UAMS Awarded $135,000 in Grants to Train Teachers in Health Sciences

By Spencer Watson

Of the total, $100,000 is the third installment of a six-year $600,000 grant from the Arkansas Department of Human Services’ Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education to train pre-K teachers in “Healthy Hearts & Lungs” curriculum.

The remaining $35,000 is from the Arkansas Department of Health’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Section and the Tobacco Prevention Cessation Program to train 6-12th-grade teachers and school nurses in the “Healthy Lungs & Gums” and “Biology of Cancer” curriculums.

The Partners in Health Sciences program conducts professional development workshops across Arkansas to equip teachers with activities to use with their students. The workshops are led by program founder and director Robert Burns, Ph.D., professor in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Neurobiology & Developmental Sciences.

“When students are exposed to this new content by their newly trained and equipped teacher or school nurse, they gain an information base from which they will be able to make intelligent and informed life choices,” Burns said. “The entire program is health promotion and disease prevention aimed at early ages.”

The workshops cover topics such as how the heart and lungs work to exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide, the anatomy of the cigarette cough, the cellular basis for why a smoker’s lungs turn black, atherosclerosis development, and how lung and oral cancers are caused by tobacco use.

Participants receive six hours of training along with a resource kit containing plastic models of the normal heart and lungs, wall charts, stethoscopes, sponge-lung smoking devices, a CD of images from the workshop and an illustrated workshop syllabus.

Burns founded the Partners in Health Sciences program in 1991.


UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 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. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 12,000 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, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.