UAMS to Partner with Faith Community to Promote Diversity in Research

By Amy Widner

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; 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 named UAMS Medical Center the state's Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — cancer, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five 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 Childrens Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

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