National Award Recognizes UAMS Dean for Turning Research Into Policy

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – Jim Raczynski, Ph.D., founding dean of the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), has won a national award that recognizes his efforts for turning research into government policy. 


The 2008 Translating Research to Policy Award will be presented in April by Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Co-recipients of the award are Joe Thompson, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor in the UAMS Colleges of Medicine and Public Health and Arkansas surgeon general, and Herschel Cleveland, former Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives.


Raczynski was nominated for the award by members of his faculty, and he suggested sharing the award with the co-recipients, both of whom have played key roles in Act 1220 of 2003, which established a statewide school-based intervention to address the childhood obesity epidemic.


Raczynski and his colleagues evaluated the impact of Act 1220, and Cleveland was instrumental in framing the original legislation that led to its passage. Thompson leads the obesity measurement of Arkansas children and has important advocacy roles.


The award comes with a $1,000 honorarium and travel expenses to the Active Living Research Conference April 9-12 in Washington, D.C.


Raczynski has been invited, along with Thompson and Cleveland, to present Arkansas’ story and highlight lessons that can be used by others.


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 2,538 students and 733 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with about 9,600 employees, including nearly 1,150 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