UAMS Receives $5.5 Million Supplemental Award for Programs in Rural, Underserved Communities

By Chris Carmody

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services, awarded the money under its Value-Based Medical Student Education Grant. The supplemental funding brings UAMS’ fiscal-year award to $6.6 million and raises the overall grant award to nearly $19.6 million over four years.

UAMS will use the funding for projects intended to increase the number of primary care physicians practicing in rural and medically underserved communities in Arkansas.

Those projects include:

  • Renovation of training facilities for a primary care accelerated medical school track and four-year traditional medical school track at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus in Fayetteville
  • The expansion of point-of-care ultrasound training for medical students with new equipment and fellowship programs for faculty members in six of the eight Regional Campuses and the Family Medical Clinic in Little Rock
  • The Medical Scholars in Public Health Postbaccalaureate Program for Arkansans from socially, economically or geographically disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Medical-student rotations in rural and underserved communities
  • Partnership programs from the UAMS Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Arkansas’ historically Black colleges and universities
  • Expansion of medical-school courses in primary care, behavioral health and lifestyle medicine in rural and underserved areas
  • Workforce mapping for rural primary care physicians — a new program that aims to improve training and care in rural communities
  • Upgrades to facilities and simulation equipment for the UAMS Simulation Center and the Northwest Regional Campus Simulation Center.

“These programs provide support for students as they choose residencies and careers in rural and underserved areas of the state,” said Richard Turnage, M.D., vice chancellor for Regional Campuses. “This will help us increase access to primary care and address the specific health issues that affect these communities.”

Marcia Byers, Ph.D., RN, senior director for the UAMS Regional Campuses, said the expansion of programs throughout the state will help increase the diversity of Arkansas’ health care workforce.

“We want to provide students from rural and underserved areas with opportunities that encourage them to pursue careers in primary care,” she said.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $19,575,532, with 10% financed with nongovernmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. government.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight 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, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 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, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.