Dean’s Message: College Celebrates Five Decades of Growth

By News Staff

To put that in some historical perspective, Richard Nixon was still in his first term as president, Apollo moon landings were taking place, the Vietnam War was being fought and the internet was in its infancy and a relatively tiny, computer network of scientists.

College of Health Professions Dean Susan Long

College of Health Professions Dean Susan Long

Seven existing allied health programs at UAMS came together 50 years ago to form the College of Health Related Profession. Renamed in 2012 as the College of Health Professions, we are now the most comprehensive allied health college in Arkansas with 16 academic programs, four patient care clinics, and a post-doctoral dental residency.

With over 60% of all health care providers in the United States being allied health professionals, our professions provide a variety of career options that are in high demand and provide competitive salaries. The college is not just teaching students to be practitioners in their elected allied health field, our programs are developing professionals who are life-long learners, researchers and servants.

Many of them remain in Arkansas, providing superior care to patients and contributing to the state’s economy, working in their respective fields at UAMS and in private practices, clinics and hospitals across Arkansas.

The college has been fortunate to have seen student enrollment increase by 32% over the past two academic years. Accounting for nearly a third of the UAMS student body, we now have the largest student enrollment of the UAMS colleges. CHP also has 55% of the student enrollment at the UAMS Northwest campus in Fayetteville, expanding the College’s geographic reach to a fast-growing area of the state.

Growth and change in the College has continued closer to the main campus, too. The Dental Hygiene Clinic moved to the 5th floor of the Freeway Medical Building, visible from Interstate 630 and located between the University Avenue and Fair Park Boulevard exits. The Speech and Hearing Clinic moved to the UAMS Education South Building, located directly off of the Pine/Cedar Street exit from I-630.

Virtual ribbon-cutting ceremonies will be held for the Dental Hygiene Clinic at 9 a.m. March 22 and for the Speech and Hearing Clinic at 9 a.m. March 23. Watch out for Zoom links to both events in Announcements.

These moves mean better learning space for students in both programs and better access for patients to the services they provide. To learn more, please read the feature story in this newsletter. It’s an exciting development for these programs and the College.

The new technology in the Dental Hygiene Clinic is the very latest, and it’s almost a certainty that technical innovations in all the fields taught in the College will continue to transform them. As a college, we are committed to providing the most up-to-date training and instruction for the next 50 years, too. What the College and its past and current faculty, staff and students have accomplished is a positive legacy and a promise of even greater things to come.