UAMS Northwest programs focus on Marshallese

Posted: March 4, 2018 at 1 a.m.

File Photo/NWA Democrat-Gazette Sheldon Riklon, an associate professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest in Fayetteville, speaks to high school students and their parents at Springdale High School, encouraging the students to go into health care jobs. Riklon is one of only two Marshallese physicians in the world trained in the United States.

Health care providers have created several programs to take care of the people from the Marshall Islands who have moved to Northwest Arkansas. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest in Fayetteville estimates from 10,000 to 14,000 Marshallese live in the region.

Center for Pacific Islander Health

The Center for Pacific Islander Health is an early pioneer of research into and outcomes sharing about the Pacific Islander community, and is involved with other centers around the world, said Pearl McElfish, associate vice chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest. Last fall, center staff launched the Pacific Islander Health Research Network to disseminate results of studies and trials involving Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders to health care providers delivering care to those communities.

The Center and the Office of Community Health jointly hosted an international Pacific Islander health conference in Fayetteville in 2016, attended by more than 200 health care professionals, researchers, government officials and community leaders. In 2017, the center staff co-hosted the conference in Honolulu with the University of Hawaii.

“We’re quite excited to pass the conference management on to several of our collaborators who will be hosting it in the U.S. and the Pacific in coming years,” McElfish said.

Source: Staff report

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