Welcome to the first issue of HouseCall, a new publication for friends and supporters and potential new friends of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. In the 18.5 years that I have been at UAMS the landscape of our campus and of medicine in general has changed dramatically. Exciting advances in medical care and research are made every day, many of them right here in Arkansas by UAMS faculty who staff the clinics and laboratories on our campus, at our clinical and teaching affiliate hospitals – Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System – and our Area Health Education Centers across the state.
Through HouseCall we will share information with you about the most prevalent health problems affecting Arkansans and how we are helping our patients, employees and fellow Arkansans address those problems. As the state’s only academic health sciences campus, we feel a responsibility to take the lead in making the state a healthier place. Sometimes that means taking on some unpopular issues, but we know we must because it’s the right thing to do.
In this first HouseCall, you will read about UAMS becoming the first hospital and state agency to go smoke-free, an action that eventually led to the passage of legislation mandating that all hospitals be smokefree. You will learn about the efforts of our College of Public Health and the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement on Act 1220 to fight childhood obesity and about our weight control program for adults which helped Gov. Mike Huckabee lose 110 pounds. You will also see that we aren’t just talking the talk but "walking the walk" as we take steps to help UAMS employees tackle these same problems.
One of the regular columns, "A Crane’s Tale" will update readers on the progress we make on current and future construction projects as we build a new hospital, and make needed additions to the Jones Eye Institute, the Arkansas Cancer Research Center and other areas to accommodate our patients who come to UAMS from every state and more than 40 foreign countries.
I hope you will enjoy this publication and future issues. Thank you for allowing us to make a "house call" to bring you this information. Working together, the prognosis for healthcare in our state can only get brighter.
I. Dodd Wilson, M.D.