Oct. 26, 2017 — Jacquelyn Bailey of West Memphis has been awarded the Arkansas Mutual Medical Student Award, a scholarship for third-year medical students at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) who want to practice primary care in rural Arkansas.
Bailey, a first generation college graduate, found her inspiration for primary care as she learned about her grandmother, Beatrice Henderson, who died when Bailey was barely a year old.
“My mother attributes much of my grandmother’s death to the notion that doctors did not provide quality medical care because she was African-American and uninsured,” she said. “However, this was not the only instance of lack of care that she received.”
Bailey keeps a medical record of her grandmother’s that shows she had three children, but also five stillbirths. “As I thought about the period in which she lived, my heart became heavy because I knew this was the fate of many black women like her,” she said.
“My grandmother’s life and death have been my inspiration and motivation to become a primary care physician,” she said. “Although racial discrimination was and continues to be a cause for health disparities, it is now compounded by the inability of many working Americans to afford health care.”
Bailey said that she intends to practice family medicine in West Memphis. With a background in epidemiology from the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, she intends to emphasize disease prevention programs to improve community health.
Corey Little, president of Arkansas Mutual Insurance Co., the only medical liability insurance provider headquartered in Arkansas, said the company is deeply committed to improving rural health care in the state.
“We are so pleased to offer this scholarship to such a deserving student as Jacquelyn Bailey,” Little said. “She will make a very fine physician and is clearly committed to improving the health of citizens in medically underserved areas.”
“Our mission as a company is to protect and serve the health care community of Arkansas and this student award is symbolic of that dedication,” Little said. “The award’s focus on rural health care is especially important at this junction in our state’s history and we are proud to be able to make this contribution to our state’s future physicians.”
More than two-thirds of Arkansas’ counties include federally designated Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas. Primary care physician shortages are projected to increase substantially as the state’s population continues to age and require more medical care, and as more Arkansans, now insured as a result of health system reform, seek primary care services.
“Access to high-quality primary care is a significant issue for rural Arkansas, so we are doing everything we can to encourage outstanding students to practice in smaller communities,” said Pope L. Moseley, M.D., UAMS executive vice chancellor and College of Medicine dean. “Scholarships are a powerful tool in this effort, and we are grateful to the folks at Arkansas Mutual for their ongoing investment in students who plan to dedicate their careers to rural Arkansans.”
UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; northwest Arkansas regional campus; statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Myeloma Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,834 students, 822 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses throughout the state, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.