Harvard, Telemedicine Association Recognize UAMS’ ANGELS Program to Reduce Births of Medically Fragile Babies

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – A program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to reduce the number of babies born with severe medical problems recently was recognized by Harvard University and the American Telemedicine Association.

The ANGELS (Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System) program, directed by UAMS maternal-fetal specialist Curtis Lowery, M.D., received the 2007 American Telemedicine Association’s President’s Award for Innovation.

The program also is a finalist in the 2007 Innovations in American Government Awards by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. ANGELS is one of 18 finalists that will compete for seven $100,000 awards, with the winners to be announced in September.

“I am extremely proud of all who have worked to make the ANGELS program a success by reducing the number of medically fragile babies born in Arkansas, as well as being cost effective for the state Medicaid program,” said Lowery, director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


ANGELS, which began in 2003, is a partnership between UAMS, the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, and the Arkansas Medical Society.

ANGELS allows UAMS’ maternal-fetal specialists to provide long-distance consultation with primary care doctors 
and their high-risk pregnancy patients.
Its 24-hour call center and the use of telemedicine technology have
expanded access for women with high-risk pregnancies to maternal-fetal medicine specialists and improved
regional transportation of patients to specialists for delivery.

The American Telemedicine Association recognized ANGELS at its annual meeting May 13-15, 2007, in Nashville, Tenn. ANGELS provides high-risk pregnant patients assessment and consultation from specialists through use of telemedicine equipment, which enables specialists to conduct ultrasounds. ANGELS provides telemedicine equipment to rural medical providers at no cost and has created an intensive telemedicine training course for health care providers. In addition, ANGELS has implemented a neonatal bedside live video feed, telemedicine support in women’s prisons, pediatric support through telemedicine to Delta schools, and other innovative programs to meet the needs of a large rural population.

Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard, said, “The ANGELS 
program offers tangible results that innovative government leaders can improve public services to their citizens. When
government officials focus on achieving results through innovative thinking, they show that government has the
capacity to successfully tackle serious problems while creating efficiencies.”

Nearly 1,000 applications were submitted to the Innovations in American Government Program from across the country. ANGELS was selected for its novelty and exceptional efforts, effectiveness in addressing significant problems and potential for replication by other government entities.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,430 students and 715 medical residents. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with about 9,400 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $5 billion a year. For more information, visit www.uams.edu.