UAMS’ South Central Telehealth Resource Center Secures $975,000 Grant to Expand Digital Health Services

By Karmen Robinson

The grant, renewed to UAMS for the seventh time, will fund the expansion of digital health services in rural communities with known health disparities across Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

HRSA awarded more than $13.6 million to the National & Regional Telehealth Resource Centers for the three-year grant period as part of an initiative to expand digital health nationwide and improve health in underserved communities.

“Many diseases are preventable, and illnesses can be detected early when our communities have access to quality health care and health education through digital health,” said Hari Eswaran, Ph.D., the center’s director.

The South Central Telehealth Resource Center is part of the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers and is one of 12 regional telehealth resource centers in the consortium.

Funded for the past 10 years, the South Central Telehealth Resource Center uses evidence-based best practices to support and expand the integration of digital health services in educational settings and health care organizations.

The center also provides professional training, assistance and equipment to improve the delivery of digital health services throughout the three-state region.

“Expanding and enhancing digital health services can significantly reduce and eventually dissolve barriers in health care – such as distance to facilities, transportation availability and reliable educational resources – that most often affect medically underserved and vulnerable populations,” said Eswaran.

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.