UAMS Honors 36 for National Women’s History Month

By Spencer Watson

UAMS South Asian Students for Healthcare performing.

UAMS South Asian Students for Healthcare performing.

The event was sponsored by the Women’s History Planning Committee and the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs and included a short program of featured speakers, entertainment by the UAMS South Asian Students for Healthcare, presentation of awards by Laura James, M.D., and Jan Shorey, M.D., and a lunch provided by RSVP Catering, a female-owned business, for all attendees.

“UAMS is filled with phenomenal women,” said UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, who noted that women make up over 70 percent of the UAMS workforce. “It is my pleasure to join all of you in celebrating some of these phenomenal women here today.”

Patterson thanked the honorees for their varied contributions to the mission of UAMS and noted that “it’s through your hard work that we, as the only academic medical center in Arkansas, are able to fulfill our mission for 3 million people here in the state who need us very much.”

Odette Woods, senior director of Diversity Affairs, who has chaired the planning committee behind the event for 10 years, joined the chancellor in celebrating the diversity represented by those nominated for and receiving an award.

Odette Woods welcoming attendees to the event.

Odette Woods welcoming attendees to the event.

“When we created the UAMS Phenomenal Woman program, we envisioned that these phenomenal women of various backgrounds, educational levels, socioeconomic levels, race, ethnicity, age, occupation, parental status, sexual orientation, abilities, religions and military status would represent diversity and inclusion at its best,” she said.

Keynote speaker Michelle B. Barnes, executive director and founder of the nonprofit Real Images, which uplifts women and young girls, spoke on the need to unite and work together despite the differences that might separate them.

“More often than not we hesitate to step out of our comfort zone and educate ourselves to love something or someone who is different from what we know,” she said. “I do honestly believe that if we listen to one another more than we try to convince one another, we will build better spaces for educating, innovating and serving our communities and families.”


The 2019 UAMS Phenomenal Women included:

Janet Beasley

Hospital Billing Training Specialist


Elisabet Borsheim, Ph.D.

Professor, Pediatrics, Developmental Nutrition Group


Cynthia J. Brown, RN

Service Line Nursing Director for MUS/Orthopaedics


Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith, M.D.

Director, Breast Imaging


Marcia Byers, Ph.D.

Director, Clinical Innovation and Research, UAMS Regional Campuses


Jean Chen, Ph.D.

Assistant Director of Institutional Services, Division of Academic Affairs


Sandy “Alex” Cleveland, RN

Women and Infant Service Line


Denise Compton, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Geriatrics


Linda Deloney, Ed.D.

Director, Graduate Medical Education, Department of Radiology


Andrea Easom, M.N.Sc., APRN

Clinical Instructor, Internal Medicine


Susan Erickson, RN, M.N.Sc.

Senior Nursing Recruiter


Pebbles Fagan, Ph.D.

Professor, Director, Center for the Study of Tobacco, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health


Amy Franks, Pharm.D.

Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy


Amy Gross

Director, Pre-Access Business Center


Melodee Harris, Ph.D., RN

Assistant Professor, College of Nursing


Tiffany Haynes, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health


Laura Hollenbach, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology Department


Summer Khairi, MBA

Nuclear Medicine Technologist


Suzanne Leslie

Director of Procurement


Erin M. Mannen, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopeadic Surgery


Lorraine McKelvey, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Family & Preventive Medicine


Sandra Meredith-Neve, B.S.N., RN

Integrated Medicine Service Line Nursing Director


Donna Middaugh, Ph.D., RN

Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Programs, College of Nursing


Barbara Nelson



Nalin Payakachat, B.Pharm., Ph.D.

Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy


Melanie Reinhardt, Pharm.D.

Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy


Gloria Richard-Davis, M.D.

Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology Department


Cherika Robertson, M.Ed.

Assistant Professor, College of Health Professions


Wendy Ross

Assistant Director of Programs, South Central Telehealth Resource Center


Suzanne Saccente, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics


Jo Smith, RN

Director of Special Projects


Lindsey Sward, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology Department


Leslie Taylor

Vice Chancellor for Communications & Marketing


Samidha Tripathi, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry


Jennifer Vincenzo, Ph.D., M.P.H., PT

Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy


Theresa Wyrick-Glover M.D.

Vice Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery