UAMS Professor Recognized as a National Healthy School Hero

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – Carole Garner, assistant professor in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Public Health, was recently recognized by the nonprofit organization Action for Healthy Kids as one of 31 “Healthy School Heroes” across the nation who are improving children’s nutrition, physical activity and readiness to learn.


Garner, a registered dietician, is the principal investigator for the Arkansas Action for Healthy Kids grant, “Be Active and Care.” The grant is being used to develop a model for after-school programs that offer physical activity and nutrition education.


Garner has been an advocate for school-age children by informing state leaders about how to create healthier school environments through sound nutrition and physical activity. She works closely with the Arkansas Dietetic Association, the Little Rock School District’s nutrition and physical activity advisory committee and spearheaded the state’s Healthy School Summit in 2003.


The Healthy School Heroes are all members of Action for Healthy Kids State Teams, which are made up of volunteer school administrators, educators, school food services, health professionals and others committed to improving students’ health.  Heroes were chosen for their exemplary levels of commitment and action, including:


  • Improving nutrition levels in school cafeterias and vending machines
  • Advising on state policies impacting child nutrition programs
  • Educating school board members, administrators and teachers about ways to improve children’s health
  • Working with local schools to improve recess
  • Increasing and improving school breakfast programs
  • Convening key decision-makers in state summits on children’s health
  • Creating programs to educate students about the importance of nutrition and physical activity
  • Researching nutrition and physical activity trends in schools
  • Elevating public awareness of the need for improved nutrition and physical activity in schools
  • Developing lesson plans to help teachers integrate nutrition and physical activity education into their curricula.

Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) is a national, non-profit organization addressing the epidemic of overweight, undernourished and sedentary youth by focusing on changes at school. AFHK is a public-private partnership of more than 40 national organizations and government agencies representing education, health, fitness and nutrition, which support the efforts of 51 volunteer state teams (includes District of Columbia).


AFHK was created in response to the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity, which identified the school environment as one of five key sites of change. Former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher is the founding chair of AFHK.


To learn more about Action for Healthy Kids, individual State Teams and the AFHK collaborating organizations, visit


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,200 students and 660 residents and is the state’s largest public employer with almost 9,000 employees. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.1 billion a year.


UAMS centers of excellence are the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and Jackson T. Stephens Spine and Neurosciences Institute.