UAMS has navigated through significant changes in the past year. As our health care system in Arkansas, as well as the United States, implements changes to more effectively meet the health needs of society, UAMS is adapting by seeking out innovative change.
We have strategically aligned UAMS Medical Center operations with the faculty practice in the College of Medicine to create a fully integrated clinical enterprise that improves patient experiences and the health of the state’s population while decreasing the cost of care.
We have redesigned our approach to education so that our students in medicine, pharmacy, nursing, the allied health professions, and public health are learning with and from each other to better prepare them for the modern health care workforce, which includes a respect for all cultures and interprofessional practice.
We are paying attention to heath literacy so we can communicate complicated medical information to patients and families in the plainest language to improve a patient’s outcome. And we are listening carefully to these patients and their families so they can be a part of decisions being made about their health care.
With the coming together of the state Legislature and Gov. Asa Hutchinson to continue Medicaid expansion through his Arkansas Works program, more than 250,000 low-income Arkansans will continue to have health insurance. This has allowed UAMS to avoid deep budget cuts and continue its programs, including expanding its primary care and specialty services to help meet the needs of the population.
Other recent changes at UAMS include implementing an electronic health record system called Epic that gives us the tools to work on reducing waste and reducing medical errors to improve overall quality for patients.
Change often requires new leadership to make it happen and continue the trajectory. In this issue you will meet seven leaders — some new to UAMS and some simply new to their leadership positions — who have been tapped to influence this change and make sure UAMS remains on the forefront of meeting the health care needs of Arkansas well into the future.
We have the right people, ideas and strategies to accomplish these goals. We must stay the course.
Dan Rahn, M.D.
Chancellor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences