November 21, 2022

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In Memoriam: Dr. Kay Lewis Abney

Published on Monday, November 21, 2022

The Medical Center extends its sympathy to the family of a former faculty member in appreciation for the loved one’s contributions to the academic health sciences center.

Dr. Kay Lewis Abney

Portrait of Kay Abney

Dr. Kay Lewis Abney, a UMMC alumna who cared for countless patients directly or through the education and training she provided to hundreds of registered nurses during her long career, died Oct. 25 in Madison.

A native of Philadelphia, Mississippi, Abney spent her childhood in Greenville. A 1968 graduate of the Gilfoy School of Nursing at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center, she started her career as a pediatric nurse and became the head nurse of that hospital.

She continued her nursing education by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1977. She went on to gain a Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Alabama and a PhD in nursing research from the University of Texas, Austin.

Abney attained certification as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner through postgraduate education at the University of Tennessee, Memphis.

For 24 years, Abney was a member of the faculty of the School of Nursing at UMMC, joining as an instructor in 1978. As an assistant professor of nursing, she coordinated RN Advanced Studies from 1981 to 1985, when she became an associate professor of nursing.

She expanded her nursing career from 1993 to 2002 by working in the Pediatric Emergency Department as well as serving as an associate professor of nursing in the School of Nursing and an assistant professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine.