Ryan Cork named UAMS NWA vice-chancellor, starts Sept. 1

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 356 views 

Ryan Cork.

Ryan Cork, executive director of the Northwest Arkansas Council’s healthcare transformation division since 2021, is headed to a new role in the region.

In a memo to employees obtained by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal and Talk Business & Politics, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) announced that Cork will become its new Northwest Arkansas vice-chancellor.

“Ryan Cork, MSHA, has accepted our offer to be vice chancellor for the Northwest Arkansas Region, effective Sept. 1.,” noted a memo from UAMS Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson. “Ryan has extensive experience in leadership and health care administration combined with knowledge about the health care needs and opportunities in Northwest Arkansas. These qualities will be critical as UAMS continues to expand its academic, clinical and research presence in the region — whether it’s our effort to add more graduate medical education slots or completion of the UAMS Health Orthopaedics & Sports Performance Center that we broke ground on last year.”

“The Northwest Arkansas Council is grateful to Ryan for his years of service to improve health care in Northwest Arkansas,” said Nelson Peacock, Northwest Arkansas Council president and CEO. “Through his leadership of the Council’s Health Care Transformation Division, Ryan made meaningful impact by achieving region-wide collaboration toward tackling important issues such as graduate medical education, expansion of clinical services and specialty care, and COVID-19. We wish him the best in his new role at UAMS and are confident that we will continue to work directly with Ryan and the UAMS team on critical health care issues.”

Before joining the Northwest Arkansas Council, Cork spent the previous nine years working for the Cleveland Clinic. He served in several leadership positions, including jobs in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and other Middle Eastern and North African countries.

“I am excited to join the UAMS team. I am grateful for the opportunity and would like to thank Drs. Patterson and Gardner,” Cork said. “As we continue to expand access to specialty care, research and education, in Northwest Arkansas and across our state, I am honored to be a part of that expansion.”

Cork’s career began as a senior medical corpsman for the U.S. Navy before taking on the role of administrator at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and James Cancer Hospital. Cork spent 12 years at OSU before joining the Cleveland Clinic.

He received a master’s degree in human services and healthcare administration from Capella University in Minneapolis in 2009. He also has earned certificates in leadership and management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2015) and Cornell University (2013).

Patterson’s memo also noted that Eric Leemis, MHA, assistant vice chancellor of financial operations on the Northwest Campus, will be the assistant vice chancellor of financial operations and administration for the region. Leemis has been with UAMS since 2017.