Oct. 21, 2015 | Community leaders from across Southeast Arkansas were on hand Oct. 20 for the inaugural reception of the Friends of UAMS – Southeast Chapter.
The evening event was held at the Monticello home of UAMS Foundation Fund Board member Mike Akin and his wife, Susan. Co-hosting the gathering were Foundation Fund Board member Freddie Black and his wife, Liz.
Several state lawmakers and elected officials were in attendance, including Sen. Eddie Cheatham, Rep. Mike Holcomb, Rep. Sheilla Lampkin, Drew County Judge Robert Akin, Monticello Mayor Zack Tucker and Drew County District Judge Sara Hartness. Also in attendance was UAMS Foundation Fund Board Chairman Patti Bailey of Little Rock.
Mike Akin, a former member of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, welcomed guests and talked about the importance of UAMS, the state’s only academic health sciences center, to the region and the state. He recognized several UAMS leaders and introduced Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D.
Rahn thanked those in attendance and asked for their support and advocacy for UAMS’ mission of improving the health and health care of all Arkansans. He noted that UAMS is a statewide institution with employees and programs in more than 70 counties.
He spoke of the value UAMS provides “by educating and training the health professions workforce of the future, by providing care otherwise not available in the state of Arkansas and by conducting research that is relevant to health and disease and translating those findings into improved approaches to health.” He stressed the importance of UAMS’ strategic partnerships with other other health providers and recognized Scott Barrilleaux, CEO of Drew County Memorial Hospital, a UAMS partner.
“UAMS is performing in a way that directs our resources, time, talent, energy and money toward issues that are most important to the people of Arkansas with regard to overall health. It is a focus on a healthier tomorrow and a healthier future that really unites and brings together everything we do,” said Rahn.
Lance Burchett, UAMS vice chancellor for institutional advancement, wrapped up the evening’s remarks by again thanking the Akins and Blacks for hosting the event and their leadership in the establishment of the Friends of UAMS – Southeast Chapter.
He noted that this was the third chapter of the Friends of UAMS with other chapters already established earlier this year in Texarkana and Jonesboro. More chapters will be established in the future.
“We plan to have regional support groups like this all throughout the state,” he said.