Two decades ago, Arkansas voters approved the Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act, making Arkansas the only state in the U.S. to mandate that all funds from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement be used solely for health-related programs. That act created the College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). On July 3, 2001, Dean pro tem Tom Bruce, M.D., declared the college “open for business.”
In April 2005, the college was named to honor Fay W. Boozman, M.D., MPH, who was director of the Arkansas Department of Public Health from 1998 until his untimely death in March 2005. Dr. Boozman said the college symbolized a “growing commitment to the citizens of Arkansas that we’re no longer going to accept the fact that we’re one of the unhealthiest states.”
The Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health is the only accredited school of public health in Arkansas and a national leader in the study of health disparities and community-based public health.
Stopping a Health Crisis before it Starts
Public health is the science and art of protecting and improving the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play. While a doctor treats people who are sick, those who work in public health are concerned with preventing people from getting sick or injured in the first place.
The COVID-19 Pandemic
Public health professionals often work in the background, largely unnoticed. The importance of public health burst into the public spotlight in 2019 and 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world.
During this global crisis, the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health helped Arkansas prepare for what could happen, when it could happen, and where it could happen. Scientists in the college worked with several communities in Arkansas to encourage preventative measures for slowing the spread of the COVID-19, such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and vaccination.
Public Health Benefits Everyone
Public health measures are cost-effective ways to improve quality of life, help children thrive, and reduce human suffering. The Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health seeks to educate and protect the entire population of Arkansas, from our smallest rural communities to our largest cities. The college promotes healthy lifestyles to prevent chronic diseases, researches disease and injury prevention, and detects infectious diseases to prevent further spread.
Like other public health agencies across the nation and world, the college works to advance health care equity, quality and accessibility as it strives to eliminate health disparities throughout the state.
Our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills to address the most pressing health issues in throughout Arkansas and across the nation and world.
The Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health strives for a healthier Arkansas. We educate the next generation of public health practitioners across the state to improve the health of all Arkansans. We train future researchers to address the most pressing health issues in Arkansas, across the nation and world. Our faculty and students serve communities and organizations throughout the state to promote better health and prevent disease.
As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, our goal is to evaluate fundraising for some of the college’s most critical needs to help solve Arkansas’ health challenges. With your help, UAMS and the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health can transform health at the scale and pace Arkansans deserve.
- Student Scholarships: $250,000
Scholarships are critically important for attracting the best and brightest to UAMS. The majority of our students are already employed full-time as they complete their degrees. Many are the first in their families to have a college degree. These students face many challenges while pursuing their degrees and balancing work and family responsibilities. Student scholarships help reduce the strain tuition can cause to a family’s budget.
- The Joseph H. Bates, M.D., MS, Chair in Public Health Practice: $500,000
Joseph H. Bates, M.D., MS is a strong and distinct trailblazer focused on building networks that encourage academic and public health practice collaborations. He is nationally known for recruiting health care practitioners to policy and public health practice. He advocates that all physicians should receive an education in public health to enable them to assume public health leadership roles in the communities in which they practice. Funds will be used to elevate this to a distinguished chair and expand the impact of its significant work. This chair was first established as a professorship in Dr. Bates’ honor in 2017 and fully endowed as a chair in 2021. The chair supports teaching, research, service and other activities of an academic public health practice leader in the College of Public Health.
- Establish a Professorship in Business and Public Health: $250,000
The COVID-19 pandemic has amply demonstrated the link between health and business. A healthy Arkansas workforce helps ensure that the state can effectively compete to attract and retain innovative and dynamic businesses. The professorship will create a powerful legacy of leadership and ensure the ongoing pursuit of educational excellence and outstanding public health research in the college.
- Establish an annual conference on Business and Public Health: $150,000
Arkansas has one of the least healthy workforces in the nation, which has consequences fort he state’s economy. Bringing Arkansas business leaders and eminent national public health figures together to explore ways to implement evidence-based public health practices in business settings is an unfunded priority of the college.