On Sept. 25, more than 250 people came to the second annual Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Resilience Summit at Camp Aldersgate in Little Rock. This year’s ACEs summit was themed “Every Child, in Every Community” and featured local and national experts in several fields. Dr. Howard Pinderhughes of the University of California, San Francisco, spoke about poverty and racism and their effects on children’s minds. Dr. Renee Boynton Jarrett of Boston University touched on the importance of collaboration and sharing data to make efforts to mitigate ACEs more efficient. ACEs can severely impact a child’s life well into adulthood, and the ACEs Summit works to equip professionals to help children avoid ACEs and develop resilience.

AFMC has received a grant of nearly $2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration. The five-year project, “Primary Care Training and Enhancement: Training Primary Care Champions,” will train at least 20 health care professionals in leadership, team-based health care, value-based practice transformation and expanded use of trauma-informed care.

AFMC has partnered with the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Smith and ARcare, a federally qualified health center. They will work to strengthen the primary-care workforce and health care in medically underserved or rural communities.

AFMC President and CEO Ray Hanley says, “Training doctors to be more effective in treating adverse childhood experiences trauma and developing community-based health care teams can make a difference in the health of rural Arkansans over the long term.”

At the request of Arkansas Medicaid, AFMC’s Service Center recently expanded its hours to 14 hours per day, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. Expanded hours will make it easier for Medicaid beneficiaries to get information about Arkansas Works requirements, Medicaid and ConnectCare. Last week, the Service Center logged 7,725 calls – about half were regarding Arkansas Works. Calls about ConnectCare totaled 3,288, plus 197 calls related to ConnectCare dental services. In addition to inbound calls, Arkansas Works education specialists have made outbound calls to all enrollees. The toll-free inbound phone number is 1-800-275-1131; TDD users call: 1-800-285-1131.

AFMC was awarded a contract from the Arkansas Department of Health to address antibiotic resistance through improved antimicrobial stewardship. The work focuses on reducing antibiotic overuse and health care-associated infections through the implementation of a statewide pharmacist-led collaborative. The antimicrobial stewardship collaborative will empower pharmacists, hospitals and nursing homes to incorporate stewardship best practices at their facilities. AFMC will compile a toolkit of best practices and create a web page to house and organize the toolkit. AFMC will also develop two statewide stakeholder meetings to provide stewardship education and resources.