WAUSAU, Wis. — Ruth Risley-Gray, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Aspirus, has been named the 2018 Nurse Leader of the Year by the Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives (WONE). She will receive the award on April 5, 2018 at the WONE Spring Conference.

In a letter to Risley-Gray, WONE President Doreen Kluth wrote, “You have made many wonderful contributions to our professional organization, to nursing and nursing leadership, Aspirus, Inc., and the community. We look forward to honoring you.”

Currently a resident of Hatley, Wis., Risley-Gray began her health care career in 1976 as a staff nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Milwaukee. She quickly moved into leadership positions of increasing authority, serving at several rural, regional and academic health care systems before assuming her current position with Aspirus in January 2014.

Risley-Gray has earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a master’s degree in Health Care Administration from Texas Woman’s University in Houston, Tex. She holds the following specialty certifications:

  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality by the National Association for Healthcare Quality
  • Certified Executive in Nursing Practice by the American Organization of Nurse Executives
  • Certified Trainer in Just Culture

She is active in the following professional organizations and associations:

  • American College of Healthcare Executives
  • National and Wisconsin Association of Healthcare Quality
  • American and Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives
  • American and Wisconsin Nurses Association
  • Northcentral Technical College Board of Trustees (Board Chair 2011-2013)
  • Blood Center of North Central Wisconsin Board of Trustees
  • Aspirus Medford Hospital & Clinics Board of Directors

Aspirus President and CEO Matt Heywood, who nominated Ruth for the award, said he couldn’t think of a more deserving leader. “Ruth is incredibly passionate about nursing and about constantly elevating the care we provide to those who choose Aspirus,” he said. “I’m proud to have her on our executive leadership team, and I look forward to the many more contributions she will make to our system and the communities we serve.”

For a complete list of the criteria used by WONE to identify the Nurse Leader of the Year, please click here: http://w-one.org/nurse-leader-of-the-year/.

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