Trenda Ray Named Chief Nursing Officer for UAMS Health

By Liz Caldwell

She is responsible for ensuring quality nursing care and has executive oversight for the hospital’s nursing units, respiratory care, international services and pastoral care. She also is responsible for the care management team, including hospital and outpatient services, the inpatient psychiatric social work team, and community health advocates.

Ray joined UAMS in 2011 as the ambulatory operations officer and director of ambulatory nursing. She served as director of accreditation and compliance from 2014 to January 2017, when she was named to lead the care management program. In 2018, she served as the associate vice chancellor for patients and families.

Before joining UAMS in 2011, Dr. Ray served for more than 10 years in various roles at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, including as director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. She also served as the director of clinical operations for ambulatory services and as an advance practice registered nurse (APRN) in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.

She was awarded the Society of Pediatric Nurses New Researcher Award of Excellence in 2008.

Ray earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia in 1997. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing in 2000 and a Ph.D. in nursing in 2010, both from UAMS.


UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

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