UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson Wants to Bend the Curve, continued from page 1 UAMS, we are in the middle of creating a plan called Vision 2029,” said Patterson, a cardiologist who, over his career, has received more than $60 million in grants and has had his work published in 323 peer-reviewed scientific publications. “Our long-term goal is to bend the healthcare curve in Arkansas. In many healthcare indicators, we rank 47th, 48th or 49th. We can do better.” In addition to the obvious humanitarian benefits from helping people live healthier and longer lives, Patterson said having a healthy workforce is important to recruiting more jobs. UAMS, the only academic health sciences university in Arkansas, offers 73 degrees and certificates. It is the state’s largest public employer with UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson (left) is shown with Laura Hutchins, interim director of the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer more than 10,000 employees. Institute and Gov. Asa Hutchinson. (Photo courtesy of UAMS) Along with its clinical affiliates, out and provide care where no one else “The people who work here are Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the is providing care. We are helping provide committed to staying here and improving VA Medical Center, the estimated anhealthcare workers for all 75 counties in healthcare for three million Arkansans,” nual economic impact is $3.92 billion. Arkansas.” Patterson said. “I’ve never seen anyone The statewide impact of UAMS provides Improving healthcare for Arkansas who comes to work here thinking about many opportunities for having a favorable means going to where the opportunities themselves. What makes the place very impact on the health of state residents. are. special is the mission is not just making Patterson said the people and the “You need to focus on areas undermoney or keeping the hospital full, but mission are what impresses him the most served with medical services,” Patterson training healthcare people who will go about UAMS. said. “For example, there is an epidemic
of colorectal and prostate cancer in African-American men in the Arkansas Delta. We have food deserts even here in central Arkansas. There are big challenges in the state with respect to obesity and way too much use of tobacco products. We need to advocate for education in early life of the importance of exercise and good diet. We need to work with our partners in the Arkansas Department of Health to advance that mission.” He considers one of the biggest accomplishments of UAMS since he took over as chancellor is to change the discussion from thinking about the past to planning for the future, outlining a vision of what a better state of health in Arkansas would look like. “UAMS is here for the state,” Patterson said. “We train 60 percent of physicians and 70 percent of other types of healthcare workers in the state. We have more than 1,000 affiliation agreements to collaborate with service providers across the state. We are the only comprehensive stroke program in the state, and the only organ transplantation program – and at a very cutting-edge level. We are the hospital when no one else will take care of you…we will take (CONTINUED ON PAGE 5)
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Arkansas Medical News January-February 2019