Friends, faculty and staff of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Northwest Regional Campus in Fayetteville recently celebrated 10 years, and looked to its future.
The Nov. 17 celebration at the Northwest Arkansas campus was “a great opportunity for reflection on the past and to look forward to a future of continued partnerships that will advance academic medicine in Northwest Arkansas,” said Pearl McElfish, associate vice chancellor of the Northwest Regional Campus. As part of the event, UAMS staff unveiled a timeline of the campus dating back to 2007, when UAMS introduced it and named Peter Kohler its vice chancellor.
“We worked hard to get the funding from the state to get started and worked with the county to secure the building,” Kohler said. “It was a big win for us, for the county and the region. We’ve come a long way in that time.”
In 2009, Eric Schneider was appointed associate dean of the Northwest Regional Campus, and six medical students started at the campus that summer. They graduated in May 2011. By 2011, the campus had 107 students and 30 postgraduate medical residents.
At the end of 2016, Kohler retired, and McElfish succeeded him as associate vice chancellor. Through 2016, “we have graduated 336, we opened the student-led North Street Clinic and we launched the Department of Physical Therapy,” McElfish said. In late 2015, she and Nia Aitaota founded the Center for Pacific Islander Health on campus, and the center is the first in the United States to focus on health studies within the population.
“We are uniquely poised to advance Northwest Arkansas through community-based healthcare and by developing the next generation of leaders in the field,” McElfish said.