperative and endoscopic services at a community hospital as well as two level one trauma centers in the Midwest. Her 32 years of nursing practice includes clinical expertise in accreditation, intensive care, pediatric and perioperative nursing.

A native of Illinois, she began her career in a rural hospital in Crawford County. Hudson holds both associate and bachelor’s degrees in Nursing. She earned her master’s in Nursing Administration at the University of Illinois.

Hudson has been certified in perioperative nursing since 1990. She is a member of both the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses and the American College of Healthcare Executives. She has served as president and board member for Urbana-Champaign AORN chapter, visiting clinical instructor at the University of Illinois, and has generated several national publications, abstracts and presentations.

Page last updated: 9/24/2015 11:57:08 AM