Chris Smith Named Associate Dean at UAMS Northwest

By Jon Parham

Smith, a professor of pediatrics working at UAMS-affiliate Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH), will assume his new post on Jan. 1, 2011. He will see patients in the Centers for Children clinic, a collaboration of UAMS and ACH in Lowell. As regional associate dean, he will direct the College of Medicine’s academic programs at the UAMS Northwest campus.

“Dr. Smith joining UAMS Northwest is another sign of our growing academic programs,” said Peter O. Kohler, M.D., UAMS vice chancellor for the Northwest Arkansas Region. “His combination of experience in both undergraduate and graduate medical education is a boost as we expand the programs for medical students and resident physicians here.”

Smith joined the UAMS faculty in 1989. He has directed the ACH pediatric hospitalist service since 2003. He was medical director of the ACH Express Care Unit from 2003-2009 and has served as associate medical director at ACH since 2005.

He received his medical degree from the University of Mississippi in 1983 and completed his pediatric internship and residency at UAMS. He spent three years in private practice in Clinton, Miss., before joining the UAMS faculty.

Smith was associate residency program director for the Department of Pediatrics during his first three years at UAMS and served as program director from 1992-1997, when he was appointed vice-chairman for education. He served 12 years on the UAMS Graduate Medical Education Committee, including four years as chairman.

He has received numerous educational honors, including the college’s Master Teacher Award and the Chancellor’s Faculty Teaching Award in 2009, and 14 Red Sash awards – which are voted on by students – through the years.

In addition, Dr. Smith will bring his experience as a leader in pediatric simulation education and telemedicine to his new post. He has been medical director of the PULSE (Pediatric Understanding and Learning through Simulation Education) Center at ACH since 2006. His work in telemedicine and distance education has helped to make the ACH campus more “connected” to UAMS and to rural communities around the state.

Opened in 2009, the UAMS Northwest campus now includes four junior medical students and six seniors attending classes. Fourteen junior students are expected to arrive in July 2011, along with 22 junior pharmacy students.

Eventual enrollment at the campus is expected to be between 250-300 with students in medical, pharmacy, nursing and allied health programs, along with resident physicians who will be serving residencies at area hospitals and clinics. The campus also is home to the UAMS Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Northwest.

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. It is the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. UAMS has 2,836 students and 761 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