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Pearl McElfish, Ph.D., MBA, Named Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement at UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute



McElfish’s position will involve creating a state-wide community network to support rural and minority communities for cancer prevention, education, navigation to treatment and survivorship.

She previously was vice chancellor for the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus in Fayetteville.

“Community outreach and engagement is a critical component of the Cancer Institute’s mission, particularly as we work toward achieving National Cancer Institute Designation. Dr. McElfish has a proven record of working in Arkansas communities and producing significant research findings. We are fortunate to have her bring this expertise to the Cancer Institute,” said Michael Birrer, M.D., Ph.D., UAMS vice chancellor and Cancer Institute director.

McElfish is the founder of the Office of Community Health and Research and the Center for Pacific Islander Health at UAMS. She has been awarded more than $130 million in federal and private foundation grants for investment in community health in Northwest Arkansas and published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles.

Her research focuses on reducing health disparities among rural and minority communities. She also conducts methodological research related to the conducting community-based participatory research and dissemination of findings to community stakeholders.

She has a history of funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and other private foundations.

McElfish holds a Ph.D. in public policy, a master’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in community and economic development. She is a certified Project Management Professional and a Certified Community Developer and has more than 25 years of experience working in health care administration and community health.