Karen Ryan Named Vital Link Chief Executive Officer

Link Board of Directors announced that Karen Ryan joined Vital Link as Chief Executive Officer effective February 11. She succeeds Myra L. Wood after her retirement in December 2012.

Ryan, US Army – Lieutenant Colonel and Independence County native, most recently served as the Case Management Supervisor for the Community Based Warrior Transition Unit at Camp Robinson with previous military assignments in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a registered nurse, Karen has twenty years of military healthcare experience and the ability to meet goals and objectives necessary to lead Vital Link in an ever-changing and challenging healthcare environment.

“After conducting a nationwide search, we were absolutely thrilled to find someone of this caliber right here at home. Karen’s proven leadership abilities will enable us to continue to grow on Vital Link’s foundation of excellence fostered under our former CEO Myra Wood”, said Robb Roberts, Vital Link Board of Directors Chair.

“I see a bright future for Vital Link,” said Ryan. “The organization has positioned itself throughout the years as an innovative quality ambulance service. I am excited for this opportunity to combine passion for healthcare and utilize my extensive leadership experience in military healthcare.”

Ryan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and a Master’s Degree in Health Services. She is married to Steve Ryan and they have two children, Matthew, a veterinary student and Mississippi State and Chaney, a Junior at Cedar Ridge High School. Vital Link is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that has provided ambulance services in North Central Arkansas since 1983. Vital Link currently serves Independence, Izard, Stone, and portions of Baxter, Cleburne, Jackson, Lawrence, Searcy, and White counties. In addition to emergency and medical transportation, Vital Link also offers pre-employment and random employee drug testing, EMS billing services, and emergency vehicle maintenance and repair.

Vital Link accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services, one of only four CAAS accredited services in Arkansas and one of over one hundred and forty accredited ambulance services in the entire country.