LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is opening its first gap services office in Prescott to provide free health services, as well as access to food and clothing, for residents of southwest Arkansas.
UAMS is celebrating the new office, located at 117 E. Main St. in Prescott, with a grand opening, complete with tours of the facility and COVID-19 vaccinations, from 2 to 6 p.m. on May 27. The public is invited.
Berry Marks, a research assistant in the College of Medicine’s Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Division of Research and Evaluation, will direct the office and be its sole staff member.
“Being from southwest Arkansas, I am very passionate about the work we do here, and am very excited to be able to bring services to the area where I live and grew up,” he said.
Among the services that will be regularly available are preventive services for substance use disorder, rapid testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, general health screenings, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) digital health services, and access to food and clothing. Also, digital health services will be available to all individuals who lack access to a computer and need to participate in virtual visits with UAMS physicians.
Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, with walk-ins and appointments accepted. Division staff and partner organizations will provide testing and education services on general health topics monthly. The Arkansas Department of Health will provide COVID-19 vaccinations during the May 27 grand opening on a first-come, first-served basis.
Until now, Marks could only provide outreach help to residents through virtual classes, as there was no office location. The department assesses and develops ways to improve family and environmental factors that are linked with poor health, growth and psychosocial development of children and adults.
The department often partners with community agencies to help underserved and vulnerable populations, and in this case is being assisted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Arkansas Department of Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
For more information, the public is invited to email Berry Marks at [email protected] or call 501-414-7897.