Nine UAMS Physicians Named Healthcare Research All-Stars

By Linda Satter

Additionally, it placed the UAMS Hip and Knee surgery team among the top 1% of hip and knee surgeons nationwide, the orthopaedic surgery team among the top 3% nationwide, and both the gastrointestinal and general surgery teams at UAMS among the top 5% nationwide.

The technology and analytics company helps health systems, surgery centers and physicians improve their care. This was its inaugural annual evaluation of the quality and quantity of medical research published by 90,000 physicians at 4,000 hospitals across 10 specialties. It recognizes health care research published during 2021 and 2022.

The evaluation showed that patients under the care of top physician-researchers had a 5% lower rate of post-discharge complications and a 5% lower rate of mortality, within 30 days after discharge.

“The results clearly show that being a better researcher is associated with being a better clinician,” said Derek Haas, CEO. “It is impressive that excellence in one domain does not come at the expense of the other.”

The company evaluated physicians and hospitals that authored leading-edge research in 10 specialties: general surgery, surgical oncology, orthopedic surgery, spine surgery, neurosurgery, cardiac and cardiothoracic surgery, vascular surgery, gastroenterology, urology and otolaryngology.

To be included as an All-Star, physicians and hospitals had to be among the top 5% of those who publish leading-edge health care research. Avant-garde said top physician-researchers had an average publication rate of 11 articles a year.

The nine UAMS physicians named as All-Stars are:

  • Hip and knee surgeons Lowry Barnes, M.D.; Jeffrey Stambough, M.D.; and Benjamin Stronach, M.D.; and former UAMS surgeon Simon Mears, M.D.
  • Gastroenterologist Sumant Inamdar, M.D.; and former UAMS gastroenterologists Shashank Garg, M.D., and Benjamin Tharian, M.D.;
  • Cardiologist Subhi Al’Aref, M.D.
  • Emmanouil Giorgakis, M.D., a general and transplant surgeon

“UAMS’ strong commitment to combining clinical services, research and academics, as well as community engagement, is a main reason I decided to come to UAMS,” said Steven Webber, M.D., a highly regarded pediatrician and researcher who only last month became the executive vice chancellor of UAMS and dean of its College of Medicine. “I am proud to be part of this health care team that recognizes the invaluable interconnection between research and clinical outcomes, and I offer my congratulations to all of the physician-researchers receiving this All-Star designation.”

Barnes, professor and chair of the UAMS Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, said he is grateful for the national recognition of the surgeons in his department, because “I see their dedication to patients, from both a clinical and a research perspective, every day, and I am always proud of them. The research we conduct helps us immensely in understanding our patients’ orthopaedic needs and in developing best clinical practices. It also helps generate publications to inform the field of orthopaedics.”

In recent years, the UAMS Department of Surgery, and the Division of Transplantation in particular, has increased its research presence significantly on a national and global scale, leading to the publication of policy-changing advances in trauma, global surgery, pancreas and hepatobiliary surgery, and liver transplantation.

Porter Jones, M.D., vice president of clinical transformation for Avant-garde Health, said the collective effort of physicians who also engage in research “underscores the pivotal role of these surgeons in driving mechanical innovations and enhancing patient care practices.”

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.