UAMS Celebrates New Institute with Ribbon-Cutting in Springdale

By David Wise

The UAMS Institute for Community Health Innovation was established March 1 and builds upon the significant achievements of the UAMS Office of Community Health & Research. The institute works with communities across Arkansas to conduct community-based research and deploy community-driven programs to improve health outcomes in rural and medically underserved regions of the state. The institute is based in Northwest Arkansas and will have staff and offices across the state.

“We are excited to celebrate the incredible achievements of our partners and stakeholders who have guided our work for years, and who helped us achieve status as an institute within UAMS,” said Pearl McElfish, Ph.D., MBA, director of the institute.

The institute integrates translational research, community engagement, clinical care and population health in the areas of maternal and child health; health, hunger and nutrition; health equity and access; and diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases. The institute has piloted mobile prenatal care programs, diabetes self-management education and more to provide innovative solutions to health barriers that Arkansans face.

“If we’re going to move the needle and improve health outcomes of all Arkansans, we must have innovative solutions that meet people where they live, work and play,” McElfish said. “We are working to improve health outcomes for all Arkansans, and we look forward to spreading our work even further as we continue our shared mission to create a better state of health for all.”

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.