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Increasing primary care providers, improving services for the River Valley's unhoused population


UAMS to bring more primary care physicians to Arkansas

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will use $17.6 million from a federal grant to further its goal of placing more primary care physicians in the state.  The grant will allow UAMS to increase recruitment programs, offer scholarships for medical students interested in primary care specialties, and establish a faculty mentorship program.  A recent study by the American Medical Colleges placed Arkansas at number 13 when it comes to having a need for more primary care physicians.

Arkansas River Valley Area Council receives millions to better serve unhoused population

Millions of dollars in grant money are being directed toward an Arkansas nonprofit’s mission of better serving people experiencing homelessness in the state. The $1.25 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund will go to the Arkansas River Valley Area Council based in Russellville. CEO Stephanie Garner said the award comes as they grapple with a lack of grant funding in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We had historically received approximately $400,000 for shelter operation that diminished to $65,000," Garner said. "And so we were like, Okay, we can't accept- we're gonna have to start a waiting list. No, we're not going to be able to operate at the capacity we did prior."

Garner said the grant will help them focus on wrap-around services to address barriers to stable housing.

She said case managers will help with things like securing a driver’s license, finding new clothing and helping to pay rent with housing subsidies. 

"We have a lot of homeless individuals who come, and maybe they set up for housing," she said. "It could be even through the housing authority, but they all are passing by the bill. That bill could be $300, but they cannot move in. If they can't reconnect utilities, they can't move in if they don't have a security deposit and first month's rent, so we'll be helping them overcome those things."

The grant is part of $600 million to organizations serving people experiencing homelessness in 48 states. The River Valley Area Council serves a nine-county area stretching from Morrilton to Mena in western Arkansas. 

John Brown University falls in Sweet 16

Eighteen victories is the final count for the John Brown University women’s soccer team for 2023 after a loss in yesterday’s NAIA Sweet 16 match. JBU lost to Aquinas 2-1 to finish the season with an 18-3-1 record.

Tatsuya Nakatani returns to Fayetteville

16 local musicians will be on stage with percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani Saturday night at Likewise in downtown Fayetteville. Nakatani is bringing his Gong Orchestra back to northwest Arkansas and is recruiting more than a dozen locals to be part of his ensemble for one night only. He’s performed hundreds of concerts around the world, including a previous trip to northwest Arkansas in 2021. In advance of that concert, he told us his concerts are immersive experiences, an avant-garde but structured performance of vibration and surprise, and a disciplined approach to sound and silence.

"So that kind of composition or maybe the way of fluctuating or spontaneous composed by improvising— I use a lot," Nakatani said. "So I think you feel silence in between and also behind the sound."

That was Tatsuya Nakatani talking with us in September 2021. He’ll perform with 16 local musicians as part of his Gong Orchestra Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Likewise. More information at their website.

Bentonville provides fall leaf collection services

Bentonville residents will have 12 days to have the city collect bagged leaves.  The annual leaf collection in the city runs from Dec. 4, that’s Monday, through Dec.15.  Residents can call or email to make an appointment, but the leaves have to be bagged and ready for pick up.  You can make the appointment by sending an email to fallleafcollection@bentonville.ar or by calling 254-2059.

The Budweiser Clydesdales make a trip to NWA

Eight Clydesdale horses will trot into Fayetteville Friday. The Budweiser Clydesdales will be on the University of Arkansas campus, hitched to that iconic turn-of-the-century beer wagon from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Friday afternoon for photo opportunities at the Baum-Walker Stadium East parking lot. It’s free to look at the horses and free to have your picture taken with them.

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Kyle Kellams is KUAF's news director and host of Ozarks at Large.
Matthew Moore is senior producer for Ozarks at Large.
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