UAMS and Community Leaders Gather to Address Health Disparities June 17

By Ben Boulden

The free conference, presented by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), will be held at the Comfort Inn & Suites Presidential in Little Rock.

The theme of this year’s conference is “The Power of the Faith Community to Promote Health Equity.” Leaders will discuss the health status of Arkansas, existing efforts to address health disparities and what needs to be done.

Early registration has begun. Seating is limited to the first 200 attendees. Visit http://tinyurl.CCPC2016. For more information contact Alexa Bessette at 501-603-1290 or

The keynote speaker is Acacia Bamberg Salatti, acting director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Salatti comes to this position from the office of U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, where she was the director for the House Democratic Faith Working Group (HDFWG). She focuses on minority health outreach and health disparity reduction strategies.

The morning speaker will feature Micheal Knox, M.S., M.P.H., director of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. The afternoon sessions will feature Armika Berkley, M.P.H., program manager for the Congregational Health Network in partnership with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare; and Pastor Bobby G. Baker, director of Faith and Community Partnerships at Methodist Healthcare.

This conference was partially funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award (EAIN 2975). Additional funding was provided by a HRSA Nursing Workforce Diversity Grant which funds the Growing Our Own in the Delta (GOOD) program, and the UAMS Translational Research Institute. This year’s conference is in collaboration with the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care (AFMC), the Arkansas Minority Health Commission (AMHC), and Baptist Health Physician Partners.

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.