Courtesy / Northwest Technical Institute

Northwest Technical Institute has established a nonprofit foundation to help support the construction of a new medical building. The $10,000 million, 55,000-square-foot building will allow NWTI to educate more students who can fill vaccant positions in the region's healthcare industry.

Jennifer Steel's oldest son is transgender. She says the last couple of months have left her family hurt, sad, angry, disgusted and confused as the Arkansas legislature has passed several laws trans advocates say unfairly target the trans community. But Steel says, she still has hope and there are ways Arkansans can step up to show trans children they have their support.

A new law will require Arkansas insurance companies to cover diagnostic breast cancer exams just like they cover screening mammograms. Advocates say many women skip important follow-up exams because they cannot afford them.

Courtesy / Arkansas General Assembly

By a simple majority, Republican members of the Arkansas House and Senate voted Tuesday to overturn a veto issued the previous day by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson of a bill banning gender-affirming medical care for trans youth. The governor said the law is extreme and places children at risk. Arkansas is now the first state in the nation to enact such a ban.

Courtesy / YOUTUBE


Since Gov. Asa Hutchinson's briefing Monday afternoon, Arkansas lawmakers have overturned his veto of the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act, which bans gender-affirming medical care to transgender minors. During the media conference, Hutchinson said the bill is "extreme" and an overreach of government.



Lawmakers voted unanimously this legislative session to pass an act that creates the Alzheimer's and Dementia Advisory Council, which will be charged with overseeing an Alzheimer's and Dementia Disease Plan. David Cook with the Arkansas chapter of the Alzheimer's Association says the state has to address the growing number of people and families dealing with the disease.

Courtesy / Evelyn Rios Stafford

Evelyn Rios Stafford, who is a Washington County Justice of the Peace and the first openly transgender elected official in Arkansas, met with Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday after the state legislature passed the SAFE Act, or House Bill 1570, the day before. The bill would ban minors from receiving gender-affirming healthcare and penalize doctors who attempt to provide it. The governor has not yet signed or vetoed the bill.

A proposed measure to ban transgender minors in Arkansas from receiving gender-affirming health care, and penalizing medical providers who attempt to deliver it, was approved Monday by the state legislature. The bill now sits on Governor Asa Hutchinson's desk awaiting his signature. Northwest Arkansas family practice physician Dr. Stephanie Ho, who treats transgender youth, says if enacted, the law will cause harm. 

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The Medical Ethics and Diversity Act sponsored by state Sen. Kim Hammer, R-Benton, enables health care institutions and medical providers to refuse to give care to a patient, even when medically necessary, for moral or religious reasons – except in an emergency. Dr. Joe Thompson, CEO and President of Arkansas Center for Health Improvement in Little Rock, says the new law is extremely broad and has the potential to cause harm.

Courtesy / UAMS Northwest

Britni Ayers, an assistant professor in the College of Medicine at UAMS Northwest uses a community-engaged approach, working with UAMS Marshallese health care staff, to research Marshallese prenatal health, birthing, breastfeeding and infant feeding practices. She is creating a novel "centering" pregnancy pilot program to help resolve chronic maternal health disparities experienced by Marshallese women.