Oct. 26, 2017 — Jacquelyn Bailey of West Memphis has been awarded the Arkansas Mutual Medical Student Award, a scholarship for third-year medical students at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) who want to practice primary care in rural Arkansas.
Bailey, a first-generation college graduate, found her inspiration for primary care as she learned about her grandmother, Beatrice Henderson, who died when Bailey was barely a year old.
“My mother attributes much of my grandmother’s death to the notion that doctors did not provide quality medical care because she was African-American and uninsured,” she said. “However, this was not the only instance of lack of care that she received.”
Bailey keeps a medical record of her grandmother’s that shows she had three children, but also five stillbirths. “As I thought about the period in which she lived, my heart became heavy because I knew this was the fate of many black women like her,” she said.
“My grandmother’s life and death have been my inspiration and motivation to become a primary care physician,” she said. “Although racial discrimination was and continues to be a cause for health disparities, it is now compounded by the inability of many working Americans to afford health care.”
Bailey said that she intends to practice family medicine in West Memphis. With a background in epidemiology from the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, she intends to emphasize disease prevention programs to improve community health.
Corey Little, president of Arkansas Mutual Insurance Co., the only medical liability insurance provider headquartered in Arkansas, said the company is deeply committed to improving rural health care in the state.
“We are so pleased to offer this scholarship to such a deserving student as Jacquelyn Bailey,” Little said. “She will make a very fine physician and is clearly committed to improving the health of citizens in medically underserved areas.”