HJAR Mar/Apr 2020

HEALTHCARE JOURNAL OF ARKANSAS I  MAR / APR 2020 27 For weekly eNews updates and to read the journal online, visit HealthcareJournalAR.com car accident or crime. Understanding more about these differences could lead us to more tools for treating them.” Also assisting with the project was Richard R. Owen, MD, a professor at UAMS and associate chief of staff for research at CAVHS and other members of the UAMS Division of Endocrinol- ogy and Metabolism. NYITCOMAdds Jennifer Conner to Faculty New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine-Arkansas has added Jen- nifer Conner, DrPH, MPH, MAP, as an associate professor of clinical medicine. Conner, who is a translation scientist in public health, is the new- est member of NYITCOM’s faculty and will assist with the development of the Delta Population Health Institute (DPHI). In addition to her role with the DPHI, Conner will also teach courses in NYIT- COM’s Master of Public Health program and will be actively involved in the First District Congres- sional Health Policy Fellowship. A native of the Arkansas Delta, Conner grew up in Lake Village and has spent most of her career serving rural communities across the southern United States. Conner earned a Mas- ter of Applied Psychology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a Master of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Public Health, and a Doctorate of Pub- lic Health in Leadership from the UAMS COPH. “Dr. Conner has extensive experience in behav- ioral research, clinical health services research, grant administration, community-based public health programming, and policy evaluation, all of which make her an extremely valuable addition to our faculty,” said Brookshield Laurent, DO, chair of clinical medicine and executive director of the Delta Population Health Institute. “We are thrilled to add Dr. Conner to our team.” Throughout her career, Conner has brought together academic institutions, hospitals, schools, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, municipalities, and nonprofits to investigate and evaluate a broad range of health topics, including childhood obesity, respiratory illness, traumatic brain injury, cancer, and birth defects. She has also examined healthcare system topics such as access to quality care, safety net benefits, and incentive-based insurance. Prior to joining NYITCOM, Conner held posi- tions as a health policy specialist for the Arkan- sas Surgeon General at the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement and as an assistant profes- sor at the University of Texas School of Public Health. She also served as a program specialist for the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care to investigate health disparities and evaluate dis- ease prevention and health promotion strategies across the state and continued those efforts with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service as part of a Centers for Disease Preven- tion and Promotion study. Mercy NWAAdds Neurosurgical Team to Specialties Mercy has welcomed a new neurosurgical team that can treat patients with serious neurological illnesses and injuries who formerly had to be sent elsewhere for treatment. Dr. Alejandro Castellvi and nurse practitioner Paula Stephens join Mercy Clinic Neurosurgery – Physicians Plaza, treating patients in the clinic and hospital setting and performing neurosurgery at Mercy Hospital. Castellvi said it makes a big difference for patients to be able to stay in the community for treatment because of the need for follow-up and continuity of care. “Keeping patients in the community is benefi- cial for patients and their families,” he said. “I’m excited to be able to offer a higher level of care that hasn’t been available in this community for several years.” Stephens concurred that keeping patients in the community can improve outcomes and makes treatment easier for both the patient and their loved ones. Castellvi earned a medical degree from St. Mat- thew’s University School of Medicine in Grand Cayman, British West Indies. He completed a res- idency in neurosurgery and a fellowship in com- plex spine surgery at Allegheny General Hospi- tal in Pittsburgh. Stephens has worked in neurosurgical medi- cine since 2009. She earned a Bachelor of Sci- ence in Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Gerontology from the University of Arkansas. She is board-certified as an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. She also has expe- rience in trauma and intensive care. Dr. Richard G. Pellegrino Joins the CHI St. Vincent Neurology Clinic in Hot Springs Dr. Richard G. Pellegrino has joined the team of neurologists at the CHI St. Vincent Neurology Clinic in Hot Springs. Pellegrino is now seeing patients at the clinic located at 1 Mercy Lane, Suite 505. “We’re honored to have Dr. Pellegrino add his extensive expertise in the field of neurology to our team at CHI St. Vincent in Hot Springs,” said CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs President Dr. Doug Ross. “His commitment to clinical research and leadership in the field will help us continually improve and expand our care for patients with diseases of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves and muscles.” Pellegrino’s 30 years of experience in the field of neurology includes founding the Baptist Paula Stephens, NP Alejandro Castellvi, MD