UAMS Public Health Student Dia Barber Awarded Scholarship from American College of Healthcare Executives

By Ashley McNatt

The American College of Healthcare Executives established the scholarship in honor of Albert W. Dent, the first African American Fellow of ACHE. The scholarship provides financial aid to minority students in the final year of a full-time health care management graduate program.

Barber, of the Washington, D.C. area, will enter her second year in the MHA program in August. She is an administrative intern at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock.

“It is a true honor to be selected as a recipient of this prestigious award,” said Barber. “I am grateful to my professors, mentors, and family for supporting me throughout my academic career as I prepare to serve as a future leader in health care.”

Barber was recommended for the scholarship by Richard Ault, M.H.S.A, director of the Master of Health Administration program, and Saleema Karim, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Health Policy and Management Department, both in the College of Public Health.

“This is a tremendous honor for Dia and one that is deserving of such an excellent student,” said Ault.

Barbers’ recommendation noted her depth of thought in making decisions, commitment and ability to work well with others. She is a highly sought after teammate for group projects.

“In addition to excellent academic work, Dia has availed herself of the many opportunities we can provide to enhance our students’ professional development,” Ault said. “Outstanding professionals are developed in many ways beyond the classroom, and Dia has recognized this and devoted significant time to the effort.”

“Dia is an exceptional student and one deserving of this award,” said Karim. “She is a remarkable individual who demonstrates unwavering commitment and dedication to her studies and her work. She is someone I truly admire.”

After graduation Barber wants to work in hospital operations.

“I hope to enter a leadership role in an organization that serves low-income communities and use a population health approach to drive initiatives to reduce health disparities,” Barber said.


UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven 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 and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 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 or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.