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Nursing Leadership

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

    Dr. Colleen SwartzChief Nurse Executive & Chief Administrative Officer, 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.

  • Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN

    Janie HeathDean, 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. 

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

    Lacey Buckler photoAssistant 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 directs the Office of Advance Practice. 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 HughesAssistant Chief Nurse Executive, Ambulatory & Oncology

    Patty Hughes currently serves as Assistant Chief Nurse Executive with responsibility for ambulatory care, oncology, infusion services, and pain management. Hughes has more than 20 years of progressive nursing experience, including key management positions throughout UK HealthCare. Prior to serving as Assistant Chief Nurse Executive, she served as oncology nursing service line director (2009 – 2016), 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.

    Dr. Hughes holds a DNP degree and is a board-certified Nurse Executive. She is a member of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing, American Organization of Nurse Executives, and Sigma Theta Tau International. 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, MHA, RN, NE-BC

    Brandy MathewsAssistant Chief Nurse Executive, Good Samaritan Hospital

    Mathews is a board-certified Nursing Executive and has more than 20 years of progressive nursing experience, including key management positions throughout UK HealthCare. Mathews completed her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in 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, DNP, RN, NE-BC

    Gwen MorelandAssistant 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. 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 IsaacsDirector, 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.

  • Julie Hudson, RN, MS, CNOR, NEA-BC

    Janie HudsonEnterprise 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, a board-certified Nursing Executive has also be 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.