The following article was released by the Arkansas Department of Health’s Communications Office. For more information please contact Ed Barham at (501) 280-4147.

Dr. Michelle R. Smith has assumed the role of director of the Arkansas Department of Health’s (ADH) Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities.  Dr. Paul Halverson, director and state health officer, said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Dr. Smith to the ADH family.  She brings a great deal of expertise to public health in Arkansas.  Since 1999, she was the program coordinator for the HIV/AIDS program with Jefferson Comprehensive Care Systems in Pine Bluff and provided support services to women, youth, adolescents, infants and families infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.  She has also worked with the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, the Arkansas Minority HIV/AIDS Task Force and the National Minority AIDS Council.  She has extensive training and understanding of day-to-day program activities and grant reporting and coordination. Addressing health disparities in our state is one of our strategic priorities, and Dr. Smith will be vital to these initiatives.”

Smith is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, with a Ph.D. in Public Policy-Health Policy/Leadership.  She received a Master of Public Health degree from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a Bachelor of Science degree from Dillard University, both universities in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Smith was preceded in the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities director position by Christine Patterson, who retired.