UAMS Offers Statewide Support for Parents Experiencing Loss of an Infant

By todd

LITTLE ROCK — Parents throughout Arkansas who have experienced the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death can turn to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) for support.


The Recovery Room parent support group meets at 7:30 p.m. the third Monday of each month. Meetings take place on the fifth floor of the Shorey Building adjacent to the UAMS Medical Center. Parking is available at no charge on the deck off Markham Street.


People also may participate in the support group through interactive video conferencing at 10 locations across the state. (See list of sites below.) With video technology, participants at each location can ask questions and share in the discussion led by Joseph Banken, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAMS Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. For information, call (866) 273-3835 or visit


In addition to Banken, Shannon Barringer, a certified genetic counselor, and Kay Morris, R.N., a nurse in the UAMS Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, attend each meeting on the UAMS campus. Trained facilitators are available to assist participants at each satellite location. The Recovery Room is a service of UAMS’ ANGELS (Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines and Learning System) program.


“The death of an infant is one of the most devastating losses a person can experience,” Banken said. “We are there to offer support and information to help both mothers and fathers cope with their loss and understand the feelings that go along with it.”


Any parent who has experienced the loss of an infant is welcome to attend, either on the UAMS campus or at a satellite location. Topics of discussion include how to deal with feelings of sadness, disappointment and guilt that may accompany the loss of an infant, and participants are invited to raise any subjects of importance to them. All sessions are confidential.


“We want participants to know that anything they express is held in the strictest confidence. Our staff has extensive training in grief counseling and understands the intense emotions that go along with the grieving process. We want parents to understand that what they are feeling is normal and that many other people have experienced the same kind of loss,” Banken said, adding that while some people attend multiple meetings, others only come for one or two sessions.


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 2,320 students and 690 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 $4.3 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 & Neurosciences Institute.




Ashley County Medical Center, Crossett
Cheryl Rabalais
(870) 364-1432

Chicot Memorial Hospital, Lake Village
Dewanna Beard
(870) 265-5351, Ext. 312 (call in advance)

Crittenden Memorial Hospital, West Memphis
Anita Saig
(870) 735-5527, Ext. 228

Drew Memorial Hospital, Monticello
Vickie Hayden
(870) 367-2411, Ext. 123

Helena Regional Medical Center
ANGELS Call Center

(866) 273-3835


Mena Medical Center
Pam Posey

(479) 243-2293

Ouachita Medical Center, Camden
Carolyn Key
(870) 836-1341

Stuttgart Regional Medical Center
ANGELS Call Center

(866) 273-3835

University of Arkansas Community College at Hope
ANGELS Call Center

(866) 273-3835

Area Health Education Center, Fort Smith
Michael Perry
(479) 785-2431, Ext. 3124