UAMS Invites Public to National Discussion on Women’s Heart Health June 30

By David Robinson

Called Our Community, Our Health, the discussion will include a panel with UAMS experts in women’s heart health and an Arkansan with a family history of fatal heart disease. The event will begin with a reception at 4:30 p.m. followed by the town hall from 5-6 p.m. at the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, 629 Jack Stephens Drive, Room 1207.

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Conducted in partnership with the University of Florida, the event is designed to engage the public — especially medically underserved communities — in conversations about important health and research topics. One of three women in the United States die each year from cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and an estimated 44 million women in the United States are affected by cardiovascular diseases.

“Many communities have been left out of the conversation about health research, so we have chosen this unique town-hall format to share information in an unscripted conversation with the public,” said Kate Stewart, M.D., M.P.H., who directs the Translational Research Institute’s Community Engagement Program.

The conversation will be moderated by Rhonda Mattox, M.D., medical director of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, which is a co-sponsor of the event. Mattox is a board-certified physician with more than 15 years’ experience in direct patient care. She is development officer of a foundation that serves women and children and executive producer and co-host of Take 5 With the Physician, which airs weekly on Praise 102.5. She tackles listeners’ questions on topics such as childhood sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, and HIV during the Ask the Doc call-in radio show on Power 92.3 with Broadway Joe. She also develops health promoting commercials that are broadcast on other local television and radio stations.

The panelists:

  • Jean McSweeney, Ph.D., R.N., who made international headlines in 2003 with her groundbreaking discovery of women’s unique heart attack symptoms. The professor and associate dean for research in the College of Nursing is focused on these symptoms as well as women’s unique risk factors for heart disease. She recently highlighted these risk factors in the American Heart Association’s premier journal, Circulation, and hopes it will raise awareness among women’s doctors so that they may modify their practices to improve health outcomes.
  • Kimberly Moore, of Little Rock, who lost her mother, sister and brother to cardiomyopathy, a hereditary chronic disease of the heart muscle. Moore has cardiomyopathy as well as arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD). She has pacemaker and defibrillator implants.
  • Christina Pettey, Ph.D., R.N., a fellow of the American Heart Association and assistant professor at the UAMS College of Nursing. Her research has focused on examining the causes of cardiovascular health disparities and identifying ways to eliminate them.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; 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 including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 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, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.