Jill M. Mhyre, M.D., Tapped to Lead UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology

By Linda Haymes

Mhyre is vice chair for research and associate professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and directs the Division of Obstetric Anesthesia. She is being promoted to the rank of professor, effective July 1.

“Dr. Mhyre is known internationally for her work to improve the safety of obstetric patients,” said Christopher T. Westfall, M.D., interim dean of the College of Medicine and Pat Walker Professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology. “She is a proven academic physician and leader who will advance all missions of the College of Medicine and UAMS.”

In 2013, Mhyre was recruited to UAMS as an associate professor where she has served as director of the Division of Obstetric Anesthesia since 2014 and as vice chair for research since 2015. In 2016 she was invested as the inaugural Dola S. Thompson, M.D., Professor of Anesthesiology.

Mhyre succeeds W. Brooks Gentry, M.D., who is stepping down to focus on research and academic mentorship, including his role as principal investigator on the groundbreaking National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded clinical studies for the anti-methamphetamine medications he and colleagues are developing.

After receiving her undergraduate degree at Stanford University in 1995, and medical degree at The University of Michigan in 1999, Mhyre interned at Duke University. She returned to the University of Michigan Health System, completing her residency in anesthesiology and research fellowships in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and the National Institutes of Health’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Program.

She joined the faculty at the University of Michigan Health System, serving as director of obstetric anesthesiology research from 2006 to 2013.

Mhyre’s research focuses on maternal patient safety, including the mechanisms of unexpected harm during childbirth, and systems to reduce risk of harm, especially for women with significant co-existing disease. She pioneered the concept of the anesthesiologist as peripartum physician with expertise in maternal physiology, and the idea that anesthesiologists are available around the clock to help obstetric providers anticipate complications, optimize care to minimize risk of anticipated complications, recognize complications as they occur, and provide emergency critical care to any woman giving birth when the need arises.

She also works to improve communication and teamwork on labor and delivery units, including at UAMS, where her leadership has been instrumental in improving systems to ensure care that is both safe and patient and family centered.

She serves as executive section editor for obstetric anesthesia for Analgesia & Anesthesia, as editor of the International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia, and associate editor of Chestnut’s Obstetric Anesthesia Principles and Practice. Earlier roles included journal liaison for the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology and chair of SOAP’s patient safety committee, and chair of the National Partnership for Maternal Safety’s subcommittee on vital sign triggers.

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 eight 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, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community 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 www.uams.edu or uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.