The UAMS Rural Research Network (Network) was established in January 2020 to leverage the existing clinical and educational infrastructure of UAMS Regional Programs for research and research opportunities and help ensure Arkansas’ rural populations have access to community health resources, and are included in health research. The Network comprises UAMS’ eight Regional Campuses across the state and is supported by an intra-institutional partnership. The Network is directed by Veronica J. Smith, MBA and administered within the UAMS Clinical and Translational Research/Translational Research Institute (TRI).
The establishment of the Network is a response to the stark health disparities for rural populations. Forty-two percent of Arkansans live in rural areas compared to just 15% for the United States. Rural Americans are more likely to die from five leading causes of death than urban Americans, with many deaths preventable for heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke. The problems of poverty and health care inequity are particularly concentrated in rural, minority populations.
The UAMS RRN provides a platform to expand community health and research participation opportunities to rural residents many of whom are older adults and underrepresented minority populations.
Mission of the UAMS Rural Research Network
The mission of the RRN is to engage individuals living in rural areas of Arkansas in clinical and translational research by implementing RRN approved research studies within the UAMS Regional Campuses across the State of Arkansas.
Statewide Intra-Institutional Partnership
The Network was formed in partnership with leading community health research entities affiliated with UAMS. Leaders from the institutes and programs collaboratively offer guidance and scientific oversight for the Network.
The Network’s partners are:
- UAMS Translational Research Institute
- UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
- UAMS Office of Community Health & Research
- UAMS Regional Programs
Rural Research Network Study Sites
UAMS Regional Programs is comprised of eight community clinical centers broadly dispersed throughout rural Arkansas (previously known as the Area Health Education Centers [AHECs]). The Centers serve as the study sites for the Rural Research Network. Each site is different, offering a variety of opportunities, resources and access to special populations.
|UAMS Regional Campus||Location||Counties Served|
|Northwest||Fayetteville||Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton, Washington|
|East||Helena||Chicot, Crittenden, Desha, Lee, Monroe, Phillips, St. Francis|
|South Central||Pine Bluff||Arkansas, Cleveland, Drew, Garland, Grant, Jefferson, Hot Spring, Lincoln, Lonoke, Prairie, Saline|
|West||Fort Smith||Conway, Crawford, Faulkner, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Montgomery, Perry, Polk, Pope, Sebastian, Yell, Scott|
|North Central||Batesville||Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Marion, Searcy, Sharp, Stone, White|
|Southwest||Texarkana||Clark, Hempstead, Howard, Pike, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Nevada, Sevier|
|South||Magnolia||Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Columbia, Dallas, Ouachita, Union|
|Northeast||Jonesboro||Clay, Craighead, Cross, Greene, Jackson, Lawrence, Mississippi, Poinsett, Randolph, Woodruff|
UAMS-affiliated investigators interested in conducting research with UAMS Regional Programs can request a consultation with the UAMS Rural Research Network through the TRI Services Portal at TRI.uams.edu.
Requirements to engage support from the Network:
- Budget for use of the Network’s research support team including the appropriate effort for the required clinical and research staff as well as supplies needed to conduct the research within regional programs
- Demonstrate improvement of health outcomes
- Engage and provide opportunity for regional programs’ clinical site faculty, residents and staff to participate in and develop scientific and scholarly products, more specifically publications
- Provide a copy of the grant to the network director and upon IRB approval, a copy of the approved protocol
- Participate in the establishment of an MOU that outlines expectations of all participating parties
- Cite TRI using TRI.uams.edu/cite
For additional information about regional programs, go to the REP 2020 Annual Report. The latest report from the Arkansas Central Cancer Registry, highlighting the differences in incidence and mortality between rural and urban areas, is available here.
To learn more about the UAMS Rural Research Network contact Veronica J. Smith, Director of Rural Research. UAMS Rural Research Network- email@example.com / 501-526-8741
Funding through the Rural Research Network
The Rural Research Network, in partnership with the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, has created the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute Rural Research Award Program (RRAP) to fund pilot/feasibility studies that focus on prostate, colon, breast, and/or lung cancer; cancer patient outcomes; cancer screening and prevention; and/or cancer health disparities. To learn more, please visit the RRAP page.