Chatrathi Family Gift to Address Health Disparities in Northwest Arkansas
Oct. 5, 2017 | The Chatrathi family of Clarksville, Md., has made a $50,000 gift to establish the Chatrathi Endowment for Innovations in Community Health at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. The endowment will be used to support the Office of Community Health and Research at UAMS and to further its health disparities programs in northwest Arkansas.
Sridhar Chatrathi, M.D., earned his medical degree at UAMS and holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He is co-director of the cardiac catheterization lab at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Md. His wife, Prema Chatrathi, Pharm.D., is a clinical pharmacist at Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham, Md. Their three children – Harish, who graduated from Duke University in 2015, Meena, a student at Johns Hopkins University, and Samira a student at Cornell University – all have a shared interest in community health and public policy.
“I grew up in Fayetteville, and although it’s changed a lot since I was here, I wanted to express my deepest sense of gratitude to this community and the state of Arkansas as well as UAMS for my education,” Chatrathi said during a recent trip to the Northwest Regional Campus. “UAMS is like a spectacular buffet of cutting-edge community research that is recognized nationally, and there is amazing work happening here. We are so fortunate to have so much, and this endowment is a nice way to give back to the state and region that has meant so much to our family’s lives.”
Members of the Chatrathi family have been engaging in research and volunteer work in public and community health for many years. During the Fayetteville trip, they toured the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus, visiting the North Street Clinic to learn more about diabetes education and prevention within the local Marshallese community.
While meeting with the Community Health and Research team, the Chatrathi family learned about work being done to reduce sodium and sugar in school lunches, utilizing culturally competent approaches to education and treatment.
“Having the support of the Chatrathi family means so much to our entire team,” said Lisa Smith, director of administration and programs for the Office of Community Health and Research. “Our team is very passionate about the work we do and we are honored for the Chatrathi Family to not only see the results of our work, but to want to invest in it as well.”
The program’s research is largely funded by grants, and professional development and community outreach are not typically supported by research grants. The Chatrathi endowment provides greater flexibility, Smith said.
“Discretionary funds, like the endowment established by the Chatrathi family, allow our investigators flexibility to further develop their skills and explore partnership opportunities not previously available,” Smith said.
UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; northwest Arkansas regional campus; statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Myeloma Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,834 students, 822 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses throughout the state, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. V