LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has been awarded $5.5 million to fund training and outreach programs in rural and underserved areas.

The money was provided as a supplemental award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The supplemental funding brings UAMS’ fiscal-year HHS award to $6.6 million and raises the overall grant award to nearly $19.6 million over four years.

UAMS representatives said the money will be used for a range of projects, including renovation and expansion of training facilities throughout the state, and expansion of training targeting rural and underserved communities.

Marcia Byers, Ph.D., RN, senior director for the UAMS Regional Campuses, said the expansion of state-wide programs will help increase health care workforce diversity in Arkansas.

“We want to provide students from rural and underserved areas with opportunities that encourage them to pursue careers in primary care,” she said.

The Health Resources and Services Administration, an HHS agency, awarded the money under its Value-Based Medical Student Education Grant.