Snead, de Gravelles Receive Chancellor’s Teaching Awards; Jo Smith Recognized for Distinguished Service

By Ben Boulden

Nancy Jo Atkins Smith, BSN, RNP, was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Service.

Gregory Snead, center, receives the Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence from Chancellor Cam Patterson, left, and Provost Stephanie Gardner.

Gregory Snead, center, receives the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence from Chancellor Cam Patterson, left, and Provost Stephanie Gardner.Image by Evan Lewis

The Teaching Awards were established in 2004 to recognize excellence in teaching among UAMS faculty.

Snead, a professor and vice chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine in the College of Medicine, received the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence. The award recognizes the distinction in direct teaching, mentoring or educational scholarship. Teaching excellence can be in all settings — classroom, online, clinic or laboratory.

Snead arrived at UAMS in 2013 as the state’s first and only board-certified emergency medicine (EM) physician with EM ultrasound fellowship training. He went on to establish an EM ultrasound fellowship program at UAMS and to date every fellowship graduate has chosen to remain in Arkansas.

His work included creating an educational program to certify every UAMS attending physician in bedside ultrasound. Snead also implemented a process within the review of all ultrasound studies performed at UAMS that led to continuous quality improvement and improve patient care.

“Bedside ultrasound can improve patient outcomes by safely guiding procedures and providing timely to diagnosis for critically ill patients,” Snead said. “Teaching these techniques is challenging and was achieved with tremendous commitment and passion from our team of basic scientist and clinician educators along with many others.  I am humbled to receive this award in recognition of our work together and the wonderful shared moments of inspiration and understanding we see in our learners.”

He expanded ultrasound curriculum for first- and second-year medical students and collaborated to receive grant funding for outreach efforts to local high schools increasing exposure to health care careers, particularly in underrepresented populations. Snead previously received an Educational Innovation Award at UAMS for his curriculum development.

Pam De Gravelles, center, receives the Chancellor's Award for Society and Health Education Excellence.

Pam De Gravelles, center, receives the Chancellor’s Award for Society and Health Education Excellence.Image by Evan Lewis

De Gravelles, a clinical associate professor in the College of Nursing, received the Chancellor’s Award for Society and Health Education Excellence. The award encompasses areas of cultural awareness, health care economics, health equity, health literacy, health systems, interprofessional education and collaborative practice, public and population health, patient- and family-centered care and/or educational scholarship. It also may include the design and implementation of courses and activities that advance the topics of society and health.

De Gravelles combined her expertise in health care simulation education and commitment to interprofessional education (IPE) to help prepare students and residents from every college and graduate school for delivering interprofessional team health care.

She has designed and conducted multiple IPE experiences and is the primary contributor and facilitator on an IPE teaching module that incorporated interprofessional care of a rural geriatric patient with diabetes in a simulation that integrated digital health and caregiver support.

De Gravelles collaborated with faculty across three institutions to develop a nationally recognized virtual simulation experience focused on the social determinants of health and home assessment.

At the UAMS 12th Street Health & Wellness Center, she served as a preceptor, and at the Canvas Community Mission and Homeless Center in Little Rock, she served as a volunteer. At Canvas, De Gravelles established a weekly Health Hub that included access to wellness and preventative health care for this vulnerable population while offering service opportunities for UAMS students.

Nancy Jo Atkins Smith, center, receives the

Nancy Jo Atkins Smith, center, receives the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Service.Image by Evan Lewis

“I was honored and humbled by the award. It’s an amazing feeling to be recognized and appreciated for your work,” De Gravelles said. I also want others to know that I couldn’t have achieved these outcomes alone. I have had the great fortune of working with amazing teams throughout UAMS, LR, and the state. My teams made my dreams reality.”

Smith began her health care career as a candy striper in her hometown hospital in Camden. She went on to study nursing at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia and is a graduate from the UAMS College of Nursing as part of the first nurse practitioner program.

Smith’s early career included positions in the UAMS Emergency Department, the burn unit and as chief nurse in Department of Orthopaedic Surgery under the late chairman Carl Nelson, M.D. Nelson and his team performed the first hip and knees replacements in the state.

In 2002, Smith moved to Special Services and is now its director. She made a name for herself at UAMS as a problem solver.

UAMS Advisory Board member Judy Adams in a recent interview described Smith as someone who “cares about people, and it doesn’t matter who you are.”

Her favorite quote is from John Wesley, “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, with all the zeal you can for as long as you ever can.”