UAMS Designated Telehealth Resource Center for Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee

By David Robinson

Called the South Central Training Resource Center, it is funded for three years with $979,416 from the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. The grant was awarded to the UAMS Center for Distance Health, which will establish and operate the regional training resource center.

Telehealth (also called telemedicine) refers to the use of high-speed two-way interactive video that connects doctors and patients from distant locations.

The UAMS-based resource center will provide technical assistance and training for health care organizations, networks and providers as they develop cost-effective telehealth programs serving rural and medically underserved areas in all three states.

UAMS was selected for its longstanding track record and expertise in providing technical assistance in the development of innovative, cost-effective telehealth programs to serve rural and medically underserved areas in Arkansas. Its statewide telemedicine network connects 38 hospitals and clinics and has had more than 7,500 doctor-patient encounters to date.

UAMS in August also received a $102 million grant to establish or upgrade broadband connections at 474 health care and education sites across Arkansas. This effort also is being led by the Center for Distance Health.

The establishment of the Regional Telehealth Resource Center will allow the UAMS Center for Distance Health to provide hands-on technical assistance and interactive training that will improve telehealth efforts in the three-state region, said Curtis Lowery, M.D., chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the UAMS College of Medicine. Lowery leads UAMS’ nationally recognized telemedicine programs as co-director of the Center for Distance Health.

“We are grateful for this opportunity to serve as the Telehealth Resource Center for our neighboring states,” Lowery said. “Our experience at UAMS has taught us that telehealth is the most efficient way to get expert care to people in medically underserved areas, and we’re excited to play a lead role in this effort.”

UAMS joins the Georgia Partnership for Telehealth, the University of Hawaii and the University of Kansas among the new recipients of this award.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 540,000-square-foot hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and six institutes: 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. UAMS has 2,775 students and 748 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 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. Visit or