UAMS Student Chosen for Inaugural Dr. Joe L. Hargrove Scholarship Award

By Spencer Watson

Established in 2019 by Ronnie and Sandra Nichols, M.D., in honor of Joe L. Hargrove, M.D., the award provides $5,000 to an underrepresented minority medical student attending UAMS who has demonstrated financial need together with a commitment to community service and volunteerism.

Joe L. Hargrove, M.D.

Joe L. Hargrove, M.D.

Hargrove, the first Black student trained in cardiology at UAMS, is a legendary cardiovascular disease specialist, a National Medical Fellowships alumnus and a recipient of the National Medical Fellowships Lifetime Achievement Award. His 41-years as a highly successful physician, educator, mentor and patient advocate are a living testament to the critical need for increased professional diversity in the field of medicine.

“Paige Jones embodies the combination of financial, personal ideals, leadership expected of award recipients and it’s entirely fitting that she should be the inaugural honoree,” noted Billy R. Thomas, M.D., M.P.H., former vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion at UAMS, and who nominated Jones for the award.

“We are especially pleased that this award is being given to Paige,” added Gloria Richard-Davis, M.D., MBA, executive director of for the UAMS Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “Her capacity to overcome personal hardship and excel has been an inspiration to us all.”

Jones received her undergraduate degree from Xavier University in New Orleans. A personal illness and other family responsibilities forced her to withdraw from the UAMS College of Medicine during her second year. She overcame those difficulties, completed her second year and is now on clinical rotations and preparing for her boards.

She served as the chapter secretary for the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), a member of the Emergency Medicine Interest Group, of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and has volunteered for a broad range of community-oriented services including work at the Harmony Clinic, participation in the SNMA health screening, and serving as a UAMS admissions tour guide.


About National Medical Fellowships

Founded in 1946, National Medical Fellowships (NMF) is chaired by Sandra B. Nichols, M.D., a UAMS and NMF alumnus. NMF was one of America’s first diversity organizations. Now, as then, it continues to envision a diverse professional health care workforce with the leadership, commitment and cultural competency to achieve health equity. This vision is wholly supportive of NMF’s primary mission: to provide scholarships and other support for underrepresented minority students in medicine and the health professions.

Over the past 75 years, NMF awarded more than $40 million in scholarships and other forms of support to underrepresented students. It counts among its ‘alumni’ more than 32,000 minority physicians, many working in primary care. Others are leaders of major health care delivery, health care finance and health research institutions. Two are former U.S. Surgeons General.

Collectively, NMF alumni serve tens of millions of patients with a culture of sensitivity that numerous studies have identified as a key component of successful medical outcomes for the underserved.