UAMS Neonatologist Honored by March of Dimes
Whit Hall, M.D, UAMS neonatologist (center), stands with UAMS Associate Vice Chancellor Julie Moretz (left) and Regina Binz with the UAMS cytogenetics lab.
Oct. 29, 2013 | Recognized as “a humble man” with “zest for life,” longtime UAMS neonatologist Whit Hall, M.D., was honored as Citizen of the Year for 19 years of service with March of Dimes at the organization’s recent Signature Chefs Auction.
Hall, professor of neonatology in the UAMS College of Medicine, who also was medical director of the UAMS Intensive Care Nursery for 15 years, has resided on the March of Dimes’ executive board and grant committee since 1994. He also has dedicated time to the organization’s public services and perinatal advisory committees and to promoting its advocacy mission.
“This award means the world,” Hall said. “To be recognized by March of Dimes, which has been such an advocate for children, is the highest honor one could receive.”
Hall was chosen as this year’s 75th anniversary honoree for being an active volunteer who “embodies the spirit of The March of Dimes,” said Janalyn Williams, state director for March of Dimes. She said Hall exceeded all of the criteria for the award: mission involvement, active member of a board or committee, body of work and support from one’s community or peers.
“March of Dimes is honored to have earned the support of Dr. Hall for decades,” Williams said. “He has honored us through the years and now we have the opportunity to honor his body of work. He embodies the heart of a life-long volunteer in the fact that his sole purpose for involvement is to save the lives of the tiniest Arkansans. The legacy he humbly created will be that of a patient practitioner of medicine and a servant for babies and families.”
March of Dimes is a worthwhile organization to invest in, said Hall, who fully supports its mission to make sure every baby is born healthy and its ambition in researching some of the most common and difficult diseases in babies.
“The March of Dimes has been persistent in significantly influencing a number of diseases such as polio, neural tube defects and pulmonary hypertension, and now they are focusing on prematurity,” he said.
Hall has served in other areas of the community including on the boards of the UAMS Family Home, UAMS Parents and Friends of Children and Adults and Ronald McDonald House and as president of the Arkansas Chapter of American Diabetes Association.
The March of Dimes’ Signature Chef Auction, held Oct. 24 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock, provides guests with food from many of Little Rock’s top restaurants and the opportunity to buy live and silent auction items. Proceeds benefit the local March of Dimes, enabling funding of local research grants; community services; and education and advocacy to prevent birth defects, premature births and infant mortality.
In Arkansas, more than 5,000 babies are born premature, and the Arkansas chapter of March of Dimes located in Little Rock provides support for families with programs and services in communities across the state. March of Dimes helps mothers have full-term pregnancies and researches the problems that threaten the health of babies. Globally, the organization shares best practices in perinatal health and helping improve outcomes where the needs are the most urgent.