UAMS Cheers on Crohn’s & Colitis Walk

By Lee Hogan

More than 265 participants, volunteers and sponsors took part in the event for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, also known as inflammatory bowel disease. The conditions affect the digestive system.

The walk, sponsored by the Arkansas chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, meandered through the walking trails at War Memorial Park and culminated inside War Memorial Stadium where sponsor booths and tents were set up for meet-and-greets.

The walk has raised more than $40,000 to date for research funding, patient education and outreach programs, including more than $1,600 from Team UAMS.

Conan Mustain, M.D., a UAMS board-certified colon and rectal surgeon and assistant professor in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Division of Colon & Rectal Surgery, served as the walk’s corporate chair. UAMS was a corporate sponsor of the event.

Mustain said first and foremost, the event helps patients.

“Living with inflammatory bowel disease can be frustrating and, at times, isolating for patients,” said Mustain. “Getting together with a community of other patients and supporters living with their disease helps patients know they’re not alone and that help is out there.”

Mustain said UAMS’s involvement with the foundation is aimed at letting the community know that “we’re here to help.”

There are fewer than 10 colorectal surgeons in Arkansas, and UAMS is home to three of them as well as inflammatory bowel disease specialists in gastroenterology, radiology, nutrition and dietetics, and nursing.

“We are well-positioned to be a center of excellence for inflammatory bowel disease in Arkansas,” said Mustain. “Having a presence at this event makes people aware of us as a group of providers from multiple specialties who are dedicated to taking care of this group of patients.”

Mustain has been involved with the walk all three years since coming to UAMS in 2015.

“The Arkansas chapter provides many benefits to patients and is motivated to make sure there are doctors and health care resources available in the state,” said Mustain.