February 26, 2016

Student and Alumni News

U A M S Second Chair of Orthopaedic Creativity Kristie Hadden, P h D

Kristie Hadden, Ph.D.

Lowry Barnes, M.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Director of the Musculoskeletal Service Line, has named health literacy researcher Kristie Hadden, Ph.D., the second Carl L. Nelson Chair of Orthopaedic Creativity at UAMS.

The chair was established and endowed by Dr. Nelson, who served as Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery from 1974 until his 2005 death, to recognize and promote creative solutions through research in orthopaedics. Larry Suva, Ph.D., was appointed as the first chair in 2009 by then-College of Medicine Dean Debra Fiser, M.D., and then-Orthopaedic Surgery Chair Richard Nicholas, M.D..

As the new chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at UAMS, Dr. Barnes said he wanted to optimize creativity in the department by converting the chair appointment to a rotating basis. A new chair will be named every two years.

“Creative innovation is how we do business in orthopaedics at UAMS, so it seemed fitting to take a creative approach at recognizing and supporting collaborative faculty who help us with innovative solutions through research,” he said. “Dr. Hadden is working with our faculty on research that helps us understand how patients understand the information we give them, how we can improve that information and how that will affect outcomes for our patients.”

Hadden’s primary faculty appointment is in the College of Medicine in the Department of Medical Humanities, and she holds secondary appointments in the Department of Orthopaedics, and the colleges of Nursing, Public Health, Health Professions and Pharmacy.

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to dedicate a portion of my faculty time and effort to research in health literacy and orthopaedics,” said Dr. Hadden, Director of the Center for Health Literacy in the UAMS Division of Academic Affairs. “I look forward to working with other faculty in the Department of Orthopaedics to establish UAMS as a leader in research that focuses on the importance of orthopaedic patient understanding and behaviors.”

Dr. Hadden earned her Ph.D. in Health Promotion and Prevention Research at the College of Public Health (COPH) in 2012.

Director of Student Success Counselors in the division of Student Affairs at Shorter College Pat Edgerson, M P H

Pat Edgerson, MPH

Pat Edgerson, MPH, a College of Public Health alumna, took a new job last fall at Shorter College in North Little Rock, AR. She is the Director of Student Success Counselors in the division of Student Affairs at Shorter College, an HBCU founded by the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1886. She is enjoying her new role in student affairs, which is “involved in all aspects of student life, recruiting, retention, providing services to veterans and accommodations to those with disabilities and more.” She says what she is most excited is her role on the Our Healthy HBCU campus taskforce.

“The first weekend of November I attended a mental/behavioral health policy conference in Charleston, SC, and by December, I developed an action plan for Shorter College,” Ms. Edgerson says. “The taskforce has been working for over a year (before I came), and we have developed two policies that will be reviewed and hopefully approved by our Board of Trustees—a smoke-free, vape-free campus policy and a mental/behavioral health policy. Add to that, I am into the planning for a health and wellness center here at Shorter.”

(Shorter has hired UAMS College of Medicine alumni Dr. Kristopher Stepps to serve as the interim medical director of the center.)

She adds, “Our mental health/behavioral health plan is in action as we have local training scheduled, and a cadre will be headed to a SAMHSA training in New Mexico, next month. Yes, I am going to Santa Ana Puebla, NM. I am pretty excited and in a great place.”

After graduating from COPH in December 2004, Ms. Edgerson worked for the UAMS College of Nursing as a Research Assistant and Program Coordinator for five years and then as Director of Outreach for the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs for almost six years.


C O P H and Clinton School student Molly Miller, M P H, C P H at Clinton school table discussion

Molly Miller, MPH

Molly Miller, MPH, CPH, who is working on a Master’s in Public Service (MPS) from the University of Arkansas’ Clinton School of Public Service, was a table discussion facilitator at “Diabetes in Arkansas: A Community Conversation,” which was held Feb. 9 at the Clinton School. The event piloted a discussion format and guide developed by Clinton School professor Dr. Christy Standerfer, Clinton School student Akaylah Jones, and Clinton School graduate David Monteith, which may be used in community conversations around the state to bring Arkansans together to talk about how to best address growing and costly diabetes rates. The approaches presented in the discussion guide are based on information gathered throughout the state from health care providers, policy makers, payers, and the general public.

Ms. Miller is a student in the joint MPS/MPH degree program of the Clinton School and the College of Public Health. She earned her MPH in December 2015 and will graduate from the Clinton School this May. She got involved in the diabetes project because of her passion for fighting chronic diseases in Arkansas. After graduation, Ms. Miller is interested in working to improve access to affordable, high quality health care for marginalized populations, especially in rural Arkansas.


C O P H Student Yusuf Nawawi, M D

Yusuf Nawawi, M.D.

Yusuf Nawawi, M.D., a second-year Master of Public Health student, submitted two abstracts and both were accepted. Dr. Nawawi is a Fulbright scholar from Indonesia.

One abstract, “Racial disparities in breast cancer rates in Arkansas,” was accepted as a poster presentation and will be presented at the Fulbright Seminar on Global Health at the University of Kentucky. The Global Health Innovations Seminar, “Global Health and the UN Millennium Goals,” will explore a variety of public health topics and trends from a global perspective. During the five-day seminar, which will take place Feb. 24-28, Fulbrighters will have the opportunity to not only engage with fellow Fulbrighters, but with global health professionals and practitioners.

The second abstract, “Identification of a non-canonical micro-RNA in an FGF2-specific SNP region among breast cancer patients,” was accepted as an oral presentation at the MCBIOS-XIII 2016 Conference hosted by the University of Memphis at the FedEx Institute of Technology in Memphis, Tenn., March 3-5.


C O P H Doctoral Candidate Student Austin Porter, M P H

Austin Porter III, MPH, DrPH (c)

Austin Porter III, MPH, DrPH, on Feb. 22 successfully defended his dissertation project, “An Evaluation of the Arkansas Emergency Medical Services Registry.” His evaluation of the state’s EMS data system, which is housed at the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), focused on the registry’s processes for data submission by EMS professionals, data management and quality control, data cleaning, and data analysis and reporting. His methods included interviews with ADH staff, EMS professionals, national experts, and stakeholders, as well as a review of five years of data to assess the prevalence of illogical or missing data. Mr. Porter will submit to the ADH a report on his findings, which identifies strengths of the registry and recommendations for improvement.