For Immediate Release

April 12, 2022


John Lyon
Strategic Communications Manager


One-Year Fellowship Honors Founding Director of ACHI

LITTLE ROCK ― The Arkansas Center for Health Improvement is accepting applications for the inaugural G. Richard Smith, MD, Fellowship in Health Services and Policy Research.

The one-year fellowship, which ACHI first announced in November, is named in honor of Smith, who was the founding director of ACHI and currently serves on the ACHI Health Policy Board. The fellowship will support health services and policy researchers, providing opportunities to work with novel and comprehensive health care data with guidance and mentorship from a diverse team of researchers and health policy leaders.

“We are proud to offer this fellowship in honor of Dr. Smith, whose contributions to the health of Arkansans are countless and without whom ACHI would not be here,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “This will be an excellent opportunity for an early-career health services research professional to gain access to years of seminal research and policy data and work under the guidance of a diverse team of nationally recognized researchers and health policy leaders.”

The fellowship is available to either post-doctoral graduates or Ph.D. candidates at the dissertation stage of program completion. The ideal recipient will be an early-career health services research professional with research design and statistical analytic skills. The fellowship will be pursued on-site at ACHI in Little Rock and will consist of experiential learning, work on ACHI-specific projects, and pursuit of an independent, year-long project that aligns with ACHI’s paths of research inquiry. The fellow will commit to submitting at least one project manuscript for peer review during the tenure of the fellowship.

To apply, visit Applications will be accepted through May 15.

Each submission must contain:

  • A personal statement.
  • The applicant’s curriculum vitae.
  • A 1,000-word description of the proposed project.
  • Two letters of recommendation from instructors or supervisors with knowledge of the applicant’s background and training.

Questions may be emailed to

Smith, a former dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and executive vice chancellor of UAMS, retired last year as director of the UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute. He was instrumental in securing tobacco settlement funding to help launch ACHI in 1998 as well as serving as the center’s first director.

ACHI is a nonpartisan, independent health policy center that serves as a catalyst for improving the health of all Arkansans through evidence-based research, public issue advocacy, and collaborative program development. The ACHI Health Policy Board, consisting of 21 voting members and two ex-officio members, is an independent, self-perpetuating board that guides ACHI’s involvement in and positions on specific policy matters.