UAMS Center for Distance Health Founder, Director Honored with First Telehealth Forum Awards

By Ben Boulden

Lowery is the founder and medical director of the UAMS Center for Distance Health (CDH) and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the UAMS College of Medicine. Benton is the CDH oversight director. Each of them received a Curtis L. Lowery Jr., M.D., Telehealth Champion Award, which recognizes individuals who are essential to the success of a telehealth project or program.  

“Dr. Lowery is an innovator and a leader in telemedicine,” said Erin Bush, SCTRC project director. “His forward thinking and concern for patients led to the creation of many life-saving telemedicine programs. He led the effort to make Arkansas one of the most connected states in the nation for telemedicine infrastructure. In Arkansas, if it’s telemedicine, Dr. Lowery had some hand in support of its creation.”

Award recipients are individuals who initiate and promote the utilization and sustainability of telehealth services and shoulder responsibility while sharing the spotlight with their teams. Awardees have shown an innovative spirit and vision and have spent years developing and promoting programs while inspiring others. Lowery and Benton have worked together at CDH to promote telemedicine for more than a decade. 

Kristi Henderson, D.N.P., chief telehealth and innovation officer for the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, received the first Telehealth Ninja Award. A Telehealth Ninja is a telehealth professional who has mastered the system around them to provide medical attention to those in need, worked for legislation to allow provider reimbursement, and taken those actions within the American medical system.

The South Central Telehealth Resource Center serves Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. It functions primarily through a website that works in partnership with the UAMS Center for Distance Health Training Center based at UAMS. The resource center website,, targets health care and health education groups that have an interest in using telehealth. was also made possible by a grant from the Sustainable Broadband Adoption (SBA) Training Center grant project.  This grant was through Connect Arkansas and focused on telehealth training and awareness in the state of Arkansas.


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.