UAMS Honors Wendel with Inaugural Chair in Maternal-Fetal Medicine

By Nate Hinkel

Wendel, a professor in the UAMS Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was recognized in front of family, friends and colleagues in a ceremony at UAMS.

“It’s the highest honor you can receive at an academic medical center,” Wendel said. “When you have an endowment, it shows the value of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Department. The program should never be about one person, but it’s an honor that the endowment will live on in my name.”

Funding for the Paul J. Wendel, M.D. Chair in Maternal-Fetal Medicine initially began in 2007 by seven of Wendel’s former patients, many of whom had high-risk or abnormal pregnancies. More than 1,500 gifts helped complete the endowment.

A 20-year veteran at UAMS, Wendel graduated from St. Louis University with a Bachelor of Science in biology in 1984. He went on to attend the University of Missouri at Columbia School of Medicine. He then completed his residency in OB/GYN and a two-year fellowship in high-risk obstetrics at the University of Texas Southwestern at Parkland Hospital.

Wendel’s passion for teaching, reflected in his earning of the Red Sash Award for teaching medical students for 17 consecutive years, will benefit from the inaugural chair.

“I want to train residents who will provide for my children what I hope I have provided for my patients,” Wendel said. “These are the people who will be delivering my sons’ and daughters’ children. I am humbled by this endowment effort and I know how it will enhance our program here at UAMS.”

During Wendel’s career at UAMS, the maternal-fetal medicine program has grown and developed into a nationally-recognized department.

“I’m proud of the program we have built here,” Wendel said. “It’s as good, if not better, than anywhere in the country. We have a strong team here, each with our own strengths, but we complement each other well.”

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.