Fern Cross, Jane Wilson, Luana Bracy Join UAMS College of Nursing Advisory Board

By ChaseYavondaC

All three are members of the UAMS College of Nursing Dean’s Circle, comprised of alumni and special friends who give an annual gift of $1,000 or more.

Wilson is the first life member of the college’s advisory board. A well-known community leader and philanthropist, Wilson is also a life member of the UAMS Foundation Fund Board and a member of the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute Advisory Board. She first served on the UAMS College of Nursing Advisory Board more than 30 years ago. Wilson established the Jane and Bob Wilson Nursing Endowed Scholarship and the Jane McGehee Wilson D.N.P. Scholarship, both in the College of Nursing.

Health care has been an influential part of Cross’ life, a nurse of more than 20 years. She worked as a surgical nurse for her first husband, Jack Downs, M.D., a Little Rock surgeon and UAMS graduate. Downs died in 1998. Cross’ second husband was J.B. Cross, M.D., an ophthalmologist, as well as a UAMS graduate and former faculty member. Before his death in 2014, he was an active member on the advisory board of the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, which Fern Cross now serves on, as well.

Bracy retired in 2006 as an associate professor of nursing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock after 19 years as a faculty member. There, she created the university’s first online nursing courses and coordinated the L.P.N. to R.N. transition program, which prepares students to take the state exam to become a registered nurse and then continue in the online R.N. to B.S.N. program. Bracy was on the UALR University Council and was chair of the nursing department’s curriculum committee. She received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Evansville. Prior to her teaching career at UALR, Bracy taught at Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana.

The new members join Bennie Fambrough, Linda Hodges, Ed.D., Lolly Honea, Sara Jouett, Michael Manley, Lester Matlock, Jananne Reding, JoAnn Smith, Richard Smith and Mike Spades on the advisory board.

The UAMS College of Nursing Advisory Board is a volunteer organization to further philanthropic support for the College of Nursing and to otherwise assist the college through leadership efforts in the community. Its duties are to assist with fundraising in support of the College of Nursing and make recommendations concerning support for the programs of the College of Nursing; to understand and raise public awareness of the needs, programs, growth and development of the College of Nursing, and to provide counsel to the dean and to members of the development team.

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.