Walmart Foundation Awards $56,000 to UAMS for Diversity Programs

By Benjamin Waldrum

The presentation took place Aug. 17 as part of Walmart’s Day of Giving, held annually to recognize organizations whose efforts address local needs and improve the state of Arkansas.

“We thank the Walmart Foundation for their generous gift and support of the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs and its programs for students,” said Billy Thomas, M.D., UAMS vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion. “A diverse health care workforce does a better job of taking care of a diverse population, and this gift will allow us more visibility and inclusion in our community.”

Michael Lindsey, Walmart director of public affairs, praised the Center for Diversity Affairs for its efforts both at UAMS and in reaching young people across the state.

“Diversity isn’t only a good ingredient for success, it’s critical for the future,” said Lindsey “We’re proud to support organizations like UAMS and its Center for Diversity Affairs that share our goal of creating opportunities so people can live better. This grant reflects our commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion in the health care workforce.”

The Center for Diversity Affairs summer enrichment programs are designed to strengthen science, math, literacy and test-taking skills. In addition, the programs give students an introduction to the many health career options at UAMS and include mentored research, the Summer Science Discovery Program, Bridging the Gap, ACT Preparation, and Undergraduate Summer Science Enrichment Program I and II. This summer, more than 180 students were exposed to health careers in the UAMS colleges of Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and the Graduate School.

The Walmart Foundation supports initiatives focused on creating career opportunities and strengthening communities, in an effort to enable sustainable impact. The foundation meets the needs of the underserved by directing charitable giving toward its core areas of opportunity, sustainability and community.

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.