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Center for Rural Health

The mission of the Center for Rural Health is to improve the health of Arkansas' rural communities and their residents by encouraging partnerships, identifying collaborative opportunities, leveraging available resources and addressing key rural health needs in the following areas:  

  • Rural Health Workforce Research and Recruitment
  • Health Professions Education and Training
  • Physician Placement Service
  • Continuing Education for Rural Providers
  • Rural Hospital and Rural Health System Support
  • Health Literacy Improvement Statewide
  • Telehealth and Health Information Technology
  • Rural Health Policy Analysis and Advocacy
  • Translational Research and Practice Improvement

The Center for Rural Health combines the academic and clinical resources found only at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and extends these strengths to healthcare facilities and providers in rural Arkansas. With unique and disparate needs, Arkansas’ rural communities require a program that can comprehensively offer solutions aimed at improving rural healthcare through resources directly catered to overcome their barriers and limitations. Existing University-based programs and years of rural health expertise culminate to make the Center for Rural Health an efficient answer to widespread healthcare problems in rural Arkansas. Only through improved healthcare, can we achieve improved health.

The center’s outreach activities include:

  • Expanding on successful efforts by the Area Health Education Centers to recruit students in rural areas to health care careers, the center has placed recruiters at each of the eight Regional Centers. 
  • Conducting regular surveys of all Arkansas hospitals, clinics and other health facilities to determine communities’ health care provider workforce needs for doctors, advanced practice nurses and 79 other health professions.
  • Offering a site with the most advanced interactive video communications technology available. Five rooms are designated for video conferencing and telemedicine, with links to 50 rural hospital partners, the UAMS Regional Centers and eight UAMS Centers on Aging. The center already reaches more than 5,000 people each year using telemedicine for its continuing education programs.
  • Designing workshops, seminars and conferences for the professional development and cultivation of professionals and students who wish to support rural areas.
  • Strengthening rural hospitals and health facilities by sharing resources from UAMS and the Medical Center with community hospitals throughout the state.
  • Conducting and facilitating interdisciplinary research on rural health topics, and teaching students about important rural health issues.
  • A Practice Improvement Program, which provides training and faculty development in each of the eight UAMS Regional Centers. The program also works with the UAMS Family Medical Centers in the use of electronic medical records to improve patient care and to conduct research.
  • A Family Medicine Fellowship program that will enable family medicine doctors based at the UAMS Regional Centers to spend a few days each month on research projects at the center.

The Center is located in the recently renovated Ed South Building. General features of this facility are as follows:

  • Three floors of approximately 15,000 sq. feet with wireless connectivity throughout.
  • Five interactive video classrooms, with a seating capacity of 16-18 people and state of the art equipment which includes flat panel displays, custom podium and microphones, control system with touch panel, ceiling mounted document camera and ceiling mounted microphones and speakers.
  • Executive Board Room equipped with an 85 inch interactive video monitor.