/////Family Physician Is First Saltzman Professor of Rural Medicine
Family Physician Is First Saltzman Professor of Rural Medicine 2018-01-05T08:53:01+00:00















DEC. 6, 2001 | Gloria Burns, M.D., recently became the first Ben Saltzman, M.D., Professor of Rural Medicine in the Department of Family and Community Medicine in the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

Throughout his long career, Dr. Saltzman was dedicated to improving health care and recruiting excellent physicians for the rural populations of his state and country. Friends and colleagues of Dr. Saltzman, whom Thomas E. Bruce, M.D., dean pro tem of the UAMS College of Public Health and former dean of the College of Medicine, has called the “father of rural medicine in Arkansas,” established the endowed professorship in his honor.

A native of Ansonia, Conn., Dr. Saltzman was born in 1914.  He is a graduate of the University of Oregon in Eugene, and holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Psychology. He received his Doctor of Medicine Degree from the University of Oregon in Portland in June 1940.  On completion of his general internship and residency programs at Gorgas Hospital in Ancon, Canal Zone, he stayed on as an army medical officer until the end World War II.


He married Ruth Elizabeth (Betty) Bohan, a native of the Canal Zone and a registered nurse, who he met at Gorgas Hospital while completing his residency. Their first child, Sue, was born while they were stationed there.  After the war, the Saltzmans came to Mountain Home, then a community of 1,200 people, where Dr. Saltzman began a general practice. Their sons, John and Mark, were born there. Mrs. Saltzman died in 1994.


Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D., congratulated Gloria Burns, M.D., on her investiture as the first Ben Saltzman, M.D., Professor of Rural Medicine.
Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D., congratulated Gloria Burns, M.D., on her investiture as the first Ben Saltzman, M.D., Professor of Rural Medicine.

Dr. Saltzman posed at his home with the medallion representing the endowed professorship in his name.

Dr. Saltzman posed at his home with the medallion representing the endowed professorship in his name.

Dr. Saltzman’s sons and daughter-in-law (l-r), Mark Saltzman, John and Donna Saltzman, attended the investiture of Dr. Burns.
Dr. Saltzman’s sons and daughter-in-law (l-r), Mark Saltzman, John and Donna Saltzman, attended the investiture of Dr. Burns.









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Dr. Saltzman built the first hospital in Mountain Home and served on the steering committee that brought the Baxter General Hospital into being. A true civic activist, he served the community as City Alderman, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Commander of the American Legion Post, President of the Rotary Club and Exalted Ruler and Founder of the Elks Lodge.  He was founder and President of the Baxter County Association for Retarded Citizens, founder and President of the Ozark Regional Mental Health Center, and the voluntary Baxter County health officer.

When his interests spread to state, national, and international activities, he learned to fly to attend meetings. He is past president of numerous statewide voluntary health organizations, including the Arkansas Lung Association, the Arkansas Association for Retarded Citizens, and the Arkansas Division of the American Cancer Society and the Arkansas Board of Health.  He is also a past President of the Arkansas Brotherhood of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and a past President of the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Little Rock.

A diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice, he served as president of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians and was one of its charter members.  He has been president of the Baxter County Medical Society, and the Arkansas Medical Society.

Nationally, Dr. Saltzman served as chairman of the Council on Rural Health of the American Medical Association, as a member of the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare’s Community Health Project Review Committee, and was a member of the National Advisory Health Services Council.

Despite all this, he carried on a very busy practice in Mountain Home and was involved in a successful Preceptorship Program for the University of Arkansas College of Medicine and later served as a clinical associate professor. He still found time to publish numerous articles related to rural health care as it affected the population of his adopted state.

In 1974, Dr. Saltzman joined the faculty of the UAMS College of Medicine as the first professor and chairman of the Department of Family and Community Medicine.  During his seven-year tenure, he served as director of Rural Medical Development Programs and director of the Flexible Internship Program in the College of Medicine.

He retired from the university as professor emeritus at 67 and was appointed director of the Arkansas Department of Health by the Governor in 1981. He served in that position with distinction until he retired from that position in 1987. A member of the UAMS Society of the Double Helix, Dr. Saltzman now lives in Mountain Home.

Links in This Article

Department of Family and Community Medicine: http://www.uams.edu/dfcm