Guest speaker for the Dec. 11 fall commencement exercises at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith will be Melody Trimble, chief executive officer for Sparks Health System and Summit Medical Center.
The 7 p.m. ceremony in Stubblefield Center will include the awarding of degrees and certificates for those completing graduation requirements during the second summer term and the fall semester.
Dr. Paul B. Beran, UAFS chancellor, said Trimble has immersed herself in the community since moving to Fort Smith in 2009.
“Melody Trimble has forged an impressive career in the healthcare field,” said Beran, “but she has also assumed a leadership role in other facets of our region, becoming involved and active in this community. She leads and serves, and we are fortunate to have someone of her caliber come to share with the December graduates.”
Trimble had served as CEO at Venice Regional Medical Center in Venice, Fla., for nearly five years before assuming her role with Sparks in December 2009. She has been with Health Management Associates since June 1991, serving at multiple hospitals in roles that include clinical director of emergency services, chief nursing officer and chief operating officer.
Health Management Associates awarded Trimble its CEO of the Year Award in 2010. In 2011, she received the company’s prestigious President’s Leadership Award for her commitment to selflessness, servant leadership and focus on quality patient care.
Trimble was named one of the most powerful business leaders in the state by Arkansas Business magazine and was profiled as AY magazine’s Most Powerful Woman in Healthcare in March 2012. In October 2012, she was honored with the Administrator of the Year Award by the Arkansas Hospital Auxiliary Association in the Over 100 Bed category, the first female administrator to receive the honor for large hospitals since 1995.
She currently represents the Arkansas Valley District for the Arkansas Hospital Association Board of Directors. She serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce and is chair of its Health Care Division. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Arkansas/Oklahoma Healthcare Consortium, the Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House and the Noble Cause Awards.
Trimble has a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Kentucky and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Eastern Kentucky University. She and her husband, Mike, have two daughters and three grandchildren.
The fall 2012 candidates for graduation represent 298 bachelor’s degrees, 153 associate degrees and 54 technical certificates. Summer II graduates include 59 receiving bachelor’s degrees, 38 receiving associate degrees and 23 receiving technical certificates.