Heard to Retire as Provost, Succeeded by Gardner

By Holland Doran

“Dr. Heard has had a very distinguished career in medicine and medical education. Fortunately for UAMS, several years of her career have been spent at our institution. Jeanne’s contributions to UAMS and our mission have been so numerous that I can’t name them all here. She will definitely be missed by many, especially me,” said Dan Rahn, M.D., UAMS chancellor.

Heard first joined UAMS in 1974, beginning as a research technician while completing her Ph.D. She worked in pathology before returning to school to obtain her medical degree, followed by a residency in internal medicine at UAMS and a year of practice in the Veteran’s Affairs System. She then joined the Department of Medicine where she practiced as a general internist and led a team to develop the standardized patient program and clinical skills center.

In 1995, she took on oversight of the 55 graduate medical education programs sponsored by the College of Medicine. In 2004 she left UAMS to join the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in Chicago, working for seven years at the national and international levels to improve the education and educational environment for residents and fellows. She returned to Arkansas in 2011 with the intention of retiring, but was persuaded instead to return to UAMS as vice chancellor for academic affairs. She was named provost in 2013.

“Jeanne is a champion of interprofessional education and collaborative practice, and has been a leader in the development of curriculum in all colleges to provide UAMS graduates with the skills they need to perform well in a team-based, patient- and family-centered health care environment,” said Rahn.

Gardner joined the faculty of the UAMS College of Pharmacy in 1991 and was named dean in 2003 and associate provost in 2013. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Senior Clinical Faculty Award and the Dale Bumpers AHEC Leadership Award. She has served on numerous committees of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and was elected as chair of the Women Faculty Special Interest Group for 2005-2006.  She also has served as chair of the Committee on Clinical Research and as chair of the Council of Deans. She is a member of the UAMS BioVentures Advisory Board and the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement Advisory Board. Gardner also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and was elected as its president in 2014.

“I am confident that Stephanie has the qualities and knowledge needed to successfully lead our academic efforts and will be an exceptional provost. I look forward to working with her in that role in the future,” said Rahn.

UAMS will be conducting a national search for a new dean of the College of Pharmacy with Heard as the chair of the search committee.

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 www.uams.edu or uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.