Faith, Community Leaders to Gather April 7 for Community-Campus Partnership Conference

By Ashley McNatt

The free conference, presented by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), will be held at the Four Points by Sheraton in Little Rock. Registration for the conference is free, but limited to the first 200 attendees. Visit to register.

The event aims to bring together individuals throughout the state to discuss the health status of Arkansans and efforts to address the health disparities that exist.

The theme of this year’s conference is the “Power of the faith community to promote health equity, part II.”

“Our goal is to provide an atmosphere to promote fellowship and networking among these individuals so that something can be done about the health disparities in our state,” said Keneshia Bryant-Moore, Ph.D., R.N., associate professor in the Health Behavior and Health Education Department and conference planning committee chairperson.

Joshua DuBois, former White House director of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships under President Barak Obama, will be the keynote speaker. DuBois is responsible for developing one of the largest networks of faith-based and nonprofit relationships in the country. DuBois is founder and CEO of Values Partnership, a consulting firm that creates community and faith-based partnerships to solve community challenges.

The morning speaker will feature Wana Bing, project manager for the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. Bing is a native of the Marshall Islands and will discuss Pacific Islander Health in Arkansas. The afternoon will be filled with breakout sessions on service learning, topics to address health issues in the community, community-based participatory research, faith and government collaborations for health equity, mental health in faith communities, and best practices on engaging faith communities.

This conference is funded through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award, the Health Resources and Services Administration Nursing Workforce Diversity grant, the UAMS Translational Research Institute and the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. It is in collaboration with the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, the Arkansas Department of Health 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 northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,870 students, 799 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS and its regional campuses throughout the state, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.