Two New Board of Trustees Members Join Ultimate Medical Academy

Tampa, Florida, Jan. 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA), a non-profit higher education institution that equips and empowers learners to excel in healthcare careers, today welcomes two esteemed individuals to the UMA Board of Trustees — Ms. Karen Jones and Dr. Shelley Wells Collins.

“Today we celebrate two new members of our board who have a proven track record of helping organizations reach new heights,” said UMA President Thomas Rametta. “Their impressive backgrounds and experience will undoubtedly propel our learners forward in their education goals and careers in healthcare.”


Jones and Collins are joining the now 11-member board of trustees. Their expertise in technology, healthcare, and education will advance UMA’s mission to provide its more than 14,000 current learners with the tools and resources to successfully transition into careers in the healthcare industry.

As the executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the leading logistics and transportation company Ryder System, Inc., Jones oversees all marketing initiatives that have led to the largest growth in company history. Responsible for driving growth, Jones also leads new product innovation with a focus on developing customer facing technologies tackling supply chain disruptions.  In addition, she also heads up Ryder’s $50 million corporate venture capital fund RyderVentures, which invests in and partners with start-up companies to help speed to market emerging supply chain and transportation technologies.

Jones’ achievements have earned her multiple awards and recognitions during her career including being named a recipient of Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s “Women in Supply Chain” award in 2022, honoring female supply chain leaders whose accomplishments, mentorship, and examples set a foundation for women in all levels of a company. In 2019, she was named one of South Florida Business Journals “Most Influential Business Women” and a “Growth CMO” by the CMO Club.

Jones has been a spokesperson for her companies and appeared on the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America, as well as Fox Business. She is the head of the Ryder’s Women Leadership network and charged with developing the next generation of women business leaders at her company. Jones earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Houston.

Collins is presently a professor of pediatrics and Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine, as well as an Associate Chief Medical Officer of UF Health. She attended medical school at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and graduated in 1999. Collins worked in Miami at Jackson Memorial Hospital until 2003 before becoming the Pediatric Clinical Instructor at Children’s National Medical Center at George Washington University in 2005.

Collins joined the faculty at the University of Florida in 2006 where she has spent her clinical career caring for children on the inpatient units at Shands Children’s Hospital and teaching pediatric residents and medical learners. In 2023, she was awarded the Hippocratic Faculty and Patrick Duff Student Advocacy awards. A major focus throughout her career has been how best to educate and train medical learners, residents, nurses, and physician assistants, among many others who are in healthcare, to meet the needs of patients.

Based in Tampa, Florida, UMA is an organization serving a diverse student population by offering hands-on learning at its main campus in Clearwater, Florida, as well as content-rich interactive programs through its online campus. Celebrating 30 years this year, UMA supports learners through every step of their journey with access to academic support, interview and resume coaching, job search assistance, technical support, and more. UMA has more than 14,000 learners and more than 85,000 alumni nationwide. 

“Our mission is to help learners be the best versions of themselves and get on a path toward professional fulfillment,” said UMA Board of Trustees Chair Darlyne Bailey, Ph.D. “UMA’s learners bring a wealth of real-life experiences and tenacity to the workplace. Now more than ever, we need skilled, ready, and enthusiastic people like our graduates to fill the growing needs in the healthcare sector. The deep expertise and proven leadership that these new trustees bring to our board will help elevate our graduates to careers where they are needed most. We are thrilled to welcome them both.”

To learn more about UMA’s healthcare programs, visit 

About Ultimate Medical Academy:  
The need for skilled healthcare workers in the United States continues to grow. Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) is an accredited, nonprofit educational institution that helps to meet that need by equipping and empowering learners to do vital work at the heart of healthcare. In addition to offering diploma and degree programs, UMA works closely with healthcare companies to connect learners directly to job opportunities.

Based in Tampa, Florida, and operating since 1994, UMA offers hands-on learning at its main campus in Clearwater, Florida as well as content-rich, interactive programs through its online campus. The institution supports learners through every step of their journey with access to academic support, interview and resume coaching, job search assistance, technical support and more. 

UMA has more than 85,000 alumni and approximately 14,000 learners nationwide. The institution also provides certified continuing medical education (CME) through ongoing training and professional development opportunities to more than 30,000 physicians, nurses and other medical professionals throughout the U.S. annually. 

UMA is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES, and is also accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). The continuing medical education programs are individually accredited and are not included within         the        institution’s        grant     of accreditation     from      ABHES. Learn    more     by visiting

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  • Karen Jones
  • Dr. Shelley Wells Collins

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