UAMS to Partner with Faith Community to Promote Diversity in Research

By ChaseYavondaC

Keneshia Bryant-Moore, Ph.D., R.N., associate professor; and Tiffany Haynes, Ph.D., assistant professor, received the funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

The Arkansas Faith-Academic Initiatives for Transforming Health (FAITH) Network will be a collaboration between UAMS and faith organizations in Arkansas to provide an infrastructure that supports ongoing engagement, training and networking opportunities.

“The FAITH network is specifically being designed to address health disparities that overwhelmingly impact racial and ethnic minorities, rural residents and persons with lower socioeconomic status,” Bryant-Moore said. “Working with the faith community is a means to reach a population that may not otherwise be exposed to opportunities to participate in research and to be actively engaged in the entire process of research.”

Similar networks have been developed, but do not target the whole state or engage a diverse sampling of the faith community, Haynes said.

“This diversity includes geographic, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, socioeconomic status and congregation size,” Haynes said. “We believe that an inclusive, joint effort is needed to address the poor health conditions experienced in Arkansas.”

PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions.

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.