Community Engagement Core

The ARCHD Community Engagement Core works with the Education and Training and Research Cores to expand the Office of Community-Based Public Health/College of Public Health (COPH) community engagement infrastructure into Little Rock, increasing the feasibility of faculty and student participation in community engagement opportunities supporting disparities research. This bidirectional engagement will enable improved community outcomes through a partnership with the Tri County Rural Health Network (TCRHN). TCRHN is a long-term Delta-based community partner of ARCHD and the COPH and will serve a critical role in the expansion of ARCHD. Collaboration with TCRHN will speed the pace of and enhance the effectiveness of new community partnership and capacity development through transfer of knowledge and experience and by modeling the important role that strong community partners can play in the research effort.

The Community Engagement Core will target neighborhoods located in the 72204 and 72206 zip codes focusing on the south Midtown and South End communities of Little Rock. The population of these communities is made up primarily of low to lower- and middle-income African-American families. The geographic proximity of these neighborhoods to UAMS will enable more faculty and students to engage in community-based disparities research and disparities-related service learning.

The overall goal of the proposed ARCHD Community Engagement Core  is to develop new community partnerships in the Little Rock area that will positively affect the communities involved by: enhancing their trust in UAMS; providing a mechanism for their voices to play a role in research and quality improvement; and increasing their access to and participation in ARCHD research, health services, and service learning partnerships.

Specific Aims

Aim 1: Partner with TCRHN to support the south Midtown and South End Little Rock communities in developing a strategic plan to increase access to research and service opportunities and in forming a Community Coalition to implement their strategic plan.

Aim 2: Working with institutional partners, use community-based data generated in Aim 1 to stimulate and inform efforts to catalyze community-based disparities research and service learning and to improve service access.

Aim 3: In collaboration with the ARCHD overall evaluation and Research Core, evaluate CEC activities using service utilization data from the Division of General Internal Medicine (DGIM), and process and outcomes data on trust, partnerships, and participation collected from community partners through CE activities.


  • The COPH Office of Community-Based Public Health
  • Tri County Rural Health Network
  • Village Commons
  • Better Community Development, Inc.
  • The UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs
  • The Arkansas Minority Health Commission
  • The UAMS Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Task Force
  • The UAMS Division of General Internal Medicine (DGIM)
  • The UAMS Community Engagement Function of the Translational Research Institute

Community Engagement Core Members

M. Kathryn (Kate) Stewart, M.D., MPH, Core Director
Naomi, Cottoms, MA, Community Co-Director
Mary Olson, DMin, Community Partner Advisor
Carla Sparks, Community Liason
Freeman McKindra, Community Liason