Aug. 23, 2016 | Bank of America continued its stalwart support for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) with a $24,500 corporate foundation gift given to the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs at an August 23 presentation.
The check was presented by Donnie Cook, Arkansas state president and Little Rock market president for Bank of America, to Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., UAMS provost and chief academic officer, and Billy Thomas, M.D., vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion.
“UAMS and the Center of Diversity Affairs are grateful for this generous gift from Bank of America and its ongoing support for the center’s summer outreach programs,” Gardner said. “These summer enrichment programs cultivate a more diverse population of health care professionals and provide opportunities for students ranging from kindergarteners through college undergraduates.”
“Without Bank of America’s support, the Center for Diversity Affairs would not be where it is today,” Thomas said. “They see the vision that we see. Without programs like ours, a lot of the people we serve would not be here.”
Braylon Camper, a sophomore at the University of California, Los Angeles, first became involved with the Center for Diversity Affairs in eighth grade, via its Bridging the Gap program. This summer, he worked alongside Parimal Chowdhury, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in the UAMS College of Medicine, studying cell culturing and the effects of microgravity on rats.
“I’ve been involved with the Center for Diversity Affairs for six years now,” Camper said. “This is a great program, very beneficial. I’ve learned a lot.”
A small portion of the gift is designated for the UAMS Chancellor’s Circle. The Chancellor’s Circle is UAMS’ premier annual giving society that presents grants each year to areas of greatest need. Thirteen grants were awarded this year.
“Investing in a diverse workforce is just one of the ways we’re addressing issues fundamentally connected to economic mobility,” Cook said. “Through this grant, we look forward to helping UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs promote the diversity of workforce in health professions.”
Other Bank of America guests at the presentation included John Dominick, senior vice president; Heather Albright, vice president-small business banking; and Karil Greason, assistant vice president.
Bank of America has given nearly $400,000 to UAMS in recent years and has supported the Center for Diversity Affairs for the past five years for recruitment, retention and graduation of students, particularly economically disadvantaged students, to meet the future medical needs of the state.
This gift supports the center’s summer enrichment programs, which benefit students throughout Arkansas. These programs are designed to strengthen science, math, literacy and test-taking skills. In addition, the programs give students an introduction to the many health career options at UAMS and include mentored research, the Summer Science Discovery Program, Bridging the Gap, ACT Preparation, and Undergraduate Summer Science Enrichment Program I and II. This summer, more than 180 students have been exposed to health careers in the UAMS colleges of Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and the Graduate School.
Bank of America has also given support for programs that serve low-to-moderate income populations at the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,021 students, 789 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS regional centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.