UAMS on Thursday announced it has received a $1 million federal grant to widen the scope of its digital health education and training programs.
The money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will support interactive digital health training for health professionals and the general public, as well as virtual reality health training for first responders, UAMS said in a news release. The funds will also support paid summer internships for K-12 students, teachers, faculty and nursing students in the Delta area.
An additional $15,000 was awarded by AT&T to fund Delta-area school field trips and a training opportunity for underserved students at digital health resource centers in Lake Village, Pine Bluff and Helena-West Helena.
The broader initiative is joint effort between UAMS, Jefferson Regional Medical Center and the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership. It aims to help 160 local businesses, provide training for 800 Arkansans, create up to 18 jobs and save seven jobs through grant funding support.
“The Delta remains underserved in terms of health care access,” Melony Stokes, senior director of programs for the UAMS Institute for Digital Health & Innovation, said in the release. “My overall goal is to educate as many community members, patients, providers and students on the advantages of digital health and how it can be utilized in health care.”
Training topics include the benefits of digital health and potential career opportunities as medical or technology professionals. Students have the opportunity for hands-on demonstrations with digital health devices such as blood pressure monitors, EKGs, stethoscopes and otoscopes.
The VR training is specific to first responders and will expand on instruction offered by the UAMS Centers on Aging. The program focuses on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It seeks to help police, firefighters, medics and more conduct search-and-rescue operations for those living with dementia.