12 UAMS Programs Receive $241,620 from Chancellor’s Circle

By Benjamin Waldrum

“I am proud to distribute these awards each year to so many deserving programs,” said UAMS Chancellor and UAMS Health CEO Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA. “Our Chancellor’s Circle members make significant commitments to UAMS because they believe in our mission. Your support translates directly to meaningful health improvements for our patients, students and staff. You make these moments possible.”

Each grant represents a significant commitment to the health and well-being of Arkansans for the coming year, with each program poised to continue its great work in the year ahead, Patterson said. The grants will help UAMS support faculty and staff, provide valuable health care education and refine curriculum for tomorrow’s health care professionals.

The following programs were chosen to receive grants:

  • College of Medicine Department of Neurology to develop a virtual education program to improve self-efficacy for people with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. Rohit Dhall, M.D., MSPH, the department’s vice chair for clinical research, accepted the $20,000 grant.
  • Institute for Digital Health & Innovation to complete development of its FunFIT app to help prevent and reduce obesity by promoting physical and emotional well-being through digital health among school-aged children, especially those in rural communities. Candace Lewis, MPH, program manager for the Public Schools Program, accepted the $5,000 grant.
  • Northwest Regional Campus to improve nutrition in the Marshallese community using culinary medicine training to prepare healthier alternatives for classic Marshallese dishes. Project members Joseph Malhis, D.O.; Lauren Haggard-Duff, Ph.D., RN; Maryalice Kelly, MSN, RN; and Linda L.M. Worley, M.D., accepted the $13,620 grant.
  • Division of Academic Affairs to aid engagement and retention of new faculty hires through the Center for Faculty Excellence. Wendy Ward, Ph.D., associate provost for faculty, and Emily Freeman, the center’s director, accepted the $5,000 grant.
  • UAMS East Regional Campus in Helena-West Helena to create a food pantry for low-income clinic patients and to link them with physicians and nutritionists to write “prescriptions” for healthier food choices. Director Becky Hall, Ed.D., accepted the $24,000 grant.
  • Translational Research Institute (TRI) and Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DDEI) to expand a program that provides two mini-grants annually to support research conducted by underrepresented faculty members. Paul Duguid, MPH, assistant director of programs at TRI, accepted the $30,000 grant.
  • UAMS Health to create a musculoskeletal medicine curriculum in conjunction with the University of Arkansas for physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors and athletic trainers in clinical rotations. Andy Glidewell, DPT,  a physical therapist with the Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Clinic in Fayetteville, accepted the $25,000 grant.
  • Office of Interprofessional Education to support the Culinary Medicine program’s “We AR Cooking for a Healthier UAMS” initiative to develop and implement a “health meets food” Mediterranean-based diet program with an on-site teaching kitchen for UAMS students and employees. Program Director Gloria Richard-Davis, M.D., MBA, accepted the $50,000 grant.
  • College of Health Professions and 12th Street Health & Wellness Center to purchase its own handheld sonography imaging machine for the 12th Street clinic, both to aid patients and educate students. Layla Simmons, M.Ed., clinical coordinator for the college’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, and center Director Melissa Halverson, Pharm.D., MPH, accepted the $4,000 grant.
  • College of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology to use a nationally recognized program, Girlology, to provide a medically accurate, educational experience for young girls in central Arkansas about the physical, emotional and interpersonal changes of puberty. Department Chair Nirvana Manning, M.D., and Laura Hollenbach, M.D., director of the Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, accepted the $10,000 grant.
  • Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute to expand its current lung cancer screening to include less invasive liquid biopsies and to use the data gathered from testing to identify populations at risk across the state. Matthew Steliga, M.D., chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery, accepted the $25,000 grant.
  • UAMS Wellness Program to continue its popular Nurturing Team UAMS: Caring for the Nurse program, which teaches skills for combating stress and burnout. Natalie Cannady, M.Ed., Wellness Program director, and Trenda Ray, Ph.D., RN, chief nursing officer, accepted the $30,000 grant.

The Chancellor’s Circle includes more than 250 household and corporate members who support programs at UAMS through annual contributions of $1,500 or more. The Chancellor’s Circle was created in 1984 by the UAMS Board of Advisors and has raised more than $9 million to support UAMS’ mission.

To support UAMS by becoming a member of the Chancellor’s Circle, visit giving.UAMS.edu/chancellorscircle.


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 www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

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