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Continuing our series on health care heroes, today, we’re talking about Dr. Fred T. Jones, a pioneer in providing insurance and medical care to the Black community in Arkansas and Louisiana. He was born on September 8, 1877, in Homer, Louisiana. His creation of the “hospital plan” and his dedication to providing medical care to Black citizens in Little Rock, despite threats of violence, prove his highly regarded status as a health care hero in Arkansas.

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In honor of Black History Month, AFMC is looking at some of Arkansas’ Black health care leaders. Today, we’re talking about Napoleon Bonaparte Houser, one of the most prominent Black physicians in the Delta region. His legacy, which started in the early 1900s, involved practicing medicine in the rural town of Helena, Arkansas, where he later opened up a drug store and supported local non-profits. Napoleon Houser fathered a legacy of providing health care services to the Black community, and his efforts paved the way for many Black-led organizations in the Delta region.

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Knowing the Difference Can Save a Life

One of the recent episodes of AFMC TV covers the basics of heart disease. Today’s blog dives deeper and focuses on women’s cardiovascular health. In honor of national heart month, we’re looking at the differences in cardiovascular disease (the number one killer of women) and some resources providers can use to educate their patients and get involved.

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Annual Wellness Visits (AWVs) were created in 2011 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a way for providers to focus on preventive care for patients. While these services are free to Medicaid beneficiaries, some patients may feel that AWVs are a waste of time. However, if done correctly, these visits can create valuable relationships between providers and patients, build trust, and lay out a roadmap for future screenings and referrals. Michael Cash, Senior Medical Practice Consultant with SVMIC, met with me to discuss more benefits, challenges, and important keys to successfully implementing AWVs into practice.

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One of AFMC’s recent blog posts, “Relying on A.I. Applications in the Medical Community,” discusses some of the main uses of artificial intelligence in medicine. While A.I. is pivotal to innovation, efficiency, and practice in the health care industry, the focus must remain on the patient, not the provider. Patients have begun taking charge of their health care decisions. While ease of access to health care is still a barrier for patients in rural areas, technological advancements have helped bridge that gap. Patients now have more control over their health care journey than before. Thus, it’s important that providers stay on top of recent trends in health care technology to remain ahead of the game.

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Reproductive health is often separated from primary care. Most people visit stand-alone clinics to meet their reproductive health needs. When Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, an access crisis was created. Abortion services are now entirely unavailable in 14 states, eliminating access not only to abortion services but also to other services that these clinics used to provide: cancer screenings, maternity care, and childcare. Though some clinics still offer reproductive health services, an influx of persons from other states where clinics closed down has caused extended wait times and staff shortages. Perhaps the first step toward widespread access to quality reproductive health care would be through its integration into primary care settings.

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See our latest articles in the Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society.

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