UAMS College of Public Health Using MLK Jr. Day for Service

By Christina Trimble

LITTLE ROCK – Several volunteers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Public Health are using a day off work Jan. 19 for a day on of public service as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.


The Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health employees have partnered with the Harmony Health Clinic, a newly opened free medical and dental clinic for the underserved, to help the nonprofit finish maintenance and landscaping projects. The clinic is located at 201 E. Roosevelt Road. 


“In keeping with Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of public service, we’re using our day off from work as a day on of community service,” said Kate Stewart, M.D., associate professor and director of the Office of Community Based Public Health at the UAMS College of Public Health. “The King Day of Service encourages using the holiday for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together for a good cause to promote the ‘beloved community’ that was such a strong part of Dr. King’s vision.”


The College of Public Health will be joined by Black Community Developers Inc., a Little Rock-based nonprofit that aims to improve lives of youth and families in low-income neighborhoods statewide. The volunteers will be at the clinic from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and will begin with a short program in recognition of King.


The Harmony Health Clinic, which opened in December, provides routine health care to local residents whose income does not exceed 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, are currently medically uninsured and are between the ages of 13 and 64. It is staffed by volunteer professionals and doctors and is open Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. and Saturdays from 8-11:45 a.m.


“How can we allow our brothers and sisters who don’t have health insurance to go without the regular health care they need?” said Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand, a professor in the UAMS College of Medicine who is seeing his vision of the clinic come to fruition. “We are always in need of volunteers to aid in this mission that is long overdue in our community.”


In addition to basic health care, the Harmony Clinic will begin providing a dental clinic in February and will eventually provide free pharmaceutical services.


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 2,652 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 10,000 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. Visit www.uams.edu or uamshealth.com.