UAMS South Women’s Health Practitioner Sees Rising Demand for Her Expertise

By Ben Boulden

Health care providers often are in short supply in rural parts of the United States and south Arkansas, and patient demand for the services she offers continues to grow and show that Delaney is meeting a real health need. The American Academy of Family Physicians says 20 percent of the U.S. population resides in rural areas, but only 10 percent of all physicians reside there.

Adriane Delaney

Adriane Delaney

In 2016, Delaney started work at the Family Medical Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) South Regional Campus. Although she’s not a physician, she helps meet some of the need for women’s health care.

“On her graduation from her master’s degree program, we felt adding her would be a good fit for the community and the clinic to have the only women’s health practitioner in town, so we hired her,” said James Gooch, director of UAMS South Regional Campus. “It has been a great fit for women’s health and the surrounding area. It has opened up a whole new market for us while complementing the women’s and children’s services we already had in place with obstetrics and pediatrics.”

The patient demand for Delaney’s services has steadily risen, and her patient volume grows each month, Gooch said.

Delaney said to her knowledge, she is one of only two women’s health nurse practitioners in south Arkansas. A second women’s health nurse practitioner, and a colleague Delaney knows well, practices in El Dorado.

Much of the patient demand Delaney sees is for birth control and general reproductive health, she said. She also spends a good part of her working life on health literacy, especially with young women.

“We are helping them protect themselves from something that can define their life,” Delaney said. “We talk to them about safety. We have to educate these kids because if they don’t know these things, that’s where we get into trouble. We

have patients who have some of these sexually transmitted diseases for the rest of their lives. I hate telling a teenager she is going to have something for the rest of her life.”

Delaney is trained to implant birth control, including intrauterine devices, and do colposcopies to look for the presence of cervical cancer. And, although her studies for her master’s degree are now in her past, she continues to educate herself.

Working in a learning environment like UAMS South positions Delaney professionally to receive the latest information to better educate the public, too.

“Because we have residents go through here and because we’re a teaching institution and facility, there’s never a time when I don’t get news about the latest guidelines,” Delaney said. “UAMS is going to be on top of what is the most appropriate treatment. We always are kept up on the best practices.”

She has strong family roots and personal history in Magnolia and the region, and she said that puts some folks at ease in talking to her about personal health issues and questions they have.

“I’m from here,” Delaney said. “I went to high school here and got my first nursing degree here. I’m a hometown girl. I know the community. My family lives here. They feel like they know me. I get stopped all the time in businesses where people ask me questions. I feel like what I do is important in protecting the health of the  women in this community.”