Our 2023 Friends of ACHI Appreciation Event was both a night to honor partners and supporters and a celebration of our 25-year history of serving as a catalyst to improve the health of all Arkansans.
The event, held Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the Clinton Presidential Center, included the presentation of a short film highlighting ACHI’s history and accomplishments, including our involvement in the creation of the Clean Indoor Air Act, the Arkansas Trauma System, the Arkansas Health Care Independence Program, and the Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act.
This year, in a break with the tradition of honoring one or two individuals with the Dr. Tom Bruce Arkansas Health Impact Award, the ACHI Health Policy Board chose to give special recognition to the workforce of the Arkansas Department of Health for outstanding impact on the health of Arkansans. Board Chair Dr. Andrew Kumpuris presented a plaque to state Secretary of Health Renee Mallory, RN, BSN, who accepted it on behalf of the department’s staff.
Also during the event, ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson announced that Antonije Lazic is the inaugural recipient of the G. Richard Smith, MD, ACHI Fellowship in Health Services and Policy Research. The one-year fellowship is named for ACHI’s founding director, a former dean of the UAMS College of Medicine and executive vice chancellor of UAMS. Smith, who also spoke at the event, is a member of the ACHI Health Policy Board.
Lazic is a Ph.D. candidate in the Health Systems and Services Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He will spend the fellowship working alongside ACHI analysts and health policy research professionals to transform data into practical information to have an impact on the health of Arkansans.