Home Is Where The Health Is

Home Is Where The Health Is

Arkansas Children’s Hospital is a nationally ranked pediatric center located in the state capitol of Little Rock. While children receive treatment for various ailments, the Director of Strategy and Planning, Tracey Bradley Simmons, MSN, RN, CCM, develops new ways to change the narrative surrounding child healthcare in Arkansas.

That is a big deal. As the only pediatric health system in Arkansas, it is vital that Tracey and her team make every effort they can to provide top notch healthcare to the youth in the surrounding community and beyond.

Tracey’s work as a nurse is different than what one might think of a traditional nurse.

“I think it is a rather unique role to have as a nurse and I love that! I get to work alongside a group of talented leaders who together, are so dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow, the mission of Arkansas Children’s.”

An Arkansas native herself, Tracey naturally understands the healthcare landscape of her home state. Arkansas is a very rural state which makes accessing healthcare, especially for children, a major hurdle. The communities are close knit and resilient, often leaning on one another for support.

“I see myself and my own family in the people and communities we serve. We have shared commitment to building a future of healthy and happy kids. That is pretty special!”

Building that future of happy healthy kids is no small task however. The community needs to actually see that the effort is there. One way that Tracey and her colleagues are showing that effort is through their 60-Mile Commitment initiative. Through this effort, Tracey aims to expand the child health network in Arkansas so that no child is more than 60 miles away from the nearest care facility.

“The work that we do is attached to bold goals designed to reach our system’s vision which is Unprecedented child health. Defined and delivered. Moving the needle in a positive direction on child health outcomes in our state directly impacts our nation’s child health outcomes. My work is very much big picture in scope.”

The road to leading such a global approach starts small however. Child-sized, even. After graduating from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Tracey began her nursing career as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse, eventually becoming a Maternal and Neonatal Care Manager, helping patients in every state across the country. Nursing opened the door for Tracey to sit on national and state committees to work towards healthcare initiatives such as eliminating maternal and infant mortality. All of this work is extremely important, but most importantly for Tracey, being a nurse has helped her model for her own children acts of service, kindness, and care for others in the unique way that only a nurse can. 

Click here to learn more about the programs at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.

Go to unitedstatesofnursing.org to see more stories in The United States of Nursing.

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