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COLUMBUS, Miss. – Mississippi University for Women alumna Dr. Marcella L. McKay will address W graduates Saturday, May 11 in Rent Auditorium, Whitfield Hall.

Approximately 400 degree candidates for May 2013 are expected to participate in the ceremony.

Conferring of degrees for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Professional Studies and College of Education and Human Sciences will be at 10 a.m.  Conferring of degrees for graduates of the College of Nursing and Speech-Language Pathology will start at 1:30 p.m.

McKay serves in a dual role as chief operating officer for the Mississippi Hospital Association (MHA) and president and chief executive officer for the MHA Health, Research & Educational Foundation. Her areas of expertise include health policy, regulatory compliance, patient safety, quality of care and healthcare administration.

Dr. McKay has more than 30 years of experience in health care in clinical, education and administrative positions and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). She previously served as executive director of the Mississippi Board of Nursing and served on the Board of Directors for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (1991). She currently serves on the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded New Jersey Nursing Initiative and serves on numerous boards and committees for health care organizations and health-related education programs.

She spent four years on The W campus receiving bachelor of science degrees in biology and nursing and a master’s of education in special education. She continued her education at the University of Mississippi Medical Center receiving a master of science in nursing and doctor of philosophy in clinical health science.

Dr. McKay completed the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellowship, a world-class leadership program to enhance the effectiveness of nurse leaders to impact the U.S. health system. She has received awards including executive leadership designation from the Executive Development Institute of the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service (1986); the Mississippi Nurses Association Board of Directors Award for Excellence (2002); recognition as one of the Mississippi Business Journal’s 50 Leading Business Women (2004); and Mississippi Nurses Association 2009 Nurse of the Year in a Non-traditional Setting.

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