Hall of Fame
The College of Medicine Hall of Fame recognizes the outstanding achievements of both graduates and faculty members. Established in 2004 as part of the college’s 125th anniversary celebration, 37 recipients from the institution’s history were inducted in the first year. One or more individuals have been inducted into the Hall of Fame in most years since then. From those of national and international distinction to alumni who have served Arkansans most in need and to faculty who have left an extraordinary mark at UAMS, these remarkable physicians and scientists have set a precedent for leadership in research, teaching, clinical care, support and philanthropy.
John Cody, M.D.
Dr. Cody studied medical illustration at Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore before coming to UAMS to work as a medical illustrator. While here, he decided to become a physician, and he graduated from the College of Medicine in 1960.
Dr. Cody trained in psychiatry and settled in Hays, Kansas. He practiced psychiatry across much of Kansas and directed the High Plains Mental Health Center for 22 years.
Fascinated with silk moths since he was a child, Dr. Cody has traveled the world to find the specimens that he paints in remarkable detail. Dubbed the “Audubon of moths,” his work has been featured at many galleries and museums including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C. A species of moths in the Himalayas was named after Dr. Cody in recognition of his extraordinary art and his advocacy of moths, which have been threatened by environmental degradation. He is also an accomplished author on many topics.
Thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Cody’s son, Graham Cody, medical students, residents and other Arkansans can view 15 of his original watercolors at the UAMS Northwest Campus.
James Wallis Marsh, M.D.
Dr. Marsh grew up in Nevada County and graduated from the College of Medicine in 1950. He interned at Madigan Army Hospital and settled in Warren, where he practiced for 57 years before retiring in 2008.
Dr. Marsh served as chief of staff at Bradley County Medical Center for more than 25 years and then continued to serve on the hospital board. He became a pillar in the medical community, mentoring many physicians while having a broad, long-term positive impact on the health of the area’s residents.
“Dr. Marsh has always been very passionate about sharing his knowledge and teaching young doctors both the art and the science of medicine,” Dichelle George, M.D. ’97, wrote in her nomination letter for her stepfather and former practice partner. In addition to Dr. George, Marsh inspired a son, two grandsons, two nephews and a great nephew to pursue medicine and attend the College of Medicine.
Pat Tank, Ph.D.
Dr. Tank received his Ph.D. in anatomy at the University of Michigan. He was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral trainee at the University of California, Irvine, before joining the College of Medicine faculty in 1978.
Dr. Tank rose through the ranks of what is now the Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences. He directed the Medical Gross Anatomy course and the Anatomical Gift Program for 27 years. He was director of education and director of the department’s Division of Anatomical Education. He also served a term as interim department chair.
More than 4,000 future physicians studied the intricacies of the human body with Dr. Tank as freshmen, benefiting tremendously from his expertise and his passion for teaching. He received numerous teaching awards.
Dr. Tank also oversaw development of the UAMS Gross Anatomy Lab in its current location and a major expansion of the state-of-the-art facility. He was a pioneer in web-based medical education in the 1990s. More recently, Dr. Tank was internationally known as the editor of three editions of “Grant’s Dissector.” He died in 2012.
Paul Wilbur, M.D.
Dr. Wilbur is a 1976 College of Medicine graduate who was destined to “build” things. He studied architecture and was a partner at a Rogers, Ark., firm for almost a decade before entering medical school. After graduating, he interned in family medicine and moved to Mountain Home to join the Kerr Medical Clinic.
Dr. Wilbur has been passionate about helping others, whether it was the patients he met during 22 years in practice, the destitute he encountered on mission trips, or the youth of Baxter County.
Dr. Wilbur was on the brink of retirement in 1999 when he began talking with others about building something new – a free medical clinic for those most in need in northern Arkansas. Since opening its doors in 2000, the Mountain Home Christian Clinic has helped some 13,000 patients from Baxter and Marion counties and beyond. Dr. Wilbur serves as medical director and continues to see patients at the clinic.
Glen F. Baker, M.D.
Dr. Baker graduated from the College of Medicine in 1959 and trained in pathology at UAMS and the University of Missouri. He practiced in Jonesboro, Ark., until 1974, when he moved to Little Rock.
Dr. Baker served as acting chair in the Department of Pathology in 1977 and chaired the department from 1978 to 1981. His reputation as an outstanding administrator as well as a superb pathologist continued to grow. Among many national roles, he was an accreditation commissioner for the College of American Pathologists.
At UAMS, Dr. Baker served as associate dean for clinical affairs in 1982 to 1987 and as interim dean for the College of Medicine in 1986. He went on to serve as UAMS vice chancellor for managed care and as laboratory director at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Baker retired as a professor emeritus in 2003. He was soon leading the Arkansas Public Health Laboratory in a crucial effort to regain its certification and to achieve a strong reputation for quality. Today, Dr. Baker remains at the helm of the laboratory, ensuring the safety of Arkansas’ drinking water, the veracity of tests performed on newborns and much more.
Richard B. Clark, M.D.
Dr. Clark graduated from the College of Medicine in 1958 and trained in anesthesiology at the Lahey Clinic in Boston. After two years as a Captain in the Army and two years of private practice, he joined the UAMS faculty in 1965.
Dr. Clark was Arkansas’ first obstetric anesthesiologist and a pioneer in the development of the subspecialty during his 31 years of full-time service to UAMS. He was a founding member and president of the Society of Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology, the leading obstetric anesthesiology association in the world.
Dr. Clark trained countless residents while directing the Division of Obstetric Anesthesiology. He served as acting chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology from 1973 to 1974. Although Dr. Clark retired as a professor emeritus in 1996, he has continued to lecture students and residents twice a week as a volunteer faculty member.
Dr. Clark has been a strong supporter of the department and the college. His many gifts have included funding for the Clark Library in Obstetric Anesthesia and the annual Clark Prize for the outstanding obstetric anesthesia resident. He also has been an active leader in the UAMS History of Medicine Associates.
Noel W. Lawson, M.D.
Dr. Lawson received his medical degree from UAMS in 1965 and completed his residency in anesthesiology at the University of Missouri. He continued his training with a fellowship in cardiovascular anesthesiology at the Baylor School of Medicine.
Dr. Lawson began his career at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, where he directed cardiac anesthesia services and the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. In 1974, he returned to Arkansas and UAMS, where he directed the Intensive Care Unit for seven years. During this time, Dr. Lawson partnered with some of UAMS’ most renowned surgical leaders.
His innovations at UAMS included the development of deep hypothermia in pediatric heart surgery and controlled hypotension in total joint replacement. Dr. Lawson also served as medical director of the UAMS Emergency Medical Technicians Program.
Dr. Lawson culminated his career as chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia from 1994 to 2001. He retired as a professor emeritus in 2004.
Louis L. Sanders, M.D.
Dr. Sanders is a 1955 graduate of the College of Medicine. He also completed his residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in biochemistry research at UAMS.
Dr. Sanders became known as an outstanding internist and consummate educator in the Department of Medicine. He joined the faculty in 1962 as an instructor, and retired as a professor emeritus 35 years later. He received the Clinical Golden Apple Award 6 times and was a runner-up for the Golden Apple 4 times.
Dr. Sanders earned his students’ deep respect from the first day of their junior rotations, when he addressed each one of them by name. He was able to do this by memorizing their faces from photos in advance. This personal attention to every student was a hallmark of Dr. Sanders’ career. In addition, he served on the Residency Review Committee for 20 years and held a number of leadership posts with the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.
Among many external honors, Dr. Sanders received the Distinguished Service Award from the Arthritis Foundation in 1981, and he was named a Master of the American College of Physicians in 2006.
Larry Riggs, M.D.
For over four decades, Dr. Riggs built the Mayo Clinic into a world-renowned center for bone and osteoporosis research and care. He is considered by many endocrinologists to be the preeminent world authority in the clinical investigation, epidemiology, pathogenesis and treatment of osteoporosis.
Dr. Riggs and his colleagues developed the first instruments used to measure bone density in osteoporosis and conducted the first clinical studies to evaluate the efficacy of most of the major osteoporosis treatments used today. He has published more than 500 papers, served on many scientific study panels and served as president of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research and the National Osteoporosis Foundation. In May, the foundation presented him with its highest honor, the Legends of Osteoporosis Award.
A Hot Springs native, Dr. Riggs graduated from UAMS in 1955. He completed his residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in endocrinology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., before joining the Mayo faculty in 1962. He was chairman of the Division of Endocrinology from 1974 to 1985 and later directed Mayo’s General Clinical Research Center. He was the Tabor Professor of Medical Research from 1987 to 2003. He retired to Little Rock in 2006 but remains a professor emeritus at Mayo.
Tom Andreoli, M.D.
Dr. Andreoli was an internationally respected leader in internal medicine who made seminal observations in nephrology, edited a classic textbook and leading scientific journals, and trained legions of medical students and residents in Arkansas and beyond.
After receiving his medical degree at Georgetown University, Dr. Andreoli trained at Duke University and in the NIH Laboratory of Intermediary Metabolism. Early in his career, he made landmark observations about the mechanics of water transport in the kidney, predicting the presence of water channels in the cortical collecting duct 15 years before the formal discovery of aquaporins.
Dr. Andreoli established the Division of Nephrology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1970 and led it to become one of the nation’s premier nephrology programs. In 1978 he was appointed chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. He was recruited to UAMS as the Nolan Chair in Internal Medicine in 1988. He stepped down in 2004 to focus on teaching, research and patient care but remained a distinguished professor and chair emeritus until he died in April 2009.
Dr. Andreoli served as president of the American Society of Nephrology and the International Society of Nephrology. He was a leader in the American Society for Clinical Investigation and many other organizations. He was an editor of the American Journal of Physiology: Renal Physiology, and Kidney International. He was editor and chief of “Andreoli and Carpenter’s Cecil Essentials of Medicine.” He received many teaching awards and prestigious international honors throughout his career. At UAMS, the Thomas E. Andreoli, M.D., M.A.C.P., Clinical Scholar Chair was established in his honor in 2005.
I. Dodd Wilson, M.D.
As UAMS chancellor from 2000 to 2009, Dr. Wilson’s vision advanced UAMS’ reputation for world-class patient care, education, research and service. He was at the helm of the largest expansion in UAMS’ history, and his leadership garnered substantial private and public funds to support the effort. Recruited in 1986 by then UAMS Chancellor Harry Ward to serve as professor and dean of the College of Medicine, Dr. Wilson oversaw rapid growth of the college’s research, clinical and education programs. In Arkansas, he built philanthropic support for the College of Medicine, organizing its first endowment, the Founders Society, in 1994.
Dr. Wilson strove to meet the health care needs of all Arkansans. Under his leadership, UAMS established clinical and education programs using telemedicine technology that links UAMS obstetric, neonatal and other sub-specialists with patients and physicians throughout Arkansas. UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers - the AHECs - grew from 6 to 8 during his tenure, improving access to quality health care for tens of thousands of Arkansans. Dr. Wilson’s accomplishments and leadership are both nationally recognized and much appreciated in Arkansas. In 2005, he became the first recipient of the Harry P. Ward Chancellor’s Chair at UAMS. It was the first chancellor’s chair endowed at an Arkansas university.
John H. Pauly, Ph.D.
Dr. Pauly wore many hats during his three decades on campus – outstanding teacher; researcher and leader. He oversaw substantial growth of the Department of Anatomy as chairman from 1967 to 1983. The department became a model for all basic science departments and a basis for many of the programs he later developed as associate dean of the Graduate School. In 1978-80, Dr. Pauly did double duty as interim chair of Physiology and Biophysics. And from 1983 to 1992 he served the entire campus as UAMS vice chancellor for academic affairs and sponsored research. Dr. Pauly and his colleagues also made internationally important contributions to the field of chronobiology and the understanding of human biological rhythms in the treatment of disease. But for Dr. Pauly, teaching always came first. He taught gross anatomy throughout his career. When he retired in 1995, Dr. Pauly Auditorium in the Education III building was named in his honor.
James E. Doherty, M.D.
Dr. Doherty received international acclaim for his pioneering and extensive work on the pharmacology of the heart medication digoxin. The Newport native and 1946 College of Medicine graduate also trained generations of Arkansas cardiologists while on the faculty from 1952 to 1999. He was director of Cardiology in 1953-1956 and again in 1969-1977. He also was a staff physician and chief of cardiology at the VA hospital in Little Rock. Dr. Doherty was known as a skilled and compassionate internist and cardiologist. He received numerous awards, including the Robert S. Abernathy Award for Excellence in Internal Medicine from the Arkansas chapter of the American College of Physicians in 1985. He died in 2003.
Arthur Haut, M.D.
Dr. Haut has served UAMS tirelessly for over 40 years. In 1963, he was the first hematologist recruited to the medical school and the first chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology. He has inspired many of the fellows who have come through the division -and they are now some of the leading practitioners of hematology/oncology in Arkansas. Dr. Haut also helped train most of the internal medicine residents at UAMS since the early 60s. In 1989 he won the Abernathy Award from the American College of Physicians. After retiring in 1999, Dr. Haut continued to volunteer his services in the clinic and to mentor fellows. The Arthur Haut Lectureship in Internal Medicine was established to honor this highly respected professor emeritus.
Charlotte Edwards Maguire, M.D.
Dr. Maguire is a woman of many “firsts.” The Florida native made her way to Arkansas because her home state had no medical school at the time. She graduated from the College of Medicine in 1944, the only woman in her class. Two years later, Dr. Maguire became the first woman to establish a private practice in Orlando, and she later became the first woman president of the Florida Pediatric Society. Dr. Maguire has held many leadership positions in public health in Florida, advocating for children with disabilities, minorities, senior citizens and others in need. She helped establish the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. She also served as assistant secretary of health and scientific affairs for the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Dr. Maguire was a clinical staff member in pediatrics at the University of Florida. She has been a longtime benefactor of Florida State University and was an outspoken advocate for the creation of the university’s College of Medicine in 2000, where the medical library is now named in her honor.
Robert S. Abernathy, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Abernathy has been called the “ultimate university citizen” by UAMS leaders and colleagues in appreciation of nearly 50 years of service to the campus. Abernathy, along with his wife, Dr. Rosalind Abernathy, arrived in 1957, when he was recruited from the University of Minnesota to the Department of Internal Medicine. Ten years later he was named department Chairman, a post he held for a decade. Dr. Abernathy directed the Division of Infectious Diseases after his term as Chairman, and he remains a professor emeritus. In honor of Dr. Abernathy’s dedication to Internal Medicine, the Arkansas Chapter of the American College of Physicians named its annual laureate award after the highly respected physician and leader. In 1983, he received the Caduceus Club’s distinguished faculty award. Dr. Abernathy has trained many of the state’s physicians, educators and leaders in internal medicine and public health.
Willis E. Brown, M.D.
Dr. Brown was the newly elected president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 1968 when he called on his colleagues nationwide to strive to address the “total health and welfare” of their patients and their families. By that time, Arkansas women and the College of Medicine had already benefited from Brown’s two decades of service as a professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In addition to his leadership in obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Brown contributed a historical paper on the evolution of medical education in Arkansas. Sadly, Brown died less than a year after becoming president of the national organization, at the age of 59.
Kingsley W. Cosgrove Sr., M.D.
Dr. Cosgrove worked tirelessly to eradicate trachoma, a blinding bacterial eye infection, in Arkansas during a long and successful career as an eye specialist and educator. Born and educated in Canada, Dr. Cosgrove completed post-graduate training in Detroit and then came to Arkansas to practice ophthalmology in 1927. He taught in the College of Medicine from 1928 until his death in 1964. Among other honors, UAMS and the College of Medicine presented him with a Distinguished Service Award in 1963. In addition to his service to UAMS, Dr. Cosgrove was a supervisory ophthalmologist for the state Welfare Department. He also established a private practice with his son, Kingsley Cosgrove Jr. - who also attended the College of Medicine, a member of the Class of 1957. The elder Dr. Cosgrove served in national and regional organizations, including the National Board for the Prevention of Blindness.
William J. “Pat” Flanigan, M.D.
Dr. Flanigan launched Arkansas’ first kidney transplant program at UAMS in 1964, and went on to help many patients live longer lives despite the challenges of the early era of transplantation. The 1955 College of Medicine graduate trained in Boston at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital with the team that had earlier performed the first long-term successful transplant. He also trained at Harvard Medical School and at UAMS. The nephrologist joined the College of Medicine faculty in 1963, and became a full professor in 1972. Dr. Flanigan championed funding and access to care for chronically ill renal patients, and spoke often about the numbers of Arkansans whose lives could be saved if more transplants could be performed. Dr. Flanigan directed a clinical research center at UAMS that investigated immunosuppressive drugs, kidney disease and other transplantation issues. The Caduceus Club awarded him the Distinguished Faculty Award in 1976. In 1988, Dr. Flanigan joined the staff at Baptist Medical Center, where he was director of the Renal Transplant Service. He died in 1993 at the age of 62.
Fred O. Henker III, M.D.
Dr. Henker explored the links between hope and recovery during his long career as a psychiatrist and faculty member. He specialized in psychosomatic illness, death and dying, and treating patients dually diagnosed with mental and physical illnesses. Dr. Henker graduated from the College of Medicine in 1945. He completed a rotating internship in the U.S. Marine Hospital in Baltimore and served four years in the U.S. Public Health Service. After residency training, he became chief of the psychiatry service at Veteran’s Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. He returned to his alma mater as a member of the Department of Psychiatry faculty in 1958, and retired as a professor emeritus in 1989. Dr. Henker served on many medical boards and was president of the Arkansas Psychiatric Society and the Arkansas Medical Society. The Pulaski County Medical Society awarded him the President’s Award for a lifetime of contributions to medicine in 2003. Dr. Henker avidly pursued many interests in addition to medicine. He loved history, geology, and was a Master Gardener. Dr. Henker died in 2005 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
G. Thomas Jansen, M.D.
Dr. Jansen helped establish the College of Medicine’s dermatology program in the late 1950s and 60s as a community physician and voluntary faculty member. And in the following decade, his strong leadership as a professor and Department Chairman enabled the program to mature into a true center for education, research and clinical care. He was enormously successful in keeping the department at the forefront of the latest advances in dermatology. Dr. Jansen gained national prominence as a specialist in treating skin cancers, and for his research involving the brown recluse spider bite. He also was responsible for bringing Mohs surgery, a surgical excision technique widely used today to treat recurrent skin cancers, to Arkansas. Dr. Jansen served as president of the American Dermatologic Association, the American Academy of Dermatology and other national organizations. In 1997, the Academy of Dermatology granted Dr. Jansen its highest award, the Gold Medal, for his many contributions to advancing the knowledge of skin cancer, melanoma and other disorders. UAMS awarded Dr. Jansen the Distinguished Service Award in 1988, and an endowed chair was established to honor Dr. Jansen and his wife, Frances.
Carl L. Nelson, M.D.
Dr. Nelson could rightfully be called the “Father of Orthopaedic Surgery” in Arkansas. Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery from 1974 until his death in January 2005, Dr. Nelson energetically guided the department’s growth from a staff of two to more than 50 trained professionals who have received national and international recognition for their work. Together, they have trained most of the orthopaedic surgeons practicing in Arkansas today. Dr. Nelson was one of the nation’s foremost specialists in hip and knee joint replacement and developed the first practice in Arkansas dedicated solely to joint replacement surgery. He pioneered surgical techniques that are now common throughout the country. His achievements include the first successful attempts at what is known as “bloodless surgery” and the first use and study of the clean air system for operating rooms. Dr. Nelson won numerous awards for excellence as a surgeon, educator, researcher and innovator. In 2000, this beloved and highly respected faculty member was honored with the establishment of the Carl L. Nelson Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery.
Raymond C. Read, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Read was an icon in Arkansas surgery for 35 years. Educated and initially trained in his native England, he came to the United States in 1944. In 1966, Dr. Read left Wayne State University in Detroit to become a professor of Surgery at UAMS and to serve as Chief of Surgery at the Little Rock Veterans Administration Hospital. He immediately established himself as a leader in the surgical community, and was known for his superb skills in many areas, including abdominal, vascular and thoracic surgery. Dr. Read is a world expert in hernia surgery and was a founding member of the American Hernia Society. Dr. Read and Dr. Joe Bates, who was then Chief of Medicine at the Little Rock VA, led the hospital to preeminence in the entire VA system. The Association of VA Surgeons awarded him the organization’s Distinguished Service Award. A strong advocate of preventive medicine, Dr. Read led the fight to prohibit smoking in VA hospitals. Colleagues and residents who have interacted with him over the years know Dr. Read as a skilled surgeon, a great teacher and as someone who supported his residents in good times and bad.
Carl Rosenbaum Sr., M.D.
Dr. Rosenbaum was born in 1899 and first became interested in medicine while voluntarily tending to the sick during the influenza outbreak in Little Rock in 1919. Highly determined, he directed and sang in church choirs to pay his way through college in Fayetteville and through medical school at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Rosenbaum practiced as a surgeon in Little Rock and as a country doctor in McGehee before returning to Arkansas’ capital, where he joined the faculty of UAMS as an associate professor of surgery. Dr. Rosenbaum taught in the College of Medicine for 30 years and practiced vascular surgery at local hospitals. Dedicated to providing medical care for those who couldn’t afford it, he opened a cancer-detection clinic, and he was instrumental in establishing the State Cancer Commission in 1945. He served as chief of staff at St. Vincent Infirmary and as president of the Arkansas Medical Society. He also served on the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees. Dr. Rosenbaum was known for his remarkably easy-going manner. He died in 2005, at the age of 105.
A.J. Thompson, M.D.
Dr. Thompson helped bring state-of-the-art cardiology to central Arkansas in the 1970s and ’80s. A 1968 College of Medicine graduate, Dr. Thompson founded the Little Rock Cardiology Clinic in 1974. He was a cardiologist for St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center for 13 years and was instrumental in planning its cardiac facility. He served as a flight surgeon in the Air Force for two years and was the personal physician to the Thunderbirds. Dr. Thompson was governor of the American College of Cardiology in Arkansas and was president of the Arkansas affiliate of the American Heart Association. The American College of Physicians Arkansas Chapter awarded him the Robert Abernathy Award for Excellence in Internal Medicine in 1986. Dr. Thompson was named the College of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus, and St. Vincent’s Physician of the Year, just a year before dying of cancer in 1988 at the age of 49. The Class of 1968 established a memorial scholarship in honor of their admired classmate.
Dola Searcy Thompson Pauly, M.D.
Dr. Dola Searcy Thompson’s personable nature and resoluteness in building the Department of Anesthesiology earned her the admiration of colleagues and residents alike. The Benton native and 1949 College of Medicine graduate persistently introduced progressive innovations in anesthesia after becoming Chairman in 1974. Dr. Thompson was the first to use a mechanical ventilator in the operating room. She opened the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, and the department and its residency program grew tremendously during her 16 years of leadership. While still in medical school, Dola Searcy married fellow classmate Bernard Thompson. After an internship in San Francisco, the Thompsons returned to UAMS. Bernard became a surgeon, and Dola became the first resident physician in the Department of Anesthesiology. She was later appointed Chief of Anesthesiology at the VA hospital in Little Rock, and she served for many years on the UAMS faculty. The Caduceus Club awarded Dr. Dola Thompson the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996. The Thompsons also served as dedicated class agents of the Class of 1949 for more than half a century, until Bernard died in 2003. Dr. Dola Thompson continued to energetically serve the College of Medicine. She married Dr. John Pauly, a former Chairman of Anatomy, professor emeritus in the Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, and loyal friend of UAMS.
Jack Page Whisnant, M.D.
Dr. Whisnant is internationally known for vastly improving the understanding of cerebrovascular disease and stroke. His population-based studies provided the evidence for the now-established risk factors for stroke that are the basis for prevention programs today. The Little Rock native and 1951 College of Medicine graduate built his career at the Mayo Clinic and Medical School in Rochester, Minn., where he remains an Emeritus Professor in Neurology. Dr. Whisnant completed fellowships in internal medicine and neurology at Mayo and then joined the faculty. He has served as chairman of the departments of Neurology and Health Sciences Research, and under his direction Mayo’s Cerebrovascular Clinical Research Center became a national model for developing clinical methods of diagnosis and therapy. Dr. Whisnant has served on numerous committees of the National Institutes of Health, and as president of three national academic neurological organizations. He has mentored many scientists and inspired physicians to use the best current scientific evidence in making decisions about the care of patients. The Caduceus Club awarded Dr. Whisnant the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1979, and the Mayo Foundation named him a Distinguished Alumnus in 2003.
Thomas H. Wortham, M.D.
Dr. Wortham has been a leader among leaders in Jacksonville, Ark. The 1953 College of Medicine graduate helped expand medical and other community services to meet Jacksonville’s explosive growth after the opening of the Little Rock Air Force Base. Dr. Wortham ran a thriving family practice clinic for 40 years. He rallied community support for funding of a hospital, and then helped establish Rebsamen Medical Center. He served in many capacities at Rebsamen before retiring as vice president in 1999. He helped develop the first coronary care unit in Arkansas, as well as one of the first paramedic ambulance services. As a member of the Arkansas Board of Correction, Dr. Wortham was a catalyst for major improvements in the prison health care. He served on many UAMS boards and committees, and also volunteered as a clinical preceptor for College of Medicine residents and students at the UAMS Family Medical Center. When Dr. Wortham was named the Caduceus Club’s Distinguished Alumnus in 2005, he received a congratulatory letter from former President Bill Clinton. He has called his relationship with UAMS the center of his professional being. His record of service certainly bears that out.
George L. Ackerman, M.D.
A highly respected physician, teacher and mentor, Dr. Ackerman has received much recognition from his colleagues and students for his outstanding contributions to medicine. The 1954 UAMS College of Medicine graduate was born in Rison, Ark. Dr. Ackerman gained further training in diabetes and metabolic disease before joining the faculty at UAMS in 1961 as an instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine. During his career at UAMS, he rose through the ranks to become a professor and served as acting director of the Renal Division from 1973-1976, interim chair of the Department of Internal Medicine from 1976 to 1977 and from 1985 to 1988, and also served as vice chairman of the department. He also served on many committees and was the governor of the Arkansas chapter of the American College of Physicians, where he attained master status.
In 1967, the Arkansas Caduceus Club dedicated the UAMS yearbook to Dr. Ackerman. He received the Golden Apple Award, the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Arkansas Caduceus Club, the Outstanding Faculty Award from the internal medicine residents and interns, and the Abernathy Award for Excellence in Internal Medicine, the highest award given by the Arkansas chapter of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Ackerman currently serves as professor emeritus in the Department of Internal Medicine. He was awarded the 2004 Arkansas Caduceus Club Distinguished Alumnus Award during Alumni Weekend.
Jeff Banks, M.D.
Dr. Banks was a 1934 graduate of the College of Medicine, where he later became a highly respected, skilled and much-loved professor of gross anatomy. An excellent and compassionate teacher, Dr. Banks served as a surrogate father to every student who passed through the medical school during his 23-year tenure. In 1957, the UAMS campus was under construction on the western edge of Little Rock. Along with the hospital and the educational building, a much needed dormitory and student union building was built and opened on July 1, 1959. It was slated to be dedicated later that year. In September, the untimely death of the beloved Dr. Banks stunned and saddened the entire campus. Shortly after his death, students, former students, friends and faculty in unison demanded that the new dormitory and activity center be named in Dr. Banks’ honor. Thus on Nov. 20, 1959, the “Jeff Banks Memorial Student Union” was officially dedicated as a tribute to a man who had but one passion and one family - his students.
Roger C. Bone, M.D.
Dr. Bone led a remarkable life as a physician, educator and author. Dr. Bone, who was born in Bald Knob, Ark., in 1941, earned his medical degree from the UAMS College of Medicine and became a professor of medicine and served as chief of the pulmonary and critical care division of University Hospital and at the Central Arkansas Veterans Hospital. In 1984, Dr. Bone left UAMS to become a professor of medicine at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and in 1992 was named dean of the Rush Medical College in Chicago. In 1995, he was named a master fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, becoming the sixth physician in the organization’s 61-year history to receive the honor. He was also a master fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Bone was the recipient of 57 research grants, the author of more than 1,000 articles and the editor of 56 books. In 1993, when he was diagnosed with renal cancer, he continued to teach others by writing his own thoughts on the disease and on the care of terminally ill patients in publications, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, where he penned a column titled “Piece of My Mind” that shared his innermost feelings about the dying process and how to deal with it. Just prior to his death, he established the Roger C. Bone, M.D., Presidential Endowed Chair, committing the interest from the chair’s endowment to the medical center’s Institute for the Education and Study of the Dying Patient. Dr. Bone also hosted a weekly program, “Internal Medicine Update,” on the Lifetime Cable Network. Dr. Bone received the Hendrix College Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996, and in May 1997, he was presented with an honorary doctorate by the College of Medicine at UAMS.
Roger Bost, M.D.
Dr. Bost, a native of Clarksville, Ark., enlisted in the United States Navy and then earned his medical degree in 1945 from UAMS before being called to active duty during World War II. After the war ended, Dr. Bost cared for the soldiers as they returned home and was subsequently accepted to the pediatric medical program at Duke University. He completed his pediatrics training in 1949 and became the first instructor added to the Duke faculty in seven years. While at Duke, he earned the distinguished Bagby Award in Pediatrics. He taught at Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans before returning to Arkansas to open a private practice in Fort Smith. Dr. Bost began his career at UAMS in 1965 and in 1967, became the director of the ArkansasRegional Medical Program, a program that provided physicians, hospitals and health-related professionals with the latest advances in diagnosis and treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke and related diseases. He also served as the director of the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) that was established to focus on the state’s primary healthcare needs. Dr. Bost was a renowned pediatrician at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and dedicated his career to providing exceptional care to his patients. Dr. Bost was presented with the Arkansas Caduceus Club’s Distinguished Faculty Award for his contributions to pediatric medicine and to the College of Medicine.
Tom A. Bruce, M.D.
Dr. Bruce, a native of Mountain Home, Ark., and a 1955 graduate of the UAMS College of Medicine, has served UAMS in several capacities. He returned to his alma mater from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, where he served as head of the Cardiovascular Section of the Department of Medicine, to become dean of the College of Medicine in 1974. Dr. Bruce quickly garnered high praise from faculty and students alike when he dramatically restructured the governance system of the school. Known as imaginative and articulate, he shared the need to continue to grow the College of Medicine with his predecessor, Winston K. Shorey, M.D. In the early 1970s, when rural communities in the state and the rest of the country were without physicians, Dr. Bruce, along with several others in cooperation the Rockefeller Foundation and other state agencies, set out to reverse this trend. In less than 10 years, Arkansas developed a mature modular health education network - the Area Health Education Centers (AHECs). The AHECs delivered physicians to rural areas but also revealed that the state was one of the more unhealthy places to live in the nation, and placing more doctors in rural communities was not the sole answer.
Dr. Bruce left UAMS in 1985 to become program director for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. Dr. Bruce retired and moved back to Arkansas to help care for his aging parents, but soon “unretired” when Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D., asked him to head the College of Public Health (COPH) (created as a part of the state’s tobacco settlement) and serve as interim COPH dean. Dr. Bruce continued his quest on behalf of the people of the state of Arkansas as associate dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. He established a family foundation which has benefited both UAMS and its students.
William M. Burns, M.D.
Dr. Burns was admitted to the medical school in 1899, and was licensed to practice in 1899, during a time when county boards reviewed and licensed physicians. In 1912, Dr. Burns moved his practice to North Little Rock and returned to medical school to receive his formal medical degree in 1914, while making house calls at night to support his family. In his medical practice, he delivered more than 8,000 babies, made thousands of house calls, and was said to have walked from house to house during the influenza epidemic of 1918-19, searching for those with the disease. In many cases, he received no compensation other than kind words.
Dr. Burns served as member of the School Board of North Little Rock for 37 years. He was instrumental in the placement of North Little Rock Old Main High School which resulted in a school that soon became central to the growing city. He served as mayor for two terms, and while in his second term, he completed a water line over the Broadway Bridge that provided the city with a reliable source of purified drinking water. He championed the purchase of 870 acres of surplus government land adjoining Camp Robinson Military Reservation for a large park, against opponents who argued that the land was too far from the city to be used adequately. In 1949, the city of North Little Rock purchased the land for $20,000, and today the park that bears his name, Burns Park, reminds us of his vision for the future. His lasting legacy to us all was the support and vision for a city, school and park that remains today.
Gil Campbell, M.D.
Dr. Campbell’s extensive experience has entailed numerous leadership positions at various renowned organizations. Dr. Campbell served in the United States Army Medical Corps, where he earned two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. Prior to moving to Little Rock, he was the chief of surgery at the Oklahoma City VA Hospital and chief of thoracic surgery at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. Dr. Campbell came to UAMS in 1958, where he was a professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery for 18 years. He also served as a consultant to various medical institutions in Little Rock, including Arkansas Baptist Medical Center, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital and Riverview Medical Center. He served on several committees for the American Medical Association, including the surgery research committee and the House of Delegates. He has held memberships to the American Heart Association, the Halsted Society, where he also served as president, and the Arkansas State Medical Society. In addition to these accomplishments, Campbell was a visiting professor and guest speaker at some of the top universities and associations in the country.
Raymond C. Cook, M.D.
Dr. Cook was born a few miles east of Conway, Ark., and attended a one-room school until the eighth grade. At the age of 17, he entered the Arkansas State Normal School (now the University of Central Arkansas), where he completed high school and graduated with an associate degree. Dr. Cook taught in the Conway school system and in 1925 entered medical school and graduated in 1929. He worked his way through medical school as a police officer on the same corner in Little Rock where he would later open his medical practice. In 1935, Dr. Cook opened his private practice in Little Rock and also worked two mornings a week in the UAMS Department of Ophthalmology, that soon changed to five mornings each week. He traveled to Europe in 1937 and studied at the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, the University of Vienna Eye Clinic, and the Budapest Eye Clinic. Upon his return, he joined the Navy from 1942 to 1946, serving with distinction, and then returned to Little Rock.
Dr. Cook was the president of the Pulaski County Medical Society in 1953 and chief of staff at Baptist Hospital Medical Center in 1959. He served the UAMS Department of Ophthalmology for 36 years. He was awarded a clinical professorship and also served as the ophthalmologist for the Rehabilitation Center in Fair Park and for the Arkansas Blind School for many years. Dr. Cook was honored by the establishment of the Raymond C. Cook Endowed Lectureship in the Department of Ophthalmology in January 1984. Dr. Cook died in Seattle, Wash., in 1989.
William J. Darby, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Darby significantly increased our knowledge of the human requirements for protein, iron, folic acid and zinc through his career in research. The Galloway, Ark., native’s contributions to the improvement of mankind’s overall health are outstanding as one of that nation’s leading nutrition researchers. He earned his medical degree in 1937 from the UAMS College of Medicine and published his first article on nutrition in 1933, based on research he conducted with Paul L. Day, Ph.D. This research, which included a series of vitamin experiments, led to the discovery of folic acid and brought the university national recognition. Dr. Darby obtained his doctorate from the University of Michigan and joined Vanderbilt University in 1944, with a dual appointment in its Departments of Medicine and Biochemistry. He was appointed chair of the Department of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt in 1949, and served in that capacity until 1971. While at Vanderbilt, Dr. Darby successfully established the first separate identifiable nutrition unit in an American medical school. As a result of his efforts in the field of nutrition, he was elected to membership of the prestigious National Academy of Science and also became president of the Nutrition Foundation.
Katherine “Katie” Dodd, M.D.
Dr. Dodd was a much loved and admired professor of pediatrics at the University Medical Center and head of the Pediatrics Department from 1952 to 1957. At a time when few women were in leadership roles, especially in the medical field, Dr. Dodd was indeed a rising star. Dr. Dodd was extremely proud of the accomplishments that her field had delivered in her lifetime. Upon news of her retirement, a self-appointed committee of former students originated the idea for a “Katie Dodd Day.” Speeches, reminiscences, a luncheon and a trip to Winrock Farm on Petit Jean Mountain highlighted the celebration of her 32 years of teaching the next generation of pediatricians. Dr. Dodd wrote almost weekly for”The Medico,” the official student medical school newspaper, while at UAMS. One such article quotes Dr. Dodd as saying”Pediatrics is a unique specialty in many ways. It is the only specialty, except possibly geriatrics, which confines itself to an age group.” Dr. Dodd completed her career as a distinguished professor of Pediatrics, University of Louisville School of Medicine, and as a professor of Pediatrics at Emory University.
W. Thompson Dungan, M.D.
Dedicated to the lives of children, Dr. Dungan received his medical degree at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1954 then served as a captain in the United States Air Force and the chief of pediatrics at the United States Air Force Hospital, Elgin Air Force Base, in Florida before coming back to Arkansas. Dr. Dungan came to the UAMS College of Medicine as an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics in 1960 and devoted his time to help children with both congenital and acquired cardiovascular disease. He was the medical director of Arkansas Children’s Hospital for four years and was chief of staff there for two years. He was president of the Arkansas Heart Association, a chairman of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Dungan was the 1995 Arkansas affiliate physician honoree of the American Heart Association and was presented with the College of Medicine Distinguished Service Award in 1997.
Richard V. Ebert, M.D.
Dr. Ebert followed his father’s footsteps into medicine and served as professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine at UAMS from 1954-1966 and was a distinguished professor of medicine from 1978 until his retirement in 1993. During his tenure at UAMS, he was instrumental in the tremendous growth of research grants and fostering the VA Hospital as an integral part of the overall program in the College of Medicine. He was recognized nationally for his research in pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure. A Master of the American College of Physicians, he received the Distinguished Teacher Award, the Distinguished Faculty Award given by the Arkansas Caduceus Club, and an endowed chair in internal medicine. Dr. Ebert had the character of a true leader, and the physicians he trained and influenced continue to acknowledge his leadership and mentorship through their service to the medical profession.
Joycelyn Elders, M.D.
Dr. Elders came from humble but promising beginnings. She entered Philander Smith College in Little Rock at the age of 15 on a scholarship from the United Methodist Church and earned her bachelor’s degree in biology in 1952, completing it in three years while working as a maid to support herself. Dr. Elders enlisted in the Army in May 1953, and was sent to Brooke Army Medical Center, where she was the only African-American in her class. She was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1953 and began her internship as a physical therapist. In April 1954, Dr. Elders was licensed as a physical therapist and transferred to Fitzsimmons Hospital in Denver. She was one of two therapists who treated President Eisenhower after his heart attack.
After her discharge in 1956, Dr. Elders attended the UAMS College of Medicine on the GI Bill and obtained her medical degree in 1960. She served as an assistant professor in pediatrics at UAMS beginning in 1967, was promoted to associate professor in 1971, and then to professor in 1976. In 1987, Dr. Elders was appointed Director of the Arkansas Department of Health by Governor Bill Clinton. Her accomplishments in this position included a ten-fold increase in the number of annual early childhood screenings and almost a doubling of the immunization rate for two-year-olds in Arkansas. Dr. Elders was appointed Surgeon General of the Public Health Service in 1993 by President Clinton. She was the first African-American to serve in the position. In late 1994, after resigning as Surgeon General, she returned to UAMS as a professor of pediatrics.
Robert Harold Fiser Jr., M.D.
A 1966 graduate of the UAMS College of Medicine, Dr. Fiser was the only person in his class to enter into the field of pediatrics. He was inspired by the excitement and challenge of working with children. Dr. Fiser became the youngest pediatric department chairman in the country at the age of 32. With exceptional leadership, determination and vision, Dr. Fiser helped to increase the number of full-time faculty in the Department of Pediatrics from six to 125, representing 16 subspecialties. The combination of his personal interest in the teaching program, along with the new faculty, laid the foundation for the tremendous growth in the size and quality of the pediatric residency program and helped attract more high-caliber residents. Dr. Fiser also helped increase the number of hospital beds from 60 to 263 and boosted the department’s annual budget from $800,000 to $20 million. Perhaps Dr. Fiser’s greatest contribution was the large number of pediatricians trained under his leadership. Many of these individuals entered academic roles throughout the nation. Many more remained in Arkansas, where they revolutionized the care of children in the state. No person in the history of the College of Medicine was more admired by his residents than Dr. Fiser, for he embodied all that was best in a pediatrician. In the late 1970s, Dr. Fiser played a key role in moving the Department of Pediatrics’ base to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He also contributed to the establishment of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute.
Isaac Folsom, M.D.
Dr. Folsom was an 1866 graduate of the St. Louis Medical College and was a friend of Edwin Bentley, a founder of the College of Medicine and its third dean. Dr. Folsom, a Lonoke, Ark. native, admired and respected the efforts of Dean Bentley to establish a free clinic. Since he had no heirs to perpetuate his name, on Jan. 30, 1892, he bequeathed a gift of $20,000 that would endow the College of Medicine’s dispensary. His bequest asked in return that the faculty was to mention the endowment in annual announcements and catalogs published and issued by the school and was to include on diplomas issued by the institution that the recipient had attended instructions at the Isaac Folsom Clinic. Later, upon receipt of the money, the school was to erect a substantial and suitable building to be called the “Isaac Folsom Clinic.” Dr. Folsom died in September 1892 but the bequest was not received until after 1905. The “Isaac Folsom Clinic,” located on East Sherman Street, opened in September 1917 at a cost of approximately $55,000. Approximately one-half of the funds needed had been generated by the Folsom bequest.
Henry W. Foster Jr., M.D.
While serving as chief of Obstetrics/Gynecology at John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital at Tuskegee University, Dr. Foster initiated a national model for regionalized perinatal health care systems that led to his induction into the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in 1972. The Pine Bluff, Ark., native earned his medical degree from the UAMS College of Medicine in 1958 and devoted five years as a senior program consultant for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and directed its program to consolidate health services for high risk young people. His involvement with this program inspired him to launch his “I Have A Future” program in 1987 to reduce teen pregnancy, which received recognition from President George Bush in 1991 as one of the nation’s “Thousand Points of Light.” In 1995, Dr. Foster was nominated by President Clinton to become the next United States Surgeon General. He was subsequently appointed as President Clinton’s senior advisor on Teen Pregnancies and Youth Issues and was a consultant to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Foster’s exceptional leadership abilities have earned him such awards as the Appreciation Award for Research and Teaching in Sickle Cell Anemia (Tuskegee Institute), the first White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities Faculty Award for Excellence in Science and Technology, and an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the UAMS College of Medicine in 1993.
James H. Growdon, M.D.
In 1949, a National Cancer Institute grant allowed the establishment of a Department of Oncology at UAMS and the appointment of Dr. Growdon, a graduate of Washington University, as an associate professor and head of the department. Dr. Growdon was promoted to professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery in 1953, a position he held for 13 years. He is credited with planning and establishing the present department during its transition from the former medical school on McAlmont Street to the present UAMS site. He served as chairman of the Arkansas chapter of the American Cancer Society, was a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery, and served as a clinical professor of surgery after his retirement on a voluntary basis. Dr. Growdon received the Distinguished Service award in 1973. Dr. Growdon chaired the much-needed and well-organized continuing education program. He chaired a committee on statewide post-graduate medical education and formally established the CME program at UAMS. Under Dr. Growdon’s direction, the committee coordinated, planned refresher courses sponsored by the various clinical departments, and gained the State Medical Society’s endorsement and financial support.
Masauki Hara, M.D.
The ground-breaking surgical achievements of Dr. Hara earned him national recognition during his career. The native of San Rafael, Calif., joined UAMS as an instructor of surgery in 1949. He was promoted to professor in 1955 and proceeded to courageously lead the open heart surgery team that conducted the first open heart surgery in Arkansas in 1957, as well as the first bypass operation in 1959. Under Dr. Hara’s guidance, the UAMS College of Medicine kidney transplant team was developed in 1964 and proceeded to perform more than 24 transplants in four years. In 1964, he was presented with the St. Louis City Hospital Alumni Association’s Award for Meritorious Service. Dr. Hara authored over 50 research papers published in various scientific journals. He died in 1968, at the age of 51 after a long illness, one month after the first successful heart transplant surgery in the world. The College of Medicine established the Masauki Hara, M.D., Memorial Lectureship in 1969, in his honor.
James W. Headstream, M.D.
Dr. Headstream, born in Batesville, Ark., received his medical degree from the UAMS College of Medicine in 1939 and joined the faculty as an associate professor of surgery after serving the United States Army for five years. He became head of the Department of Urology in 1950. His leadership abilities and strong determination led to the establishment of a training program in urology that was approved by the American Board of Urology. Under this program, Dr. Headstream trained six residents who went on to obtain board approval. Dr. Headstream resigned as head of the department in 1958 but remained available as needed for several years thereafter. He established a private practice consisting of five urologists called Urology Associates before retiring in 1988. Dr. Headstream’s contributions to the Department of Urology were acknowledged in 1986, when he was honored with the Arkansas Caduceus Club Alumnus Award.
Henry Hollenberg, M.D.
Dr. Hollenberg was born in 1902 in Little Rock, Ark. He became a professor in the Department of Surgery at UAMS in 1938, and then joined the United States Army in 1941, before returning to Little Rock to open a private practice. While at UAMS, Dr. Hollenberg performed everything from thyroid and gallstone removal surgeries to brain surgery. He also served as chief of staff at St. Vincent Infirmary Medicine Center (now John L. McClellan Medical Center) and was a driving force behind the establishment of Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He was awarded the American College of Surgeons membership and passed the first examination ever held by the American Board of Surgery in New York and Philadelphia. Dr. Hollenberg’s ground-breaking work with penicillin led to the discovery that the antibiotic cured chronic cases of syphilis and gonorrhea. Consequently, he was honored with the Legion of Merit Award and gained membership to the American Surgical Association. Dr. Hollenberg remained active in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Surgery in several capacities until he retired in 1978.
P.O. Hooper, M.D.
Dr. Hooper was the College of Medicine’s founder and first dean. Born in Arkansas in 1833, Dr. Hooper graduated from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and became a noted politician and the leader of Arkansas’ first medical associations. In May 1879, Dr. Hooper wrote to the president of the Arkansas Industrial University (University of Arkansas at Fayetteville) regarding the establishment of a medical department under the school’s charter. The trustees voted and granted the establishment of a medical department in Little Rock on June 17, 1879. Dr. Hooper was designated as principal of the department and president of the faculty. By July of that year, a faculty had been selected; the school was incorporated under the laws of the day with eight proprietors, each holding 25 shares valued at $25 each; and $5,000 was borrowed to purchase the building formerly occupied by the Sperindio Hotel at 113 West Second Street. Thus the College of Medicine was born. Dr. Hooper’s tireless efforts as a physician, teacher, entrepreneur, mentor and leader created the College of Medicine.
Edith Irby Jones, M.D.
Dr. Irby-Jones became a national role model when she became the first African-American student enrolled in what had previously been a segregated medical school. The Conway, Ark., native received money to go to medical school from members of a Hot Springs Church who told her that if she needed more money, to see Daisy Bates, the editor of the African-American newspaper in Little Rock. Dr. Jones did need additional funds so she approached Bates, who provided her the money from her “coffee can bank.” Dr. Jones, as the only African-American in the medical school, was given her own bathroom and a special table in the library where she ate meals. However, she rarely dined alone as many of the students chose to join her. She earned her medical degree from the UAMS College of Medicine in 1952.
In 1985, she was elected as the first woman president of the National Medical Association. She was also the only female founding member of the Association of Black Cardiologists and the first black female chairman of the Board of Trustees for Knoxville University. The internationally renowned physician has taught and consulted in medicine and health care in many countries and has clinics established in her name in Haiti and Mexico. She is also a charter member of the Physicians for Human Rights organization, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998. Dr. Jones served for over 50 years as a practicing internist and gerontologist in the Third Ward community of Houston. She was also a clinical assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas, Houston. She served as medical director for Universal Healthplan of Texas, Prospect Medical Laboratory and medical consultant for the Social Security Administration, Texas Public Welfare Department, Texas Rehabilitation Commission and the Vocational Rehabilitation Association. Her achievements in the field of medicine are limitless.
Mollie King, M.D.
Dr. King became a member of the Pathology Department in 1917 and was the first full-time female faculty member at UAMS. Dr. King was an active researcher who worked with the energetic Joseph D. Aronson, head of the Department of Pathology and Bacteriology. They investigated such problems as the toxicity of cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking, the actions of drugs on the vagus center of the medulla, and the bifurcation of the seventh cranial nerve long before others considered research in these fields. She accepted a position in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in 1920, and later practiced in Union City, Indiana. She was a member of the American Medical Association and the Association of Anesthetists of both the United States and Canada - joining some of the first females in these prestigious medical organizations.
Samuel L. Kountz, M.D.
Dr. Kountz was one of the first African-American graduates of the UAMS College of Medicine. A native of rural Lexa, Ark., Dr. Kountz did not qualify for admission initially to Arkansas AM&N College (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). However, at the urging of the college president, Dr. Lawrence Davis, Sr., he enrolled in additional courses, was admitted and subsequently graduated. He earned a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and was a 1958 graduate of the UAMS College of Medicine. His research focused on transplants and immunology and contributed to advances in controlling tissue rejection in kidney patients. While at the University of California at San Francisco, he worked with a team to develop the prototype of a machine that preserved a kidney for 50 hours after its removal from a donor and developed techniques that aid the ability to predict when rejection of a transplanted organ begins, thus providing for more dosage control. He served as head of surgery at State University of New York at Downstate in Brooklyn, New York. In 1973 he was awarded an honorary Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas.
When Dr. Kountz accepted the position at Downstate Medical Center, he told friends he wanted to improve medical care in the African-American community and help to heighten the public awareness regarding the need for organ donations. He was among the world’s leading kidney transplant surgeons and a true medical pioneer, who performed over 500 kidney transplants at a time when this procedure was limited to only a few institutions. Dr. Kountz’s many outstanding contributions and accomplishments remain an important legacy.
Betty A. Lowe, M.D.
Dr. Lowe graduated first in the class of 1956 from the College of Medicine. Dr. Lowe served UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and the state of Arkansas with distinction as an outstanding clinician teacher and advocate for children’s health. She was in private practice in Texarkana from 1960 to 1975, and returned to UAMS and ACH for the duration of her career. She retired with distinction in 2001, after serving 29 years at UAMS. She received numerous awards including the UAMS Golden Apple, the Distinguished Faculty Award presented annually by the Arkansas Caduceus Club, and the UAMS/ACH Distinguished Award. She held the Harvey and Bernice Jones Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics from 1996 to 2001.
Dr. Lowe touched many lives over the years and is fondly remembered by medical students, residents, colleagues, and families throughout the state and region for her thorough, straightforward, and no-nonsense approach to the practice of pediatrics. She was deeply involved in shaping the face of pediatrics in America through her strong and tireless advocacy for children’s health. Her most prominent role was her service as president of the prestigious American Academy of Pediatrics. Closest to her heart were her own patients and the children of Arkansas. She earned the devoted respect of former President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and served as their daughter Chelsea’s pediatrician for 12 years. She worked closely with them during their years in the Governor’s Mansion and the White House. Dr. Lowe continued to advocate for children’s health and to serve in many civic and community roles after her retirement. She died in 2013.
Raymond Miller, M.D.
Dr. Miller, born in Cotton Plant, Ark., began college at Arkansas AM&N (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff ) to study agriculture in 1956. He changed his major to pre-medicine during his sophomore year and went on to graduate at AM&N. He obtained his medical degree at UAMS in 1963 and served his internship and residency in internal medicine, as well as a fellowship in pulmonary disease, at UAMS. He was then called on by the United States Army to serve at the Pulmonary Disease Service at Walter Reed General Hospital for two years. Dr. Miller returned to Little Rock in 1970, and established the Little Rock Internal Medicine Clinic, the state’s first racially integrated medical practice. Two years later, his outstanding reputation led to his appointment as the first African-American to serve on the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, where he served for 10 years, including a term as chairman from 1981 to 1982.
He was also involved with the boards of Boatmen’s Bank of Arkansas, Entergy Corporation and the Razorback Foundation. Dr. Miller became active with the athletic programs at the University of Arkansas to boost minority enrollment and participation. The Razorback Foundation recognized his efforts in 1995 with the Distinguished Service Award, which included a $100,000 scholarship endowed in his name. Dr. Miller received the National Humanitarian Award at the National Conference of Community and Justice for the Arkansas region in May 2004. He later served as staff emeritus at the St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center and trustee emeritus of the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees. Dr. Miller died in 2005.
Hayden C. Nicholson, M.D.
Dr. Nicholson, a native of Michigan, arrived at a pivotal time in the history of the College of Medicine and assumed the combined duties of both vice president and dean of the College of Medicine in 1950. His experience and personal characteristics made him a perfect dean for the College of Medicine that at this point in time was dependent entirely upon the good will of the citizens of Arkansas and the state medical profession. He and University of Arkansas President Lewis Webster Jones requested that the General Assembly add the final funding to construct the new medical center located on West Markham Street. Thus the dream of many for a modern medical center became a reality. Dr. Nicholson was witty, persuasive, confident and amiable; he worked tirelessly with the press, the Legislature, physicians and the Arkansas Medical Society to ensure the taxpayers of the state that their tax dollars were spent wisely and that the public’s expectations of the institution were met. Dr. Nicholson served as dean of the College of Medicine and provost of the Medical Center from 1950 to 1955.
Phillip L. Rayford, Ph.D.
After serving in the U.S. Army, Dr. Rayford wanted to become a physician but medical schools were not open to African-Americans at that time. Thus began Dr. Rayford’s struggle to become one of the top scientists in the world. He studied at Howard and American Universities, both in Washington, D.C., and received a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Maryland in College Park. During this time, Dr. Rayford conducted cancer research with several prominent researchers at the National Institutes of Health. He spent the next two-and-a-half years in Accra, Ghana, helping the U.S. State Department set up a much-needed medical school for West Africans. He came to UAMS in 1980, and began an 18-year tenure as chairman of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics as well as associate dean for minority affairs. Under his chairmanship, the Department of Physiology and Biophysics significantly increased extramural grant support for research, saw increased faculty recruitment, and was awarded six doctoral degrees. UAMS awarded two of those doctorates to African-Americans - a first at UAMS - and Dr. Rayford played a pivotal role in this achievement. He served as a counselor, role model and friend to all minority medical and graduate students.
William G. Reese, M.D.
Dr. Reese came to the UAMS College of Medicine to develop the Department of Psychiatry in 1951. He was professor and chairman of psychiatry at the UAMS College of Medicine and served twice as chief of staff of the University Hospital. He retired in 1987, as the Marie Wilson Howells Professor and Chairman, Emeritus. During his tenure, Dr. Reese founded the Arkansas Psychiatric Society and received the Society’s Meritorious Service Award. He was a charter member of the American College of Psychiatrists and received numerous awards, including the Arkansas Caduceus Club’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 1974, and an honorary degree (D.Sc.) in 1990. An annual “Reese Award” was established in his honor in 1987 to recognize psychiatry residents for scholarship and research. Noted for his wit and anticipating an eventual obituary, Dr. Reese stated, “This is a hard way to get newspaper publicity, but I won’t complain about any errors in the account.”
Winston K. Shorey, M.D.
At 42 years of age, Dr. Shorey was selected by a search committee to become the dean of the UAMS College of Medicine in 1961. A native of Vermont, he was known for his even temper, decisive actions, thoughtfulness and sense of humor. His willingness to entertain new ideas in curricula and programs made him an effective leader and earned him the respect of his colleagues. In short, Dean Shorey possessed the traits of character that provided vibrant leadership during a decade of growth that saw the College of Medicine rise to serve the citizens of Arkansas.
The most obvious growth was in the size of the student body at the College of Medicine. With both Arkansas and the nation deficient in physicians, (in 1960, the state had one physician for every 1,041 residents) the legislature mandated that the 1961 class size increase by 12 more than the previous year, and that all entering freshmen were required to be Arkansas residents. Dr. Shorey recognized that the growth rate did not immediately translate into new physicians, but rather forced the College to admit students who were inadequately prepared. Dr. Shorey enlisted the support of his colleagues and both medical societies to launch a successful campaign that resulted in a new law that permitted the admission of non-residents of up to 15 percent of the total freshman class. Dr. Shorey also played a prominent role in the planning and implementation of programs that were designed to improve the state’s health delivery system, most notably the family practice residency program and the Area Health Education Centers (AHECs). Dr. Shorey assumed directorship of the AHEC program until his untimely death in 1976. In 1981, the Education Building One was renamed in his honor.
H. Elvin Shuffield, M.D.
Dr. Shuffield, born in Nashville, Tenn., attended Georgia Military Academy and Little Rock Junior College before graduating from the UAMS College of Medicine in 1944. He served his internship and one-year residency at Arkansas Baptist Hospital and served in the Army Medical Corps for 15 months. In 1947, he joined his father in private practice, specializing in orthopaedic surgery and traumatic surgery. Dr. Shuffield was extensively involved with the Arkansas Medical Society, serving as secretary of the society, chairman of the society’s Legislative Committee and as chairman of the society’s Committee on Veteran’s Administration Affairs. Dr. Shuffield lobbied for the legislation that resulted in the establishment of regulations on training physician assistants, and he testified about the importance of having a law to allow persons to donate vital organs after death. He was the secretary of the medical staff at Arkansas Baptist Hospital and in 1957, served as the chief of staff at the Baptist Medical Center. Dr. Shuffield was also the vice president of the Arkansas Medical Board and was advanced to the rank of fellow in the International College of Surgeons in orthopaedic surgery in 1977. Dr. Shuffield was honored in 1981, with the UAMS Distinguished Service Award and was named honorary past president of the Arkansas Medical Society in 1984.
Morgan Smith, M.D.
Dr. Smith was born in El Dorado in 1868 and was an 1889 graduate of the University of Arkansas Medical Department. He practiced medicine in his home town until 1903, when he entered Tulane University as a special student. He received his second medical degree the following year, moved to Little Rock and joined the faculty of the Medical Department. He served as dean from 1912 to 1923, and 1924 to 1927. Dr. Smith wrote a health code that in 1913 was embodied in the law creating the State Board of Health. Dr. Smith also drafted the 1907 amendment to the Medical Practice Act that required graduation from a recognized medical school as a prerequisite to examination by the state licensing boards.
Dr. Smith was active in civic arenas and served three terms in the Arkansas House. He worked diligently to improve the college’s facilities and gained the Old State House for the medical school. He worked tirelessly to obtain funds from the legislature to build and address the school’s clinical needs. He attained the “A” rating for the school that propelled the institution into full accreditation. In an effort to solve the clinical needs while construction on a new hospital ceased, Dr. Smith obtained a clinical working agreement with Baptist, St. Vincent and St. Luke’s, in order to resume a four-year medical program. Dean Smith resigned in 1923, rather than support the lower entrance standards being promoted as an effort to create more physicians for rural Arkansas. He was reappointed to the position, however, in 1924, and served until 1927.
Eugene J. Towbin, M.D.
For over 41 years, Dr. Towbin was a distinguished faculty member at UAMS and the Central Arkansas Veterans’Healthcare System, where he served as associate chief of staff for Research and Education beginning in 1960, and chief of staff in 1968. Under his leadership the VA Hospital - College of Medicine program was launched and blossomed. Anticipating the needs of an aging population, Dr. Towbin developed a model system of geriatrics and long term care and established the first Veterans Health Administration Geriatric Research Education Clinical Center. His vision and efforts culminated in the building of the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Little Rock and a new 1,000-bed facility in North Little Rock. He received numerous awards during his career, including the Distinguished Service Award from the College of Medicine, the Abernathy Award of Excellence in Internal Medicine, and the Exceptional Service Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was a Fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the Gerontological Society of America. In 1985, Dr. Towbin received the William F. Rector Award for Distinguished Civic Achievement and in 1988, an honorary doctor of science from UAMS. Dr. Towbin developed one of the strongest veterans health care systems in the nation.
Tom Ed Townsend, M.D.
Dr. Townsend, a native of Willow, Ark., received his medical degree from the UAMS College of Medicine in 1950. Dr. Townsend established his private practice children’s clinic in Pine Bluff. He served as chief of staff at Jefferson Regional Medical Center, president of Jefferson County Medical Society, chairman of the Council of the Arkansas Medical Society, president of the Arkansas Medical Society, delegate to the American Medical Association, diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics, and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Townsend also served as clinical professor of Pediatrics at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award presented by the Arkansas Caduceus Club in 1990. Dr. Townsend was known for his love and care of children, enthusiasm, diligence, wit, intelligence and wisdom. Dr. Townsend taught many medical students in senior rotations, and all but one has chosen pediatrics as their specialty. He died in 2013.
Frank Vinsonhaler, M.D.
Dr. Vinsonhaler was an 1885 graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. Dr. Vinsonhaler trained initially as a general practitioner but in 1891, went to Europe, studied ophthalmology and returned to Little Rock to establish an ophthalmology practice. Dr. Vinsonhaler was appointed dean of the College of Medicine at the age of 63 in 1927 and served until 1939, a period of difficult and unfortunate economic and political times. Dr. Vinsonhaler’s principal goal as dean was to ensure the school’s accreditation by the American Medical Association, the evaluating body for medical schools. Determined to solve the problems that threatened the institution’s academic standing, he set out on the mission to secure funds to build a medical school. Dr. Vinsonhaler remained steadfast in his vision and in 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Public Works Administration (PWA), he immediately began work to obtain PWA funds. He delivered the much needed funds through his persistent lobbying efforts and the personal interest of Arkansas Senator Joe T. Robinson. In 1935, the University of Arkansas Medical School on McAlmont Street towered six stories high and housed a student body of 300. The building is still in use today as the University of Arkansas School of Law. Dr. Vinsonhaler truly helped lay the foundation of learning for the College of Medicine.
Harry P. Ward, M.D.
A man of determination, compassion, and commitment, Dr. Ward was selected to serve as Chancellor and to lead UAMS into its second century as UAMS celebrated its centennial year in 1979. The “Ward Decades,” as they are called, saw remarkable growth in student enrollment and facilitated the growth of external research dollars to increase 20-fold in 20 years. Under his leadership, the physical size of UAMS increased five-fold, including the expansion of the hospital that bears his name, Ward Tower. UAMS rose through the ranks to become one of the state’s largest employers during these decades. More than $200 million in major construction projects were completed, due in no small part to his ability to interest the private sector in philanthropic giving.
The UAMS Area Health Education Centers (now known as Regional Centers) expanded their programs, and an extensive interactive television network was created that delivered courses throughout Arkansas. Dr. Ward coined the phrase that “UAMS is a university without walls.” He restructured the hospital administration and began an active renovation program. During his tenure Dr. Ward would shepherd the opening of the Ambulatory Care Center, the hospital gift shop, the Center of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, the Family Medical Center, the Magnetic Resonance Imaging building, the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, the Biomedical Research Center, Education Buildings II and III, the Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, and the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Aging. He worked diligently to increase the number of endowed chairs and helped to establish the Double Helix society to honor major donors. UAMS evolved from a local center to a nationally and internationally recognized academic health center during the 21 years with Ward at the helm.
Robert C. Watson, M.D.
Dr. Watson was just a teenager in Mena, Ark., working in the local drugstore when he discovered he wanted to become a physician. He passed on to many students and friends his remembrance of bandaging cut fingers and how much he enjoyed this simple task. Upon graduation from the UAMS College of Medicine, he had not decided which specialty he would pursue, but that changed while he cared for a young girl with a brain injury during his internship at Detroit City Hospital. He furthered his training in Brooklyn, N.Y., at King’s County Hospital, where his fascination with the brain grew. In 1944, he became the 108th physician to receive accreditation from the American Board of Neurological Society. Dr. Watson returned to Arkansas to practice neurosurgery and began a 27-year volunteer career as a teacher educating young physicians about diagnosing neurological cases. His accomplishments also included serving as chief of staff of Baptist Medical Center, president of both the Arkansas and the Pulaski County Medical Societies, and president and founder of the Southern Neurosurgical Society that was later renamed in his honor.