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Ryan McKee

Ryan McKee

Ryan McKee

Associate Vice President of Clinical Services

I’m Ryan McKee, associate vice president of clinical services at Phelps Health. I oversee the inpatient nursing units and the hospital's ancillary (supportive) departments and enjoy daily interactions with the staff and patients. Healthcare is always changing, and opportunities for learning and engagement are continual. In this field, I am never bored.

I began my career in quality control manufacturing but moved into nursing after the company I worked for closed due to a market downturn. I knew I had to make a change and wanted to work in healthcare, so I enrolled in nursing school and took a night position as an aide in the Phelps Health ICU (Intensive Care Unit).

After graduation, I became an RN (registered nurse) in the ICU, eventually becoming a shift manager. Later, I had an opportunity to become the ICU director, serving for a couple of years before transitioning to the director of Emergency Services at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges, I had an amazing team who supported each other and the community. Post-pandemic, I was promoted to executive director over critical care, and in 2022, I was promoted to my current role.

I have always been interested in leadership and enjoy learning. Healthcare leadership is exceptionally complex at times. Every decision you make has the potential to impact our patients and their lives. Often, people who work in healthcare choose the profession to make a difference and help others. As healthcare professionals, we support our patients in some of the best and worst times of their lives.  

As a leader, I believe in empowering my teams to make decisions, which requires clear communication and taking responsibility for outcomes. Should an opportunity for improvement arise, I acknowledge it and consider how I may not have communicated effectively. Leaders must be accountable by checking their egos at the door, admitting mistakes, taking responsibility and working to overcome obstacles. The goal is to put the patient first in any decision we make.

My education includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Missouri and two master’s degrees from the same university: one in healthcare administration, and a second in informatics and bioinformatics.

I grew up in Illinois, about 15 minutes from St. Louis, but my home is now St. James. My wife also works in healthcare, as a nurse practitioner/certified nurse midwife, and we have two children.

In my free time, I enjoy fishing, hunting, hiking and cheering on the Mizzou Tigers.

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