The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences recently announced it's more than halfway to its $30 million goal to fund research expansion and growth as its Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute works toward National Cancer Institute designation.
The designation unlocks access to significant federal research funding, treatments and clinical trials, plus an estimated $72 million economic impact on Arkansas and 1,500 new jobs over five years.
The U.S. currently has 71 NCI-designated centers, with the closest to Arkansas being in Memphis (solely for pediatrics), then Dallas and Oklahoma City.
In more WRCI news, the institute is also joining forces with the Children’s Tumor Foundation on a new clinic for adults with neurofibromatosis, the first of its kind in the region. CTF is the leading non-governmental organization dedicated to funding neurofibromatosis research.
► Barbara McCrory of the Centers for Youth & Families took home the title of Nonprofit CFO of the Year at the Arkansas Business 2021 CFO of the Year Awards.
• Just Communities of Arkansas recently held its 57th annual Humanitarian Award Celebration honoring Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash and presented its newly created Good Trouble Award to social justice leader Dawn Jeffrey.
• The Arkansas Women's Hall of Fame set a date for April 20, 2022, after postponing the event from 2020. Organizers are also adding two inductees to the previously announced class: Sissy Jones and the Junior League of Little Rock.
► The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts added four new members to its board of trustees: Mike Marquez, Odell Nickelberry, Rebecca Smith and Mary Olive Stephens.
► The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas brought on Alex Hudson as special events manager.
► UAMS has selected Laura B. Dunn, M.D., as the next chair of the Department of Psychiatry and director of the Psychiatric Research Institute.
► City Year Little Rock named Jennifer Cobb as its new executive director.
TAKE A LOOK, IT'S IN A BOOK
Arkansas kids now have more firepower in their corner when it comes to literacy.
The Arkansas Humanities Council awarded a $24,000 grant to the Arkansas Imagination Library, a state-wide partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which provides age-appropriate books to kids for free – one book per month until their fifth birthday. The grant will help promote parental involvement, literacy and education for young children.
In terms of financial literacy, a $10,000 grant from the 100 Black Men of Greater Little Rock will help a group of Capital City Lighthouse Elementary Academy fifth-graders develop crucial social and educational skills. They are part of a new AI-based program for Life Hub Jobs, an online financial literacy, entrepreneurship and career development platform for kids.
Ending the Year on a Good Note
According to a November 2020 report by WalletHub, Arkansas ranks 16th in terms of charitable giving, focusing on percentage of income donated to charity. Keep giving, y'all.