College of Education and Health Professions Embarks on WE CARE-A-VAN Tour Across Arkansas

The College of Education and Health Professions WE CARE-A-VAN team visited Arkansas Children's, where they were treated to a tour that included the hospital's Angel One transport helicopter.
Courtesy of Arkansas Children's

The College of Education and Health Professions WE CARE-A-VAN team visited Arkansas Children's, where they were treated to a tour that included the hospital's Angel One transport helicopter.

The College of Education and Health Professions embarked on its inaugural WE CARE-A-VAN tour last week, enjoying a royal Razorback sendoff.

Big Red was there to cheer the travel team on, and the Razorbug escorted the caravan off campus on Thursday, Sept. 28. Dean Kate Mamiseishvili and 16 faculty and staff members set off on the maiden voyage in four vehicles adorned with WE CARE-A-VAN signage.

The tour's name is a play on words based on the college's WE CARE strategic plan. The two-day adventure included stops in Morrilton, Pine Bluff, Little Rock and Jacksonville. In Morrilton, the college's development team hosted an alumni meetup, while the dean and her leadership team met with the vice chancellor for academic affairs, Richard Counts, and other officials at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton.

On Thursday evening, the college hosted a reception at the Pine Bluff Country Club to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Arkansas Teacher Corps. The Arkansas Teacher Corps is a partnership between the college, the Walton Family Foundation and the Arkansas Department of Education. The ATC recruits, trains and supports Arkansans of all backgrounds and majors to become empowered teachers. A large crowd convened at the Pine Bluff Country Club to celebrate ATC, including directors past and present, alumni and its energetic staff. Other guests included Dean Kimberley Davis and faculty from the School of Education at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; leaders, parents and students from the Ivy Center for Education; and Sarah Moore, an alumna and chair of the Arkansas State Board of Education. The college was also honored that U of A Trustee Col. Nate Todd, who lives in Pine Bluff, attended the event.

On Friday, Sept. 29, the WE CARE-A-VAN team split into groups that traveled to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, one of the college's outreach programs; Partners for Inclusive Communities and Jacksonville Lighthouse Elementary School, led by co-education directors John Osborn and Anita Hart McNair, who are IMPACT Arkansas Principal Fellowship alums. IMPACT is the college's innovative leadership preparation program that supports K-12 education in the state by building leadership capacity in high-needs schools.

The entire WE CARE-A-VAN team reunited at Arkansas Children's for a tour led by Dr. Ashlie Hilbun, an alumna from the college and senior vice president and chief strategy officer at the hospital. Several College of Education and Health Professions nursing students took a break from their clinical learning experiences to stop by and say hello before the group departed for a behind-the-scenes look at the hospital, including an educational space for its young patients and the helipad for the hospital's transport helicopter, Angel One. Arkansas Children's owns and operates five ground ambulances and two twin-engine helicopters, which transport about six patients a day. The team also enjoyed meeting Lucy, a standard poodle who's part of the hospital's T.A.I.L.S. (Therapeutic Animal Interventions Lift Spirits) Program.

"Our first WE CARE-A-VAN tour could not have gone any better," said Dean Kate Mamiseishvili. "Our alumni and partners generously shared their time and explored future collaborative opportunities with us. From witnessing scholar-led conferences at Jacksonville Lighthouse Elementary School to viewing the Angel One helicopter at Arkansas Children's Hospital, we have also created long-lasting memories. We are now more determined than ever to strengthen relationships and care for communities across Arkansas."

WE CARE-A-VAN tours provide an opportunity to hear from a wide range of constituents from various communities. The college plans to visit schools, clinics, alumni and other stakeholders across the state several times a year.

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