The University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences inducted Bill Grimes, APRN, PA, into its Alumni Hall of Fame on April 19, 2018. Grimes, who is retired but still teaches part time at the College of Heath Sciences, is known for his legacy of compassionate care as both an educator and clinician.
“I am proud to welcome Bill into the College of Health Sciences Hall of Fame,” said Dean Scott M. Lephart, PhD. “I can personally attest to his commitment to the health care profession and educating future caregivers. He serves in an exemplary manner through his work with students and as the co-founder of New Hope Free Clinic, which seeks to alleviate financial burdens for patients.”
Born and raised in Chicago, Grimes moved to Kentucky in 1976. He holds multiple degrees including two associates, one in nursing and one in science; a B.S. in Science; B.H.S. in Health Science from the College of Health Sciences; a master’s in pastoral studies; and a Doctor of Ministry in health care ministry.
“My experience and work is in health science, but my attitude is that health care is a ministry,” Grimes said. “It’s caring for people in a different kind of way.” This calling led Grimes to co-found New Hope Free Clinic in Owingsville, Kentucky. According to Grimes, a burden for many patients stems from the attitude that business and payment in the medical profession is paramount, rather than care for the patient being the most essential factor.
“Poverty is a huge divider in our nation,” Grimes said. “Lack of health insurance is a crisis. In a small way, we started this free clinic to try and bridge gaps for people who otherwise could not afford medical care.”
Grimes distinctly remembers one of the first patients who planted the seed for New Hope’s beginning. “I was working at a regular clinic when a local patient I knew, a smoker, came in with a cough and other advanced symptoms,” he said. “I was fairly certain she had lung cancer. I gently asked her why she waited so long to seek medical care.”
Her answer still sticks with Grimes to this day. “She replied she had made an appointment a few months ago and was immediately asked upfront how she planned to pay for her visit,” he said. “This patient was so taken aback that she decided she would not return to the office until she collected enough money to be seen.”
The process to save up payment was a long one, and sadly, Grimes’s patient passed away within three months of his diagnosis. “It was difficult to watch that happen,” he said. “I knew then that I wanted to create another way for people with fewer financial means to seek help and care.”
Grimes attributes his experience as a clinician, and with New Hope, as his most helpful asset as an educator. “One of the things I always stress to my students is that we must be people who truly care,” he said. “What does care mean? For me, it means I treat patients with dignity and want what is best for them. I do everything I can to help them come to a better health and better life. It’s important for my students and all health care providers to remember that we must always keep the ‘care’ in health care.”
Shaffer currently serves as an associate professor and director of the U.S. Army Baylor Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy, and as dean of the Graduate School, Academy of Health Sciences, located in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He also serves as a physical therapy consultant to the U.S. Army Surgeon General; as chief of the Army Physical Therapy Section, and assistant corps chief, Army Medical Specialist Corps.
His research is focused on adult neurological disorders and aging, as well as functional screening. Shaffer has focused much of his recent work on subacromial neuropathy and median and ulnar neuropathies. He has had a consistent publication record and demonstrated success in securing extramural funding. Additionally, Shaffer is active in the classroom and has received numerous research awards, including the Army Medical Specialist Corp/Colonel Mary Lipscomb Hamrick Lifetime Research Achievement Award, and the Army Medical Department Center and School Graduate School Research Presentation Award.
Shaffer is a decorated soldier. His awards include a Bosnia Medal (1998), Meritorious Service Medal (1997, 2000, 2004), an Order of the Military Medical Merit (2010), and an Iraqi Campaign Medal (2010). He has active duty experience, serving our country in Bosnia and Iraq.
“As impressively, it is clear that Colonel Shaffer has risen quickly as a leader,” said nominator Carl Mattacola, Ph.D., ATC, FNATA, professor and an associate dean at the College of Health Sciences. “He was recently promoted to Colonel and has demonstrated that he is a rising star in academic medicine. He is a gentleman, scholar, and demonstrated leader who is a superb representative of our College and the Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Program.”
Shaffer earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Nebraska Wesleyan University; a Master’s in Physical Therapy at U.S. Army-Baylor; a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences at the UK College of Health Sciences; and a master’s in strategic studies at U.S. Army War College.
Shaffer is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the APTA Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Section, Electrophysiologic Physical Therapy Section, and Education Physical Therapy Section. He is also a member of the Order of the Military Medical Merit. He currently serves as a journal reviewer for the Journal of Sports Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy.
Smith currently serves as Chief of Enterprise Academic Service Lines for UK HealthCare, a new position focused on developing and implementing patient-centered care models, as defined by the UK HealthCare 2015-2020 strategic plan. She will be leaving UK in May to accept the Senior Vice President of Inpatient Services position with UC Health.
“I am honored, proud, delighted, humbled…and stunned,” Smith said of her induction. “It’s an honor beyond description…to be so recognized by ‘my’ college, to join the past recipients of this recognition makes me deeply grateful.”
Smith has held her current position since 2016, and she has been a key staff member during years of critical growth for UK HealthCare, including the construction of the new 1.2 million square feet hospital. She previously served as Chief Administrative Officer, responsible for the operations of inpatient services for both A.B. Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children’s Hospital and UK Good Samaritan Hospital. Her other positions include associate hospital director for the A.B. Chandler Hospital for seven years where her responsibilities included administrative and fiscal oversight of multiple service lines including Perioperative Services, Transplant Center, and the Center for Advanced Surgery and director of Diagnostic Services for Chandler Hospital.
“Ann’s career with UK Health Care administration has spanned more than two decades. During her tenure, she has grown tremendously, in stride with the growth of the UK HealthCare Enterprise,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs. “She has consistently demonstrated excellent communication and leadership skills, as well as her signature collaborative style. We value Ann’s significant contributions to UK HealthCare and to the Commonwealth, and she is deserving of this honor.”
Smith’s career growth at UK HealthCare, as well as her leadership during UK HealthCare’s exponential growth, were among the chief reasons for her nomination.
“Significant growth is evident during Ann’s tenure as a UK HealthCare administrator—the Markey Cancer Center, Kentucky Clinic, Critical Care Tower at Chandler, and the VA Hospital were added to the Chandler Hospital landscape,” said nominator Karen O. Skaff, RDH, Ph.D., professor at the College of Health Sciences. “Ann’s personal reputation and distinguished service is highly regarded by patients, providers, students, and professional colleagues.”
Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology at the UK College of Health Sciences and a Masters of Public Administration at UK. She is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for public affairs and administration and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She credits the College of Health Sciences with forming her educational foundation.
“The College provided me with the critical thinking skills, as well as with the technical skills to help me define myself,” Smith said. “The growth I’ve experience in my years of affiliation with the College and in my career with UK HealthCare stemmed from those classroom and lab interactions, the opportunities to learn, and the feedback provided.”