Six months into the pandemic that has defined 2020, we can think of no better way than “Champions” to describe health care workers. We asked Arkansas Money & Politics readers to nominate their “Champions of Health Care” in 14 categories.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock
Arkansas Children’s Inc. is the only health care system in the state solely dedicated to caring for Arkansas’ 703,000 children. The private, nonprofit organization includes two pediatric hospitals, a pediatric research institute and USDA nutrition center, a philanthropic foundation, a nursery alliance, statewide clinics, and many education and outreach programs — all focused on fulfilling a promise to define and deliver unprecedented child health. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) is a 336-bed, Magnet-recognized facility in Little Rock operating the state’s only Level I pediatric trauma center; the state’s only burn center; the state’s only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit; the state’s only pediatric intensive care unit; the state’s only pediatric surgery program with Level 1 verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS); the state’s only magnetoencephalography (MEG) system for neurosurgical planning and cutting-edge research; and the state’s only nationally recognized pediatric transport program.
Baptist Health Medical Center, Little Rock
For nearly 100 years, Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock has been delivering quality health care to Arkansas residents. The 843-bed medical center is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in the state and provides comprehensive services using the latest in innovative technology. From the humble beginnings of Baptist State Hospital to what the hospital and Baptist Health has become today, the purpose has remained the same — to create a healthier community through Christian compassion.
CHI St. Vincent Infirmary, Little Rock
Founded in 1888 by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, CHI St. Vincent Infirmary is a faith-based, not-for-profit hospital serving the health care needs of Arkansans from all 75 counties. Over the past 132 years, the infirmary has grown from a 10-bed charity hospital to more than 600 licensed beds. In 2013, CHI St. Vincent Infirmary became the first hospital in Arkansas to earn the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet® Recognition designation for excellence in nursing leadership, clinical practice, innovations and positive outcomes. That commitment to excellence extends to the infirmary physicians who provide world-class, industry-recognized care every day. That includes the CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute with technology and expertise like no other in Arkansas for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Conway Regional Medical Center
Conway Regional has provided high-quality, compassionate health care for almost a century through innovative services, new clinics, more specialists and expanded access to care to the communities it serves. In 2019, Conway Regional began construction on a multiphase capital investment plan that will expand and enhance services throughout its health system. The plan includes a new medical office building, a new critical care unit and expansion of the hospital’s clinic in Greenbrier. Additionally, the health system has added a second state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratory, two 3D mammography devices to improve detection of breast cancer, and recruited numerous highly talented physicians to the medical team in the areas of neuro spine surgery, rheumatology, infectious disease, neurology, hematology-oncology, pain management, gastroenterology, pulmonology, vascular surgery and general surgery.
Unity Health White County Medical Center, Searcy
Unity Health takes pride in caring for its community and more than 2,300 associates. Its dedicated associates enjoy working as part of the best health care workforce that central Arkansas has to offer and strive to improve the health and well-being of the communities they serve through compassionate care. Based in Searcy, Unity Health is the leading health care provider in an eight-county area with three hospital campuses, specialty centers and an ever-growing number of clinics. Unity Health was also the first hospital in Arkansas accepted into the Mayo Clinic Care Network, providing more patients with added peace of mind and the ability to stay close to home for their care.
Arkansas Surgical Hospital, North Little Rock
Arkansas Surgical Hospital was founded by orthopedic and spine surgeons who were searching for a way to provide a better overall experience for their patients. The hospital performed its first surgery on April 19, 2005, and has been providing award-winning care ever since. As a physician-owned hospital, the surgeons are able to make decisions that make the greatest impact on their patients. They are able to guide the hospital on everything from the staff that is hired to the equipment that is used so that patients and their families have the best outcome and experience possible.
CrossRidge Community Hospital, Wynne
CrossRidge Community Hospital opened in 1952 as Cross County Hospital and has evolved into the beloved community hospital it is today. In 1999, Jonesboro’s St. Bernards Healthcare took over operations. Since then, equipment upgrades and facility improvements have taken place, including renovations of physical therapy, patient registration, pharmacy, radiology, inpatient area, dialysis, the emergency room and laboratory. On staff, six family practice physicians and one pediatrician help deliver quality care to all patients. In return, the community has provided strong support, especially in the form of a 1-cent sales tax that supports key hospital services with overwhelming renewal every four years since its passage in 2000.
Dardanelle Regional Medical Center
On June 1, 2019, amid a historic flood, Conway Regional Health System began management of the newly named Dardanelle Regional Medical Center. The 35-bed medical center serves the population of Dardanelle and the Yell County area. In addition to the high-quality primary care provide by Dardanelle Regional Medical Clinic, the medical center offers urgent care, chronic illness management, wellness exams and on-site lab services. From annual check-up exams to a functioning emergency room, Dardanelle Regional offers a variety of services, including its Intensive Outpatient Counseling Program, a psychiatric program for the geriatric population of the community.
Johnson Regional Medical Center, Clarksville
Since 1922, Johnson Regional Medical Center has been providing health care to the population of Johnson, Logan, Franklin and Pope counties. The facility’s beginnings stretch back to a meager boarding house that is now a first-class health care facility licensed for 90 beds. Quality health care services backed by highly personalized care is always the goal at Johnson Regional. As a nonprofit hospital, the facility is committed to giving back to the community of Clarksville and the surrounding area through state-of-the-art equipment, programs and excellent physicians. Services offered at JRMC include emergency, home care, laboratory, mental health, medical surgical/intensive care units, orthopedic, physical rehabilitation, radiology, sleep center, surgical, urology and women’s health.
Ouachita County Medical Center, Camden
The mission of Ouachita County Medical Center is to provide accessible, personal and quality health care in a safe and confidential environment with courtesy, friendliness and respect. OCMC maintains a high focus on patient input when providing comprehensive service and care. Whether seeking care for maternity or employer/work-related issues, treatment for substance abuse, geriatric psychiatric services, home care or hospice, patients can be sure to receive the highest quality care in a safe, confidential and friendly environment. OCMC also offers education in the form of professional-led seminars in CPR, first aid, smoking cessation, menopause, Medicare benefits, burn care and breast cancer awareness. The medical center also participates in Junior Leadership programs, in-school seminars and hospital tours geared toward preschool and kindergartners, through which they promote health education.
Health Care Administrators
Cam Patterson, MD, MBA
Chancellor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
As chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Cam Patterson leads Arkansas’ only health sciences university. A renowned cardiologist and health care administrator, he became chancellor in June 2018. He is also CEO of UAMS Health. He was previously COO at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Komansky Children’s Hospital in New York. Patterson has received more than $60 million in grants during his career and been published in 323 peer-reviewed scientific publications. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Patterson has advocated for public health, accessible screening and testing, universal masking and protective equipment for health care workers.
Adam Head, FACHE
President and CEO, CARTI
Since joining CARTI in September 2017, Adam Head has been instrumental in driving the organization’s mission for being the most advanced cancer treatment destination. During his time at CARTI, the organization increased operational revenue by $9.3 million and has seen unprecedented expansion into communities across the state where cancer services historically have been limited. Since November 2018, CARTI has opened three additional CARTI Cancer Centers in Conway, North Little Rock and Russellville, and is set to open its fifth in Pine Bluff in January 2022. Under Head’s leadership, CARTI also opened The Breast Center at CARTI, The Cancer Genetics and Risk Management Clinic and CARTI Imaging North.
Bruce E. Murphy, MD, PhD
CEO, Arkansas Heart Hospital
Dr. Bruce Murphy is CEO and a co-founder of Arkansas Heart Hospital, one of America’s premiere subspecialty cardiology hospitals. It’s been recognized worldwide for exceptional standard of care, procedure volumes, management efficiencies and financial success. Murphy graduated from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with a Ph.D. in pharmacology in 1980 and completed his cardiology training in 1986. He was in private practice of interventional cardiology and peripheral vascular intervention for 28 years. His career was focused on developing new techniques in both fields and in teaching. Murphy has trained physicians from over 30 countries at Arkansas Heart Hospital and initiated the cardiology fellowship training program with UAMS.
J. Larry Shackelford, CPA (inactive), FACMPE
President and CEO, Washington Regional Medical System
J. Larry Shackelford was named Washington Regional President and CEO in 2017 after serving as senior vice president since 2010. After graduating from the University of Arkansas in 1986, Shackelford worked for the accounting firm Baird, Kurtz and Dobson for six years before entering health care administration at Fayetteville Diagnostic Clinic and Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas. Shackelford currently serves on the American Hospital Association Region 7 policy board, as chairman of the board for Partnership for Healthy Arkansas, and on the boards of the Arkansas Hospital Association, Healthy Active Arkansas, Arvest Bank as well as the Dean’s Executive Advisory Board for the UA’s Walton College of Business.
President and CEO, Conway Regional Health System
Matt Troup has more than 20 years of executive leadership experience in the health care industry, serving in various administrative roles in hospitals in Texas, Oklahoma and Florida. He came to Arkansas in 2014 as vice president of ancillary and support services at CHI St. Vincent and was named president and CEO of Conway Regional Health System within one year. Troup is an energetic leader whose five-year tenure has seen historic growth in net revenue and increases in employee and physician engagement with the organization achieving a best place to work designation four years in a row. He has also led efforts to grow and expand the health system’s services throughout north central Arkansas and the River Valley area.
Health Care Clinics
Arkansas Surgical Hospital Specialty Clinic,
In an effort to continue to meet the health care needs of Arkansas residents, physician-owned Arkansas Surgical Hospital opened Arkansas Surgical Hospital Specialty Clinic in Russellville. The clinic was founded to provide patients with access to trusted experts in one convenient place. The skilled health care providers at Arkansas Surgical Hospital Specialty Clinic treat orthopedic, spine and allergy-related health issues. Professionals from the following clinics are available at Arkansas Surgical Hospital Specialty Clinic on a regular basis: Bowen Hefley Orthopedics, Little Rock Neurosurgery, Martin Orthopedics and Pinnacle Allergy Clinic.
CARTI, Little Rock
As the state’s largest independent cancer care provider, CARTI’s team of renowned physicians delivers the most advanced forms of cancer treatment in a compassionate, patient-centered environment. Based in Little Rock and with multiple locations across the state, CARTI treats more than 23,000 individual patients each year, providing them with world-class cancer care close to home. CARTI provides every service a patient needs during their cancer journey, including those for their physical and emotional well-being. Services include genetic and high-risk management, housing and transportation assistance as well as financial, emotional and nutritional counseling.
CHI Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic
Established in 1961, CHI St. Vincent Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic is a large, multi-specialty medical practice providing diagnostic and treatment services to patients throughout Central Arkansas. Medical specialties at the clinic include endocrinology, internal medicine/primary care, neurology, podiatry, pulmonology and rheumatology. Endoscopy, infusion, imaging and lab services are among other patient resources also available at CHI St. Vincent Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic.
Little Rock Family Practice Clinic
Little Rock Family Practice Clinic was founded in 1963 and over the years has grown into a practice with advanced technology with the same traditional, friendly and compassionate care that was established at the beginning. Along with skilled physicians, the clinic also offers dedicated care coordinators that are available to help monitor medical needs and work to develop a personal health plan. At Little Rock Family Practice Clinic, patients are provided with comprehensive, state-of-the-art medical services in a family-oriented environment that blends personal care with cutting-edge technology to provide the highest quality of patient care and preventative services.
South Arkansas Medical Clinic, El Dorado
The South Arkansas Women’s Clinic was opened in El Dorado in 1997. As the leading provider of gynecology care in South Arkansas, SAWC strives to provide the highest quality care, information and attention to girls and women from girls and women through all ages and stages of life. The clinic works to provide patients with a sense of confidence and empowerment through education and constant encouragement to live a healthy lifestyle and pursue preventative care.
Dr. Kevin Hale,
Hamilton West Family Medicine
Most days, you’ll find Dr. Kevin Hale at Hamilton West Family Medicine in Hot Springs where the motto is, “Where caring comes first.” Caring for others has become a lifestyle for Hale. Hale regularly provides free physicals to kids participating in sports. He has served on the Lake Hamilton School Board for years and allows area youth and their parents to use his personal sports equipment and facilities. In 2009, Hale used the painful experience of the loss of his son, Kameron, to form an organization that makes a daily impact on Hot Springs’ youth. Kamo’s Kids Foundation works with organizations, the juvenile court system and school counselors to help underserved kids. For more information about the foundation, visit kamoskids.com.
Dr. Gordon Newbern,
Dr. Gordon Newbern has been practicing orthopedics in Little Rock since 1992. His subspecialty training is in reconstruction of the hip and knee. After completing medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and orthopedic residency at Georgetown University Medical Center, he completed fellowship training in hip and knee replacement at The Center for Hip and Knee Surgery in Mooresville, Indiana. Newbern is consulted on unusually difficult joint replacement cases from around the state. His research articles have been published in the Journal of Arthroplasty. He performs more than 500 joint replacement procedures per year.
Dr. Robert Silzer,
CHI St. Vincent Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic
Dr. Robert Silzer has served the Central Arkansas community with the team of physicians at the CHI St. Vincent Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic for the past 26 years. He specializes in neurology and says despite all the changes in medicine over the years, it’s the human interaction that makes his work most worthwhile. “In neurology, you still need to sit down and take the time to carefully listen to the patient and do a good exam.” One significant aspect of his practice includes the use of Botox to treat various forms of dystonia and migraines, and his practice was one of the first in Central Arkansas to offer such treatments. Dr. Silzer graduated from the University of Arkansas Fayetteville, earned his medical degree from UAMS and completed his fellowship training in both Neurology and Neuromuscular Diseases at KUMC in Kansas City, Kansas. At the end of each day, he looks forward to walking around his neighborhood with his wife and three dogs or a mountain bike ride with friends.
Dr. Don Steely, Conway
Regional Cardiovascular Clinic
Don Steely, MD, is an interventional cardiologist with the Conway Regional Cardiovascular Clinic. He has more than 21 years of experience providing cardiology services in Faulkner County and surrounding areas. He has introduced innovative cardiovascular technology to north central Arkansas, including miniature pacemaker technology. Steely completed his medical degree, a residency in internal medicine and pediatrics and a fellowship in interventional cardiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He and his wife, Molly, make Conway their home and have three adult children.
Dr. Adrian Williamson III,
Arkansas Otolaryngology Clinic
Dr. Adrian Williamson’s inspiration to become a physician started when he was in the ninth grade at Horace Mann Junior High School in Little Rock. Given an assignment in civics class to write an essay about a career, he chose to write about being a physician. Although no one in his family was a physician, he fell in love with the profession and became a pre-medical student at Washington and Lee University in Virginia where he graduated. He attended Tulane Medical School in New Orleans where he met his wife. Williamson practices general otolaryngology and has a special interest in voice, airway and swallowing disorders along with pediatric and sinus disorders.
Dr. Dana Abraham,
Arkansas Surgical Hospital/Abraham Breast Clinic
Dana C. Abraham, MD, is a breast surgical oncologist, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society. She is a member of the American Society of Breast Disease and American Society of Breast Surgeons. Abraham was born and raised in Little Rock where she graduated from Hall High School in 1976. She attended Dartmouth College, majoring in biological sciences with a minor in psychology, and then the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, graduating in 1989. She completed a five-year general surgery residency and then a fellowship in breast surgical oncology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Her training covers all aspects of breast health, including lactation and fibrocystic changes, and she also provides breast reductions and breast lifts through her newly formed company, All Beautiful Concerns.
Dr. Lowry Barnes,
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
C. Lowry Barnes, M.D., is an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in the hip and knee and is nationally recognized as a leading joint replacement expert. He joined the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2014 to head the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and in 2017, was invested in the Carl L. Nelson, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery. He lectures nationally and internationally on total joint replacement and has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles. He is an active researcher with grant funding, holds four patents for orthopaedic surgery devices and has designed numerous hip and knee implants.
Dr. Ali Krisht,
CHI St. Vincent Arkansas Neuroscience Institute
Dr. Ali Krisht aspired to become a professional soccer player until a knee injury and a moment of reflection led him down a different path. Today, Krisht is recognized as one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons. He leads the CHI St. Vincent Arkansas Neuroscience Institute (ANI), edits the journal Contemporary Neurosurgery and in 2019, received the international Herbert Olivecrona Award, commonly referred to as the “Nobel Prize for Neurosurgery.” Krisht has delivered more than 170 presentations and lectures around the world and received honorary citizenship in Taipei, Taiwan, for his work in neuroscience education. Last year, he achieved his long-standing vision to create the ANI Research and Education Center to continually improve treatments, map the human brain and prepare a new generation of neurosurgeons.
Dr. Mike Stanton,
Conway Regional Surgical Associates
Mike Stanton, MD, is a general surgeon with more than 30 years of practice experience, including 26 years in Conway where he co-founded what is now Conway Regional Surgical Associates. In addition to his skill as a surgeon, Stanton is known throughout Central Arkansas for his support of the community. A University of Central Arkansas graduate, he served on the UCA Board of Trustees from 2002 through 2009 and is currently fulfilling a term on the state Department of Higher Education Coordinating Board, which oversees two- and four-year public universities. Stanton will become chief of the medical staff at Conway Regional in January 2021.
Dr. Brad Thomas,
Arkansas Surgical Hospital/Little Rock Neurosurgery
Dr. Brad Thomas specializes in the treatment of the nervous system and spine disorders. He uses the latest, most innovative surgical and non-surgical techniques available, offering additional specialized treatment in the following areas: neck pain and low back pain; discectomy and fusion for cervical disc disease; decompression for cervical and lumbar spinal stenosis; lumbar instrumentation and fusion; and carpal tunnel and ulnar nerve decompression. Thomas is committed to providing exceptional and personal care while making every effort to enhance the health and quality of life for his patients. Each patient is treated with respect and the utmost courtesy. He believes that patients are individuals, not numbers, deserving of his time and attention.
Travel Nurses Across America
A Conway native, Ally Ferguson has been with Travel Nurses Across America since 2015. Her travel nurse adventures have taken her across the United States on 28 assignments, including Nevada, Washington, Colorado, Idaho and Utah. Ferguson became a nurse because she loves the opportunity to help others and put a smile on someone’s face even at their worst moments. She just spent three months in Maryland, where she had a life-altering experience due to working as an RN in the intensive care unit (ICU) during COVID-19. She is headed to California next month to continue working as an ICU RN alongside her husband, Zane, also an ICU RN.
Conway Regional Women’s Center
Valerie Lambe, RN, has been a labor and delivery nurse for 19 years at the Conway Regional Women’s Center. She decided to become a nurse as a teenager when her cousin was born prematurely with cerebral palsy. Valerie learned from her aunt and uncle how to do “nursing things,” such as maintaining catheters and tube feedings. While in nursing school, she became a mother and developed a passion for women’s and infants’ health. Valerie has witnessed the beginning and continued growth of families, as well as experienced infant losses with families. Some of these families have become lifelong friends. Valerie’s children are continuing her health care tradition, with a son in nursing school and a daughter who also aspires to work in medicine.
Mary Ruth Lowe,
Briarwood Nursing and Rehabilitation
Mary Ruth Lowe is the director of nursing of Briarwood Nursing and Rehabilitation in Little Rock and has been a nurse for 31 years. She began her nursing career as a licensed practical nurse to a registered nurse and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in nursing. Lowe’s nursing career began in long-term care, but she also has years of experience in critical care/emergency room nursing, as well as working with children and adults with developmental disabilities. Lowe has four children and has also been a foster parent to 13 children over the years. When not spending her time caring for the elderly, she spends her time with family and her precious granddaughter, Teagan.
CHI St. Vincent Arkansas Neuroscience Institute
Maggie Moore, RN, SCRN, always knew she wanted to work in health care. She remembers how she would go on rounds with her father, Dr. Jim Moore, a neurosurgeon at CHI St. Vincent for 40 years. Life initially led her down a different path, though. After college, she went into a career in sales, but eventually realized something was missing. At age 40, Moore went back to school to get her nursing degree and after graduating, applied to only one hospital. “Working at CHI St. Vincent is like being at home for me. I grew up in that hospital,” Moore said. Her first role was launching the Neuro Intensive Care Unit at CHI St. Vincent North before taking over as Stroke Program Coordinator.
Natural State Women’s Center
Leslie Watkins, RN, works with Dr. Bryan Fuller at Natural State Women’s Center in Conway and North Little Rock to deliver compassionate, innovative care addressing all aspects of women’s health. This includes cervical screening, annual exams, breast exams, contraception, preconceptual counseling, hormonal problems, infertility, abnormal periods, pelvic pain, endometriosis, sexual dysfunction, pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, menopause and obstetrical care.
Conway Regional Neuroscience Center
Savannah Bradbury is a physician assistant with the Conway Regional Neuroscience Center where she practices alongside Dr. Regan Gallaher, a neuro-spine surgeon. Savannah is known for the compassion she shows to patients in the center. She completed the physician assistant program at Harding University in Searcy in 2013. Savannah lives in Greenbrier with her husband and son.
NEA Baptist Clinic
Carla Nix, PA-C, specializes in internal medicine at NEA Baptist Clinic in Jonesboro. A Harding University graduate with ALCS and BLS certifications, Nix is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Arkansas Academy of Physician Assistants.
CHI St. Vincent Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic
Megan Redam, RN, MNSC, APN, knew she wanted to become a nurse so she could help people. Originally from Malvern, she earned her nursing degree at the University of Central Arkansas and went on to get her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Arkansas at Medical Sciences. She joined the CHI St. Vincent Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic in 2007 and said the multidisciplinary approach at the clinic allows her to follow and continue working with a patient as they move from one department to the next. “I like helping patients take care of themselves, focus on their health and see improvement in their across-the-board quality of life.”
Matthew T. Reynolds, M.S., M.P.A.S., PA-C, is a native of Bentonville who received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Upon graduation, he returned to Arkansas and earned a master’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). He was accepted into the inaugural class of students at the UAMS Physician Assistant program and graduated in 2015 prior to joining Arkansas Dermatology. He currently practices at the North Little Rock, Stuttgart and Russellville clinic locations and enjoys treating a variety of dermatologic conditions from psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and skin cancer.
Trent Tappan, PA-C, is a national board-certified physician assistant (PA). He graduated from the Harding University physician assistant program in 2015 with a master’s degree in physician assistant studies. Trent’s career in medicine started in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in cardio-respiratory care awarded by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Health Related Professions. During his time as a respiratory care therapist, he excelled in providing complex care for a range of patients and issues. Since completing education and training as a physician assistant, he uses similar skills to understand patient issues and collaborate on the best possible treatment plan. Trent works directly with Dr. Wayne Bruffett in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopeedic spine issues.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital
Aimee Brown, APRN, works a couple of days a month in the Pediatric ICU and teaches classes at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. But the semi-retired nurse practitioner always made an impression on her patients. Brown’s nursing career began at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where she graduated. She went on to work in the Neonatal ICU at ACH eventually transitioning to become a flight nurse — ultimately the chief flight nurse — for the Angel One rescue flight team. A Little Rock native, Brown also taught in the nursing program at National Park College in Hot Springs.
Audra Arant Choate,
MSN, APRN, BC-ACNP, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Audra Arant Choate has been at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for 13 years. She is a nurse practitioner specializing in trauma care and a clinical instructor in the College of Nursing. “There is no doubt I have the best job imaginable,” she said. “I understand the sacredness of caring for people on what is often the worst day of their lives. I love the fast pace, the excitement, the quick decisions and the genius of the people I work with.” She is married to Will Choate, and they have two children, Norah, 9, and Bo, 7.
Stephanie Coleman, AGAC-NP,
CHI Heart Clinic Arkansas
Stephanie Coleman is an acute-care nurse practitioner at CHI Heart Clinic Arkansas specializing in electrophysiology of the heart. Originally a graduate of Arkansas State University, Coleman has many years of nursing experience in the cardiac intensive-care setting, caring for patients from birth to advanced age. Because of her love for helping others, she decided to pursue an advanced degree and graduated with honors from Walden University with her master’s degree in 2017. She also provides preceptorship to other nursing students who are advancing their degree to the master’s level. She enjoys baseball, going to the beach and spending time with her family.
Angela Foster, APRN,
Conway Regional Mayflower Medical Clinic
Angela Foster is an advanced practice registered nurse with the Conway Regional Mayflower Medical Clinic. She has more than 10 years of experience providing advanced practice nursing care. She specializes in family practice and has been a registered nurse since 1994. Angela is also a member of the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Command with the rank of colonel and almost 33 years of service. Angela has been married 30 years and lives in Conway. She has two children in college.
Cornerstone Clinic for Women
Lisa Grummer has been with Cornerstone Clinic for Women since 2000. She has a true love of women’s health care and felt called to its ministry early on. Grummer enjoys helping make patients feel comfortable while providing education in women’s health. While she isn’t the one delivering babies, she does deliver exceptional prenatal care for her patients. She is also well-versed in treating gynecologic issues as well as performing wellness exams. Grummer has been happily married to her husband, Scott, since 1995. The two received the life-changing and amazing opportunity to adopt, and are now raising two beautiful children, Natalie and Nathan. She and her family are active members of their church. Grummer also is a breast cancer survivor.
Innovation in Health Care
Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine,
Leadership at the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) knew when it was preparing for its first college, the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM), that the progression of medicine would be a factor in creating curriculum for its medical students. In March 2020, with the alteration of clinical rotations for students due to the pandemic, telemedicine was quickly added to the curriculum, allowing ARCOM students to continue their medical training. With the help of ACHE’s state-of-the-art infrastructure, the transition to telemedicine was seamless, and students were training with patients virtually in a few weeks.
HealthTech Arkansas is an accelerator and early-stage investment fund that guarantees at least two pilot projects or clinical trials for each early-stage company admitted to the program. These pilots are conducted by the 11 provider organizations in the program’s statewide coalition that includes some of the largest health care systems in Arkansas. The accelerator targets three areas of health care innovation: digital health (software), medical devices and diagnostic platforms. Provider partners choose the companies invited to participate in the program each year. The program is virtual, so there’s no requirement to be in Arkansas other than when you’ll be here to work with your provider partners on your pilot projects or clinical trials. In addition to the guaranteed pilots, participating companies receive $75,000 of investment capital through a SAFE or convertible note.
Conway Regional Medical Center
Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery is the latest approach to joint replacement, and Conway Regional is proud to be the only hospital in Conway to offer it. Orthopedic surgeons Drs. Grant Bennett, J. Tod Ghormley and Scott Smith use the Mako technology to perform hip and knee replacement surgeries that are less invasive and more precise than traditional methods.
Institute for Digital Health & Innovation,
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
The Institute for Digital Health & Innovation at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences aims to eliminate health care disparities in Arkansas by harnessing advances in digital health and technology to advance clinical care, education and research. Digital health uses technology like smartphones, interactive live video, wearable devices and personal computers. It reduces the cost of health care and improves access for patients, especially in rural states like Arkansas. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the institute helped UAMS expand its digital services and provided support and education for other health care providers across the state as they transitioned online.
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State
This spring, many hospitals and clinics have used technology much more frequently to see patients as the need to reduce in-person contact has become paramount. New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University has been ahead of the curve when it comes to telemedicine. Established in 2016, the Jonesboro-based medical school is one of the only medical schools in the country that offers a telemedicine course as part of its first-year curriculum. For doctors who practice in rural areas, telemedicine can reduce many of the burdens – including time, travel and cost – their patients incur when they need to visit a specialist. That makes NYITCOM’s commitment to telemedicine all the more important as it trains future physicians.
Allied Health Care Providers
Terry Childers, LifeNet
Terry Childers is a paramedic at LifeNet in Hot Springs. During his 29-year career in emergency medical services (EMS), Terry has managed ground and flight programs, served as an educator and functioned as mentor to others. While he acknowledges the critical impact he has played in life-saving moments, Childers relishes the ability to make someone’s day better by providing a moment of comfort or just by listening to their stories. He confesses that patients probably do not realize that caring for them contributes as much to his well-being as his role plays in their lives.
Conway Regional Health System
Ashley Cornett, MS, RDN, LD, is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nutrition and dietetics. Cornett is a certified diabetes educator and is the wellness supervisor for the Wellness and Diabetes Education Department at Conway Regional Health System. She has been a registered dietitian at Conway Regional for five years in both inpatient and outpatient diabetes education, medical nutrition therapy, and community and employee wellness. She is also a certified lifestyle coach and tobacco treatment specialist. She enjoys working with patients toward their wellness goals and specializes in diabetes and weight management.
Pediatrics Plus Counseling and Diagnostics
Brittany Hargis is a clinical social worker currently serving as the mental health supervisor at Pediatrics Plus Counseling and Diagnostics (PPCD) in Little Rock. In this role, her focus is to help cultivate an atmosphere of compassion, empowerment and education for PPCD’s clients and the therapists she supervises. Her passion for removing treatment barriers and improving access to services is demonstrated through her networking with state and local agencies. Hargis’ specialized certifications in meditation, yoga and trauma processing provide clients with new pathways for healing. Hargis also advocates for advancing accessibility of diagnostic testing for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and behavioral health services for individuals with developmental delays.
Kids Being Kids Therapy
Holly Miguet is a native of Little Rock and a resident of Maumelle. She was a pediatric occupational therapist who worked many years in preschool and private schools but felt she couldn’t address everything that some of the children needed in those settings. So in 2013, Miguet and her husband opened Kids Being Kids Therapy. KBKT provides occupational, physical and speech-and-language therapies with functional goals in mind. It is a place where kids are treated holistically with a team approach that includes the child’s family and other disciplines. KBKT assists kids to just be a kid.
Cherika Newell Robertson, M. Ed., MLS (ASCP)CM,
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Cherika Robertson is an assistant professor in the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Robertson is responsible for inspiring, educating and training future medical laboratory scientists with the goal of increasing the value of the laboratory, decreasing the cost of health care, and improving the patient health care experience. She is president of the state chapter of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. Robertson serves as a Career Ambassador 2.0 for the American Society for Clinical Pathology and has received numerous awards for her efforts to advocate for the field and inspire others.
Health Care Volunteers
Baptist Health Medical Center
Tim Blann cared for his elderly parents for many years. After they passed away, Blann knew he wanted to keep helping others. He began volunteering in the main waiting room and surgery waiting room at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock. Blann has been able to bless many family members by being there for them in difficult times. The retired music minister also plays the piano during the month of December in the Baptist lobby, and will even sing with guests. From June 2018 to March 2020, he logged 941 volunteer hours as part of the Baptist Health Patient Guest Services team.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Tiawanna Farmer, manager of performance management at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, began her career there in 1999. In her 21 years of service, she has held many positions in claims and quality assurance. In addition to great work and co-workers, she finds volunteering on behalf of the company one of the most rewarding aspects of her time at Arkansas Blue Cross. Farmer has been actively involved in the BlueCares volunteer program for more than 10 years. She has made valuable contributions to the company and communities throughout Arkansas, serving in many capacities including feeding the hungry and teaching kids about the importance of healthy eating. Tiawanna always raises her hand to help when a scheduled event or unexpected need arises.
Dr. Darren Freeman,
Project Homeless Connect
Darren Freeman, M.D., FAAFP, HMDC, is a board-certified family physician who serves as a hospitalist and family-medicine residency core faculty member at Conway Regional Health System. Freeman volunteers his services for Community Action Program’s Project Homeless Connect, which helps people meet housing, food and other basic living needs. He also is the physician co-chair of Conway Regional’s Medicine Committee and a member of the Sepsis Committee. Freeman is a certified hospice medical director, and his clinical interests are in promoting quality and safe inpatient care, end of life care and medical education. He has served on multiple international medical mission teams and volunteers locally in activities to help improve the health of the community.
#Teamcorrie Cancer Foundation
Sandy Gross of Parkers Chapel is the co-founder and president of #teamcorrie Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide one-time grants to cancer patients residing in Union County to assist with medical expenses incurred by their cancer treatment. Since its founding in 2015, #teamcorrie has given $1,000 grants to 146 cancer warriors. Through #teamcorrie, Gross has also started the Kids Wigs Project, providing more than 520 crochet character wigs to children undergoing cancer treatments in three major children’s hospitals. Gross also is a member of the Medical Center of South Arkansas Healthy Woman Board.
St. Bernards Healthcare
Guy Patteson III, 60, of Jonesboro, volunteers in numerous leadership capacities with St. Bernards Healthcare. He serves on the St. Bernards Medical Center Board of Directors — the same hospital in which he was born — and volunteers for other St. Bernards Healthcare committees. Beyond Patteson’s involvement with St. Bernards, he serves as the Board Chairman for City, Water & Light of Jonesboro, has completed three Arkansas Traveler 100-mile runs and is an avid road cyclist. Patteson becomes a first-time grandparent in October.
Mental Health Facilities
BridgeWay, North Little Rock
The BridgeWay hospital, located in central Arkansas, offers an individualized recovery experience at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. Here, specialists offer a continuum of services designed to help children, adolescents, adults and seniors who are experiencing behavioral, emotional or addictive problems that can lead to fractured lives. The BridgeWay offers psychiatric evaluation and treatment by board-certified psychiatrists, medical history, physicals and medication management by board-certified physicians as well as programs for children, adolescents, adults and seniors.
Pinnacle Pointe, Little Rock
Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Healthcare System is one of Arkansas’ largest behavioral inpatient facilities for children and adolescents ages 5-17 struggling with emotional or behavioral issues. Pinnacle Pointe delivers behavioral health care through outpatient and inpatient services in a secure, nurturing environment. Pinnacle Pointe Hospital’s mission statement is, “To Hope… To Heal… To Laugh… To Live!!!” Staff is available 24/7 to provide a no-cost mental health assessment. Call Pinnacle Pointe at 800-880-3322 to get started.
Rivendell Behavioral Health Services, Benton
Located on a 17-acre wooded glen in Benton, Rivendell Behavioral Health Services offers a private, peaceful setting for patients seeking healing and hope. The 80-bed, acute psychiatric hospital offers inpatient services for children ages 4 and older. Outpatient treatment for adults is also available. The facility utilizes a medical model for patient treatment practicing a multidisciplinary approach in terms of screening, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and discharge planning. Patients will be able to interact with a skilled team of professionals including psychiatrists, nurses, dieticians, social workers, counselors, special education teachers and more.
Springwoods Behavioral Health can be found in one of Northwest Arkansas’ most peaceful areas. The six-acre campus is located conveniently in Fayetteville and lies adjacent to a 123-acre Audubon Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary, which is held in perpetuity and cannot be developed from its natural state. The 80-bed hospital accommodates both adolescents and adults, and its interior includes a two-story patient wing with expansive windows to let in natural light.
Conway Behavioral Health Hospital
Conway Behavioral Health Hospital is a state-of-the art mental health treatment center. Its behavioral health continuum includes acute inpatient services for both adults and adolescents (12-17 years), intensive outpatient (IOP) and partial hospitalization (PHP) for adults, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for adults, and ketamine infusion therapy for adults.
Long-term Care Facilities
Briarwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Little Rock
Briarwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is located in Little Rock and offers short-term rehabilitation, long-term care and respite care. Upon entering the facility, patients and families are greeted by an open floor plan, sparkling clean living areas, a dining room and an outdoor patio, all in an atmosphere of comfort and safety. Rehabilitation patients are accompanied by a trained team of nurses, therapists and support staff, who not only provide care, but also offer thorough communication.
Colonel Glenn Health & Rehab, Little Rock
Colonel Glenn Health & Rehab is Central Arkansas’ newest, premier skilled nursing and long-term care facility, and is the place to go to find long-term respite and rehab services. With access to spacious rooms, activities, restaurant-quality cuisine, a salon and more, residents of Colonel Glenn Health & Rehab are cared for in a peaceful environment, where they get to experience 24-hour compassionate nursing care in a relaxing atmosphere from dedicated staff. Colonel Glenn Health & Rehab is conveniently positioned near Baptist Medical Center, CHI-St. Vincent, Arkansas Heart Hospital and Arkansas Surgical Hospital.
Nursing & Rehabilitation Center at Good Shepherd, Little Rock
Located in Little Rock, Good Shepherd Nursing and Rehab features a comfortable atmosphere and a range of services for patients. Specializing in short-term rehab, long-term care and respite services, Good Shepherd is dedicated to offering the best patient care and the most compassionate staff. With an interior featuring high ceilings, an open floor plan and living areas full of natural light, and a covered patio, patients are sure to feel safe and relaxed for the duration of their stay.
Hickory Heights Health and Rehabilitation,
Hickory Heights Health and Rehab is one of Little Rock’s most unique long-term care facilities. In an always serene and relaxing atmosphere, the inside features an open floor plan with four halls, each with their own dining hall and kitchen. Outside, lush courtyards and large patios offer a community environment. Aside from aesthetics, the staff at Hickory Heights Health and Rehab is committed to cleanliness and safety.
Presbyterian Village offers senior housing for independent living, residential care services for those who need more daily assistance, skilled-nursing care and short-term rehabilitation services all on one campus. And even in the midst of uncertainty, Presbyterian Village offers a healthy, safe and joyful environment for residents. The attentive staff delivers Southern-style, delicious meals and snacks to residents’ rooms. Village residents also have the option of online shopping with pickup and delivery and transportation to local physician offices. Religious activities include chaplain room visits, Bible study groups and worship services.