At the top of our Thursday show: hospitalizations from COVID-19 are declining in Arkansas, tourism revenue up so far in 2021, UAMS receives more federal grant money to help train and retain doctors in rural Arkansas.

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When a global pandemic was declared, Arkansas children and teens were forced to lock down, enduring social isolation, and in some cases economic distress, family sickness and death. And with the pandemic persisting due to masking and vaccine resistance, Arkansas youth continue to face certain obstacles, which may result in anxiety, depression or acting out.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is supporting a Community of Practice to explore methods to ease food insecurity in northwest Arkansas. Dr. Emily English, an assistant professor in the Office of Community Health and Research at UAMS Northwest, says the approach allows for consideration of multiple experiences and ideas.

At the top of our show today, virus deaths in Arkansas continue, Arkansas Children's and UAMS continue to study childhood obesity, and the 2021 Chile Pepper festival races now span two days.

Courtesy / UAMS

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences AR-Connect program is offering counseling to those displaced by Hurricane Ida. The virtal service, which began in 2020, provides telehealth options for people in Arkansas dealing with depression, anxiety, substance abuse or medication management. Services are free of charge and can be accessed 24-hours a day  through the AR-Connect call center at (501) 526-3563 or (800) 482-9921. 

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A new study from researchers at UAMS shines more light on the reasons some people don't get vaccinated.

courtesy / Michael Hibblen/KUAR

In July, the Arkansas Department of Health reported a rise in Breakthrough infections of COVID-19 - or positive cases of the virus in fully immunized people.

This week's Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Report includes a conversation with Dr. Cam Patterson, the chancellor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, about the growing strain on medical professionals and hospitals as acute cases of COVID-19 rise in Arkansas.

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Those who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 are at risk for developing what's referred to as "long covid," or Post-Acute COVID Syndrome, which can cause prolonged malaise, impaired heart function, and blood clotting disorders. Associate professor and UAMS pulmonologist, Dr. Nikhil Kumar Meena — who attends to critically ill COVID-19 patients — details the incidence, symptoms, and targeted treatment.  

Courtesy / Michael Hibblen

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences' latest model for Arkansas and COVID-19 is grim. Researchers say there is wide community spread and reasons for serious concern. Michael Hibblen with our partner station KUAR in Little Rock talked with one of the researchers, Dr. Ben Amick.