UAMS Celebrates Opening of 12th Street Student-Led Community Health Center
Dec. 10, 2012 | Students and faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) cut the ribbon and dedicated the 12th Street Health and Wellness Center Dec. 7, which will provide free health screenings and information to the minority community where the clinic is located.
Vicki and Karrol Fowlkes, center, and their grown children, David Fowlkes (left) and Su-Lauren Wilson (right), are presented a plaque honoring their donation of the 12th Street Health and Wellness Center.
A large group of UAMS dignitaries, along with city and state officials, cut the ribbon on the 12 Street Health and Wellness Center.
UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., said the campus-wide collaborative effort to open and run the 12th Street center is the characteristic that stands out most.
The interdisciplinary center includes services by students and faculty across the UAMS colleges of Pharmacy, Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, Medicine and Health Professions. The center will be run by students and provide preventive health care, particularly heart health, as well as consultations and screenings for chronic health conditions and information for healthy living.
“This effort signifies everything that UAMS is about,” said UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D. “It brings together students and faculty from across campus and offers it directly where it’s needed most in the community. Our mission at UAMS is to make a difference in the delivery of health care to Arkansans, and this new center is an innovative bridge that enables us to do that.”
Lanita White, Pharm.D., director of the center, said she is proud of the effort across UAMS to come together to get the center renovated and ready for operation.
“Everyone has been very generous in donating supplies, time and effort to make this center a reality,” White said. “Today is just the first step in becoming a part of this community in a new way to improve the health and wellness of anyone who walks through our doors.”
The center, located at 12th and Cedar streets in midtown Little Rock, is in a building formerly housing Finnegan’s Pharmacy and more recently leased by USA Drug. The historic brick property was donated to the UAMS College of Pharmacy in 2011 by Vicki and Karrol Fowlkes, of Salem, both alumni who envisioned a student-led health and wellness clinic for the uninsured.
“It is very gratifying to help revitalize this area where I spent many hours working, and also where many past professors and students of the UAMS College of Pharmacy practiced,” Vicki Fowlkes said. “We are thrilled how it has come to fruition and anticipate the opportunity to watch the difference it can make within the community.”
Stephanie F. Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D, dean of the UAMS College of Pharmacy, said that educating students and making a difference in the community are the two hallmarks of this project.
“This project will provide great opportunities for our students to gain experience, while providing services for people in the area,” Gardner said. “It’s important to stress the collaborative aspect of this in educating students across UAMS and giving them experience outside of their classrooms.”
In addition to experiential education for UAMS students, the center’s creation also spawned a recently announced research collaboration between the UAMS Translational Research Institute and the William J. Clinton School of Public Service. The two entities work on a project titled, “Assessing the Health Needs of Individuals Living in the Little Rock 12th Street Community.”
“This research component will ensure that we’re achieving our goals to provide the services that this particular community needs most,” said Amy Franks, Pharm.D., who chairs the Department of Pharmacy Practice in the College of Pharmacy. “The educational possibilities of this center are already making an impact in classrooms, practice and in improving health care in Arkansas.”