2022 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY


Speaker Bios

Dr. Jeff Balkenbush

Dr. Jeff Balkenbush is a 2nd year resident with the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UAMS.  He received a BA in Biology from Oklahoma State University and attend medical school at American University of Antiqua. 

Kaci Boehmer, PharmD

Kaci Boehmer graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree in 2014. She then completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice residency and a PGY2 in Ambulatory Care and Academia. She is an Assistant Professor in the UAMS College of Pharmacy, practices in the UAMS Family Medical Center, and currently serves as the Residency Program Director for the UAMS COP PGY2 in ambulatory care.

Michael Cash, MHSA, FACMPE

Michael Cash is a Senior Medical Practice Consultant with State Volunteer Mutual Insurance.  He is from Hot Springs, AR and graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science degree and from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a master’s degree in Health Services Administration. He completed an Administrative Fellowship at Staten Island University Hospital. Prior to joining SVMIC in 2016, Michael worked for Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, AR as the Director of Clinic Operations. Michael also worked for an independent physician group, Medical Associates of NWA (MANA), and performed duties as an Analyst, Clinic Director, and Radiology Director. Michael is a Fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives and a Past President of the Arkansas Medical Group Management Association.

Dr. Michael Cassat

Dr. Michael Cassat attended UAMS for medical school and completed his Family Medicine residency at the Area Health Education Center in Fayetteville.  He is an Assistant Professor at UAMS and joined the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine in 2015.  Dr. Cassat has practiced in primary care as well as musculoskeletal medicine in Springdale, Eagle and Vail, Colorado and Little Rock.   

Dr. Ethan Chandler

Dr. Ethan Chandler is a is a third-year resident with the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UAMS.  He received a MS at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and an MBA from Texas Tech University.  He attended medical school at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Dr. Elton Cleveland

Dr. Elton Cleveland received a BS in animal nutrition from the University of Arkansas Fayetteville, a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Oklahoma State University and completed his Doctorate of Medicine and Family Medicine Residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  He was a chief resident and then became faculty at UAMS teaching both at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He has almost 30 years of academic experience, received numerous teaching awards with interest in adolescent risk activities and sports activities. He is board certified in Family Medicine and an AAFP Fellow.  He is an Associate Program Director at the Baptist Health UAMS Medical Education Program in North Little Rock.

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Kellie Cornelius, MAP, CPHIMS

Kellie Cornelius, MAP, CPHIMS, is supervisor of the Provider Relations Outreach Specialists for Medicaid Managed Care Services at the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care.  She has a Master of Applied Psychology degree as well as health information-technology certification as a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS™).  Ms. Cornelius has worked with the Arkansas Medicaid System for 25 years, and she currently assists Arkansas healthcare providers with Medicaid issues and guidelines, including those pertaining to the Patient-Centered Medical Home. 

Dosha Cummins, PharmD

Dr. Dosha Cummins graduated from Millsaps College with a BS in Biology and went on to receive a Doctor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Mississippi. She completed an ASHP Primary Care Pharmacy Practice residency at the University Medical Center and has been credentialed by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties as a Pharmacotherapy Specialist since 1999.  She currently serves as Chair of Basic Science for the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University.  She was previously a faculty member for the UAMS Northeast Medical Sciences Family Medicine Residency in Jonesboro.

Dr. Amanda Deel

Dr. Amanda Deel earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Arkansas State University and her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. She completed a graduate transitional internship at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Portsmouth, Va. and served as a medical officer in the U.S. Navy for five years following medical school achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  She then completed her family medicine residency at the UAMS Area Health Education Center-Northeast in Jonesboro. Upon completion of her residency, she worked as an assistant professor and assistant program director for the UAMS AHEC-NE Family Medicine Residency. She is now the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University, and practices family medicine and obstetrics at AR Care and St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro. She is board certified in Family Medicine and an AAFP Fellow. 

Dr. Angela Driskill

Dr. Angela Driskill is a graduate of University of Arkansas Medical Sciences College of Medicine and completed her Family Medicine Residency at UAMS Area Health Education Center in Pine Bluff where she was Chief Resident and where she became faculty following her training. She then worked in emergency medicine and in 2005 trained in Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine. She is medical director of the largest wound healing clinic in Arkansas at Baptist Health North Little Rock and teaches in the family medicine residency. She is a AAFP Fellow, board certified in Family Medicine and is also certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine in Underseas and Hyperbaric Medicine and is designated as a Physician Certified in Wound Healing..

Dr. Gina Drobena

Dr. Gina Drobena specializes in Clinical Pathology with subspecialty board certification in Transfusion Medicine. Previously she was the medical director of Transfusion Services at UAMS and at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Currently, Dr. Drobena is medical director of Apheresis. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and also works with the hospital’s Culinary Medicine initiative. She is a fellow of the College of American Pathologists, a member of the American Society for Apheresis, and a member of AABB where she serves on the patient blood management education committee.

Alyssa Frisby and Melissa Fenton will be assisting Dr. Drobena during her presentation.

Dr. Victoria Flynn

Dr. Victoria Flynn attended Westminster College and medical school at UAMS.  She completed her psychiatry residency at UAMS Department of Psychiatry, serving as a chief resident.  She is an Assistant Professor in the UAMS Department of Psychiatry, seeing patients in the Psychiatric Research Institute’s Walker Family Clinic as well as UAMS’s Student Wellness program.

Dr. Julea Garner

Dr. Julea Garner graduated from Arkansas College (Lyon) and the UAMS College of Medicine. She completed her Family Medicine Residency at Harrisburg Hospital (Pennsylvania) and served as Chief Resident. Dr. Garner completed a Primary Care Health Policy Fellowship with the U.S. Public Health Services and was the Assistant Director of Education for the American Academy of Family Physicians for several years. She then transitioned home to rural Arkansas working in solo private practice for more than 18 years. Dr. Garner joined UAMS and is currently the Program Director at the Baptist Health UAMS Medical Education Program in North Little Rock.  She is an AAFP Fellow and Board Certified in Family Medicine

Dr. Meghan Gibson

Dr. Meghan Gibson is a 2nd year resident with the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UAMS.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Northeastern State University and completed medical school at Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Smith. 

Dr. Jonathan Henderson

Dr. Jonathan Henderson obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at LSU and medical degree from LSU Medical Center in Shreveport.  He completed his internship and residency in Urology at LSUMC Hospital.  Dr. Henderson practiced in Alabama and Shreveport before joining Arkansas Urology.  He is certified by the American Board of Urology and is the current President of LUGPA, Large Urology Group Practice Association.

Dr. Shashank Kraleti

Dr. Shashank Kraleti joined the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine as an Assistant Professor after finishing his residency where he served as Chief Resident. He is the Residency Director for the UAMS Little Rock program.  Dr. Kraleti is a recipient of the STAR Professionalism Award, the AAFP Scholarship Award and holds the Jack W Kennedy Chair in the Department of Family Medicine. He is a physician informaticist and serves as the Medical Director for the Institute for Digital Health and Innovation at UAMS.  Dr. Kraleti is Board Certified in Family Medicine and an AAFP Fellow.

Dr. Adrienne Loftis

Dr. Adrienne Loftis, M.S. attended University of Oklahoma receiving a Bachelor of Science in Zoology with a minor in Chemistry. She obtained a Master of Science in Forensic Science from the University of Central Oklahoma before attending the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, where she received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.  She did an obstetrics and gynecology residency at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia. She is an Assistant Professor at NYIT in Jonesboro.  Loftis is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, American College of Osteopathic OB/GYNs, American College of OB/GYNs, National Medical Association, and the Arkansas Medical Society.

Dr. Russell Mayo

Dr. Russell Mayo attended the University of Arkansas at Monticello, UAMS for medical school  and completed his residency at AHEC South Arkansas in El Dorado.  He is the Residency Director at the UAMS Regional Program in Texarkana.  Dr. Mayo is board certified in Family Medicine and  Hospice & Palliative Medicine. 

Dr. Chad Rodgers

Dr. Chad Rodgers is Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care and a pediatrician at Little Rock Pediatric Clinic.  He attended Baylor University and then returned to the University of Arkansas for Medical Science for medical school.  He completed his pediatric residency at Arkansas Children’s Hospital where he served as Chief Resident.  He is board certified in pediatrics.

Dr. Reza Shahim

Dr. Reza Shahim received his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and acquired his neurological training at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Shortly after graduating from his residency program, he returned to Little Rock, joining Neurological Surgery Associates in 2001, where he continues to practice today.  He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery.

Jennifer Smith, JD

Jennifer Smith received her law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and a BSN at Arkansas State University. She is a partner with Wright, Lindsey & Jennings in Rogers specializing in healthcare law. Before joining the firm, Jennifer spent eight years as an attorney at the state’s only academic health sciences university. She is a member of the American Health Law Association, Arkansas Bar Association, and Emergency Nurses Association.

Dr. Ada Stewart

Dr. Ada D. Stewart is a family physician with Cooperative Health in Columbia, South Carolina, and is board chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians.  Stewart earned her Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. Realizing she wanted to have a more direct impact on patients’ lives and well-being, she returned to school, completing her medical degree at the Medical College of Ohio and her family medicine residency training at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, Stewart enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves where she continues to serve and has achieved the rank of Colonel. Dr. Stewart has also earned additional certification in HIV care from the American Academy of HIV Medicine and is certified as a hospice medical director by the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board. Stewart is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and holds the AAFP Degree of Fellow.

Dr. Samuel Taggart

Dr. Sam Taggart attended medical school and completed his Family Practice Residency at UAMS.  He retired in 2013 as the senior partner and founder of Family Practice Associates of Benton.  In 2015, he created the Arkansas Physician’s Oral History Project. As a part of this project, he went around the state interviewing country physicians to create a video record of their lives and the practice of medicine in rural Arkansas for the last 70 years. His most recent book, Country Doctors of Arkansas, is one of the products of that study that was released in June of 2021 and is published by the Arkansas Times. Dr. Taggart is presently working on a history of Family Medicine in Arkansas, For Every Family, A Family Doctor. To be published in 2022.  His other books, The Public’s Health: A narrative history of health and disease in Arkansas, With a Heavy Heart and We All Hear Voices are available at your local booksellers or online at Amazon.com

Dr. Puru Thapa

Dr. Puru Thapa is the medical director of the UAMS Student Wellness Program and former section chief and staff psychiatrist at the Arkansas State Hospital.  He attended graduate school at Lucknow University and the University of Washington.  He completed his Psychiatry residency and fellowship training at UAMS. 

Rachel Wallis, MPH

Rachel Wallis obtained a Master of Public Health from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She is the CEO of HealthStar Physicians of Hot Springs where she partners with the board of fourteen family practice physicians to lead a team of two-hundred and fifty staff through the day-to-day challenges and rewards of providing primary care in rural Arkansas. Rachel has spent the last fifteen years leading and managing change across independent provider clinics and large health systems.  She was a contractor for the CMS Innovation Center and led an Arkansas based Accountable Care Organization (ACO) for Aledade where she helped independent primary care providers navigate the landscape of shared-savings and shared-risk.

Dr. Brianne Wehner

Dr. Brianne Wehner attended Truman State University and received an Exercise Science, B.S., followed by a B.S. degree in Nursing from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She received her medical degree from A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she completed a scholar program with an emphasis in academic medicine. After graduating, she simultaneously completed two residencies in family medicine and neuromusculoskeletal medicine. Dr. Wehner is an Assistant Professor at NYIT teaching osteopathic manipulative medicine (O.M.M.).

Robert Wright, JD

Robert Wright graduated with a B.S. from the University of Central Arkansas and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. After completing graduate school, he spent almost fifteen years working in Illinois state government, primarily in human services, and then worked as Finance Director and City Manager of Texarkana, Arkansas, his hometown.  Mr. Wright is a graduate of the UALR Bowen School of Law and began practicing at Mitchell, Blackstock, Sneddon, Wright, Alagood & Hicks in April 2008. Prior to that, he worked at the firm as a Medicaid/Medicare Specialist and before that was the Chief Financial Officer for the Arkansas Medicaid program.

Dr. Ramon Ylanan

Dr. Ramon Ylanan completed his undergraduate education at the University of Virginia and obtained his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine.  He completed his residency with the Family and Community Medicine Residency at the University of Missouri-Columbia serving as chief resident, and his sports medicine fellowship at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Ramon Ylanan has over 14 years of sports medicine and SEC team physician experience.  He serves as the head primary care sports medicine physician for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks and as team physician for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. He is the Fellowship Program Director for the UAMS Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship.