Award Caps Year of Honors for UAMS Batesville-Mt. Home Educator

By David Robinson

The award was one of several 2011 honors for Jones, who coordinates the respiratory care satellite program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Area Health Education Center (AHEC) North Central in Batesville and directs the respiratory care program at Arkansas State University (ASU) – Mountain Home.

“Tom is a master teacher,” said Erna Boone, Dr.P.H., (doctor of public health) who chairs the Department of Respiratory and Surgical Technologies in the UAMS College of Health Related Professions. “He makes difficult concepts very easy to understand. The educator award was long overdue for him.”

Boone said recent respiratory care graduates from both Mountain Home and Batesville have all found jobs and are doing well. The starting annual salary for a two-year respiratory care graduate is $40,000 to $45,000, and the average annual salary is $56,000.

Some highlights from Jones’ year include:

• Jones was invited to speak on behalf of associate degree respiratory care programs during the American Association for Respiratory Care Summer Forum set for in Vail, Colo. After his presention, which was sponsored by the Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care Education, he received the H.F. Hemholz, Jr. Educational Lecture Series Award “in grateful appreciation for lifetime contributions to respiratory care education and accreditation.”

• Jones, a 1988 graduate of the UAMS respiratory care program, also was named this year to the national sub-committee on Associate Degree Respiratory Therapy Education, which is studying the future of associate degree respiratory therapy education on behalf of the American Association of Respiratory Care.

• In September, Jones’ senior students from ASU-Mountain Home won the Arkansas Society for Respiratory Care quiz competition, the Sputum Bowl, for the second consecutive year. The competition included students on four other respiratory care associate degree program teams as well as a team of bachelor’s degree students.

• The ASU-Mountain Home respiratory care program also was selected as the 2011 recipient of the Mid-South Distance Learning’s Outstanding Distance Education Program. The program was honored Oct. 7.

Jones spends two days a week teaching the 13 respiratory care students now at Mountain Home and three days in Batesville, where 15 UAMS students are housed at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. He also teaches students at distant locations around the state, including the UAMS campus, using live, two-way video communication.

“The recent recognition for Tom is well earned, and we’re very proud of him and his significant contributions to AHEC North Central,” said Dennis Moore, Pharm.D., director of AHEC NC. “His students are the biggest beneficiaries of his work here.”

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 hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven 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, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. Named best Little Rock metropolitan area hospital by U.S. News & World Report, it is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has more than 2,800 students and 775 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 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. Visit or