The King of Hearts • Nurse Practitioner & IRONMAN Athlete

Ryan Stephens is a husband, father of two kids, and a nurse practitioner at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, working within their Heart Institute. He’s the program coordinator for the adolescent-adult congenital heart disease program. He was born with the tetralogy of Fallot, a complex congenital heart defect that required surgical repair in infancy. 

In addition to his impressive work with Le Bonheur, Ryan volunteers in the city with Service Over Self (SOS) and nationally with the American Heart Association as a scientific committee member. He also teaches within the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. 

As a healthcare provider and patient, Ryan is dedicated to the primary prevention of acquired heart disease through exercise and movement and believes that movement is medicine. He tries to model that behavior to his patients and participates in marathons, triathlons, and cycling. He’s an IRONMAN finisher (Tulsa 2022) and is currently training for IRONMAN Arizona, which takes place in a few weeks. He’s also participated in F3 Memphis, a free, outdoor, Boot Camp-style exercise group for men that meets across Shelby County, and is an active member of the Grind City cycling team. 

Ryan is very passionate about cardiovascular health and wellness and prioritizes education around movement and exercise with his patients. Many members of his family struggle with heart disease, obesity, diabetes, etc., and he is determined to create a different path for himself and his family. 

Although his heart condition impacts the intensity with which he can push himself, he has long-term goals to continue being an advocate, and continue participating and pushing his body. His long-shot goal would be to compete in IRONMAN Kona at the World Championships at either the 70.3 or 140.6 

By Lucy Modzelewski 

Photo by Avery Amstutz 

Memphis Health + Fitness Magazine is proud to spotlight rising stars in the 901 fitness and wellness community in our inaugural 20 Under 40 issue. We received many amazing applications and handpicked a variety of individuals from different backgrounds and areas of expertise to showcase some of the best and brightest up-and-comers in our industry. We’re excited to present you with the honorees for the Memphis Health + Fitness 20 Under 40 Issue!