Women's Health & Wellness Hero WINNER: Dr. Paul Wendel of UAMS

Women's Health & Wellness Hero WINNER: Dr. Paul Wendel of UAMS
Dr. Paul Wendel
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Paul Wendel once was one of a select few.

These days he’s trying to change the “few” part.

Wendel, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at UAMS, has dealt with some of the state’s most high-risk pregnancy cases.

By the Numbers
1 Million
Dollars raised in a patient-led campaign to endow a chair in Wendel’s name

Years UAMS students have voted Wendel the Red Sash award for teaching excellence

Years Wendel has been at UAMS

Until recently he was one of three such specialists in the state, but he has stepped back to serve more as a team leader and educator “so that such expertise isn’t so rare in Arkansas in the future.”

He believes a society’s treatment of women and children is an indicator of its advancement, so he sees collaboration between the hospitals where others might see competition.

“For myself personally and for UAMS, both goals fit with our mission,” said Wendel, who has started training staff at Baptist Medical Center. “We aim to provide the best care possible at UAMS, but also improve health care throughout the state of Arkansas.”

Wendel, a St. Louis native and graduate of the University of Missouri medical school, did a third-year rotation in OB-GYN and found delivering babies to be more challenging and fulfilling than other specialities he’d considered.

Wendel, 58, said he enjoys academic medicine at UAMS because the hospital is always conducting research into how to improve health outcomes for women and translate what is learned into real life practices.

Some of the challenges Wendel sees today are providing health care access to rural areas and battling obesity-related health problems. He embraces telemedicine and supports the use of devices that can be used to track the health of mothers and babies after they are discharged.

To help, a $1 million campaign spearheaded by about 1,500 patients, family members and colleagues endowed a chair at UAMS in Wendell’s name.

“How a society treats its women and children are a good indication of how advanced it is. We aim to give mothers and their children the best care possible, not only for the U.S. but for Arkansas as well.” —Dr. Paul Wendel

See more of this year's Health Care Heroes.