Nursing leadership

Gwen Moreland, DNP, RN, NEA-BC

Gwen MorelandChief Nurse Executive, UK HealthCare

Moreland is a board-certified Nursing Executive and has more than 25 years of progressive nursing experience, including key management positions throughout UK HealthCare. She was appointed as chief nurse executive in the fall of 2019. 

Her prior experience includes serving as the ACNE for Kentucky Children's Hospital from 2014-2019, nursing operations administrator for Kentucky Children's Hospital Birthing Center from 1995-2011 and clinical staff nurse in obstetrics from 1992-1995. 

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

Rosalie O. Mainous, PhD, APRN, FAAANP, FNAP, FAAN

Dr. Rosalie MainousDean and Warwick Professor, University of Kentucky College of Nursing 

Mainous, a Lexington native and UK doctoral graduate, joined the UK College of Nursing as its sixth dean on Nov. 14, 2022.  

She was formerly a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow; director of academic nursing development at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing; former dean and professor at Wright State University-Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health in Dayton, Ohio; and associate dean for graduate programs and research and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Louisville (U of L) School of Nursing. 

Mainous most recently served as dean of Texas Woman’s University (TWU) with campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston. 

Along with a Ph.D. in nursing from UK, Mainous has a Master of Science in Nursing from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from U of L. She is a Distinguished Scholar and Fellow of the National Academies of Practice, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. 

Mainous practiced as a neonatal nurse practitioner and has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for research. She has worked diligently to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities in those most vulnerable among us — preterm infants. Her scholarship has scanned biobehavioral clinical research, work on incivility, readiness to practice in new BSN graduates, policy initiatives related to maternal access to care, curriculum design, support for new deans and academic rigor for practice doctorates. 

Patty Hughes, DNP, RN, NE-BC

Patty HughesChief Nursing Officer

Patty Hughes is the chief nurse officer for ambulatory care and infusion services. She has more than 35 years of progressive nursing experience, including key management positions throughout UK HealthCare.

Prior to serving as chief nursing officer, Hughes served as assistant chief nurse executive ambulatory, oncology, infusion services, acute pain services (2016-2022), nursing director of the oncology nursing service line (2009 – 2016), patient care manager for the Markey Cancer Center 2nd floor (2003 – 2009) and the clinical coordinator for the University of Kentucky Blood Brain Barrier Disruption Program (2000 – 2003). She began her career as a medical/surgical staff nurse before moving into supervisory and managerial roles.

Hughes holds a doctorate of nursing practice degree and is a board-certified nurse executive. She is a member of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing, American Organization of Nurse Leaders, American Nurses Association, Kentucky Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International. Her areas of interest include patient-centered care, staff engagement, standardization of care across the continuum and implementation of care models in ambulatory care settings.

Brandy Mathews, DNP, RN, NE-BC

Brandy MathewsChief Nursing Officer

Brandy Mathews is the chief nurse officer at UK HealthCare for Good Samaritan Hospital and emergency services. Prior to this role, she was the assistant chief nurse executive for the emergency services, medicine and trauma service lines. She also previously served as the administrator for capacity management, responsible for managing throughput activities and resources for the health care system. She has over 25 years of nursing experience, including more than 15 years of progressive leadership experience. 

Mathews received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in nursing practice from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. She also received a master of health administration from the UK Gatton School. Her research interests are primarily focused on the care of patients with mental health and behavioral issues in the hospital setting – specifically nurses’ perceived competency and clinicians’ self-efficacy and attitudes toward this patient population.

Mathews maintains national certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Organization for Nursing Leadership as a certified nurse executive. She was named a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is a member of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, where she currently serves as a member of the board of directors.  She is also an engaged member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Kentucky Organization of Nurse Leaders and a lifetime member of the UK Alumni Association.

Kim Blanton, DNP, RN, NEA-BC

Chief Nursing Officer Kim BlantonChief Nursing Officer

Kim Blanton is the chief nursing officer for Chandler Medical Center. Blanton is a board-certified nurse executive with 25+ years of progressive nursing experience, including key management positions throughout UK HealthCare. 

Blanton completed her master’s in health care administration at the University of Phoenix in Arizona in 2009, a masters in nursing practice and doctorate in nursing practice at the University of Kentucky in 2020. She began her career in 1998, serving as a critical care nurse in the UK HealthCare neurology intensive care unit.

She took on multiple nursing leadership roles during her initial 11 years before leaving in 2008 to serve as director of critical  care nursing for Pikeville Medical Center. In January 2011, she rejoined UK HealthCare as a hospital operations administrator. Prior to accepting the chief nursing officer role, Blanton was the enterprise nursing operations director for the cardiovascular service line, interventional services and infection prevention and control.

Kathy B. Isaacs, PhD, RN, NEA-BC

Kathy IsaacsChief Nursing Officer

Kathy Isaacs transitioned to interim assistant chief nurse executive in February 2019 and assumed the role officially in January 2020. Her previous experience was in the neonatal intensive care unit at UK HealthCare, serving as a staff registered nurse, assistant patient care manager, clinical nurse specialist, patient care manager and enterprise director of nursing professional practice and development.

Isaacs holds a doctorate in nursing with a focus on qualitative research and is nationally certified as a nurse executive. She received training with the Center for Creative Leadership in Coaching to provide support to those in a leadership role. Isaacs continues working to provide opportunities for the professional growth and development of nurses at all levels of practice. Her interests include promoting a culture of quality and safety for our patients and staff in an environment of clinical inquiry.

Marc Woods, DNP, RN, NEA-BC

Mark Woods, MSN, RNChief Nursing Officer

Marc Woods is a nurse executive with more than 27 years of progressive nursing experience, including key management positions throughout UK HealthCare and Eastern State Hospital. 

He completed his master’s of nursing with a concentration in nursing administration in 2017 and is currently working on his doctorate of nursing, with a focus in executive leadership, at the University of Kentucky. Prior to working as assistant chief nurse executive in behavioral health, he served in numerous leadership roles at Eastern State Hospital, a facility managed by UK HealthCare.

In 2013, Woods played an integral role in transitioning Eastern State Hospital from its old location to the current facility on Bull Lea Road in Lexington, launching the collaboration with UK HealthCare. He has used that opportunity to move toward providing more integrated behavioral health care for the hospital’s patients in partnership with UK HealthCare.

Woods has driven several quality-based initiatives throughout UK HealthCare, including suicide prevention strategies, special observations, and seclusion and restraint reduction efforts. In 2014, he led an initiative at Eastern State Hospital that addressed seclusion and restraint rates, challenging a decades-long culture of overutilization. The effort yielded a sustained 80% reduction in the use of seclusion and restraint from previous years.

Woods is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International, the American Organization of Nurse Leaders and the Kentucky Organization of Nurse Leaders.

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