Ayoola Carleton is an associate director of research in the Office of Community Health and Research. She holds a master’s degree from Columbia University, New York, with a concentration in strategic planning and finance in international educational development. She has over 10 years project management experience leveraging strategic cross-sector partnerships and data to advance access to health and education for marginalized groups around the world. Before moving to northwest Arkansas, Ayoola worked at the Ford Foundation where she managed strategy development, impact assessments, research and special projects for the education grant-making portfolio. She has extensive multicultural field experience, from leading program evaluation team meetings in Bogotá, Colombia, to teaching and conducting research in a rural village in Namibia, Africa, through the Harvard-affiliate WorldTeach. In her current role, Ms. Carleton oversees the implementation of health research projects in Arkansas and the Marshall Islands. Ayoola’s professional goal is to increase access to preventative health care and evidenced based interventions to improve health outcomes and well-being for marginalized communities.
Betsy O’Connor has a Master of Arts in sociology and focused her master’s thesis on place-based perspectives on homelessness in northwest Arkansas and Birmingham, Alabama. She has managed and implemented large scale multi-national based projects to reduce diabetes in at-risk Pacific Islander populations for the CDC. She has experience in developing protocols and research designs for many health-related studies involving vulnerable communities including the homeless population and Marshallese communities in northwest Arkansas. She has strong project management experience in the management of research projects and quantitative and qualitative data analysis. As an associate director of research, she provides leadership and supervisory oversight for programs of the Office of Community Health and Research. She is responsible for strategic planning, directing, and oversight of community health programs as well as fiscal management and directing team members in projects.
Kelsey Bounds is an Assistant Director of Research. She has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and nutrition and holds over eight years of experience in research. Before joining UAMS Office of Community Health and Research Ms. Bounds began her career working in a laboratory creating protocols and performing experiments studying hypertension and preeclampsia in mice. She then lead large-scale CDC funded influenza studies as well as multiple other clinical trials studying GI disorders, infectious diseases, and COVID-19. She is currently managing two projects relating to diabetes and food insecurity both locally in northwest Arkansas as well as statewide in multiple UAMS clinic sites. She is also managing a comprehensive nutrition policy intervention project in rural schools across Arkansas. She has extensive experience supervising large teams of coordinators and staff and has successfully implemented multiple research projects. Through these experiences, Ms. Bounds continues to work toward her career goal to increase knowledge in all areas of health in order to improve quality of life for all.
Wana Bing has a bachelor’s degree in management from John Brown University and more than 15 years of community health and research experience. Prior to joining UAMS, she worked for the Arkansas Department of Health Joseph Bates Outreach Clinic. She is a native of the Marshall Islands and is fluent in Marshallese and English. During her tenure at UAMS, she has been responsible for managing research. She currently manages a team of community health workers, research staff, and contract translators. Ms. Bing has extensive research compliance experience and training in research procedures and ethics.
Tiffany Bogan is a community health research coordinator with UAMS. She acquired both a bachelor’s degree in environmental, soil and water science, and completed postgraduate studies in the College of Health Professions, at the University of Arkansas. Ms. Bogan’s passion for community engagement and stewardship has been the cornerstone to her accomplishments in clinical and research areas alike. UAMS has provided an inspiring avenue for Ms. Bogan to cultivate an environment of compassion and growth for her community, here in northwest Arkansas. Ms. Bogan looks forward to focusing on the development and implementation of community-based programs within the Office of Community Health and Research.
Janine Boyers is a project manager in the UAMS Office of Community Health and Research. She has a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology/Latin American Studies from the University of Arkansas and a Master of Arts in cultural anthropology and Spanish from New Mexico State University. Ms. Boyer is bilingual in English and Spanish. Prior to joining UAMS, Ms. Boyers worked as a bilingual research associate at the University of Arkansas’ Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health. She has experience in mixed-methods research, qualitative analysis, ethnography, and English-Spanish co-construction of survey items.
Andrew Brooks is an outreach specialist in the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. With over 12 years of accomplished experience contributing exceptional quantitative and qualitative results, Andrew demonstrates expertise in outreach activities with marked success in developing and cultivating pipelines, recruiting successfully, and maintaining excellent retention rates. Lastly, he considers himself lucky to support colleagues, research facilities, and staff on multiple studies across the state of Arkansas at various sites. Mr. Brooks’ career goals include developing and implementing sustainable programs to improve health outcomes for historically underrepresented populations in rural Arkansas.
Lucy Capelle is a research coordinator in the Office of Community Health and Research. She has a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies. Prior to joining the navigator team at UAMS, she worked with Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese as a program manager for five years, where she worked as a certified lifestyle coach for a diabetes prevention program, a data manager, a certified application counselor, an educator, and more. Ms. Capelle has experience in managing staff and working with stakeholders to discuss program status and objectives/goals.
Kejjo Clarence received an associate degree in education at the College of the Marshall Islands, and then completed a bachelor’s degree in education in Hawaii. He taught elementary school in Majuro, Marshall Islands, for 13 years until he moved to northwest Arkansas in 2013, where he works as a bilingual outreach coordinator at the Office of Community Health and Research. He has several years of experience in the recruitment, retention and facilitation of community-based outreach programs.
Ransen Hansen Jr., A.A., is a community bilingual outreach specialist for the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. He has an associate degree in liberal arts from the College of the Marshall Islands. Mr. Hansen was employed in the health sector for 10 years in the Republic of the Marshall Islands before moving to northwest Arkansas. Mr. Hansen has extensive knowledge of the Marshallese culture and language. When Mr. Hansen started with the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus he was working with family model diabetes self-management research teams to translate documents and input survey data. When COVID-19 hit during that time in northwest Arkansas, Mr. Hansen was willing to focus on working with contact tracing teams, translating COVID-19 educational materials, and serving as an interpreter for the Marshallese community at mobile vaccines sites and community-based vaccine events. In addition, Mr. Hansen helped administer National Institutes of Health RADx COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccine uptake research surveys at various testing and vaccine sites. Mr. Hansen’s career goals include assisting the Marshallese community in northwest Arkansas and the Republic of Marshall Islands on their road to a better state of health.
Winnie Milne is a bilingual outreach associate for the Office of Community Heath and Research. She is a National Registered Certified Medical Assistant, Certified PCA, Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Child care assistant, Certified Marshallese Interpreter and holds a Technical Certificate in Pre-Health Care Studies from Northwest Arkansas Community College. Upon completing all these certificates of proficiency, she decided to continue her education to obtain her nursing degree at North Arkansas College, where she was accepted for the fall 2021 nursing program. Prior to joining UAMS, she spent more than a decade working in the medical field in all kinds of different areas. Winnie also works PRN for Northwest Medical Center in Springdale as an ER tech where she also helps with translating for the Marshallese patients. She has extensive experience in all areas working with different specialty doctors. Winnie is wanting to continue on with her goals to help create a better and healthier future for our community.
Morda Netwon received her associate of arts through the University of Dubuque in Arizona. She was raised in the Marshall Islands and moved to Arkansas in 1997. She is fluent in Marshallese and English and has expertise in family support programs, vocational programs, and community living services. Morda is a bilingual outreach coordinator and also serves as a certified Community Health Worker and certified interpreter/ translator with the UAMS Office of Community Health and Research, she has been responsible for participant recruitment, retention and has taught health education courses, family involvement, and parenting education.
Marci Ouellette is a program coordinator for the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. Marci has a deep background working with operations and community development in northwest Arkansas. Additionally, she has extensive leadership training and is a well versed generalist. Prior to working at UAMS, she worked with the Walmart Foundation administering grants to Walmart associates who experienced an unforeseen hardship that caused financial distress. During her time at the foundation, she assisted in the software product redevelopment that positively impacted thousands of associates across the U.S. Marci contributed to the success of Walmart campaigns such as Fight Hunger, Spark Change and Children’s Miracle Network. Prior to her time with Walmart Foundation, she worked for and consulted with a myriad of non-profits and small businesses throughout northwest Arkansas to enhance their operations and community engagement. Marci has developed strong relationships with nonprofits throughout the region. It is Marci’s goal to be a positive impact on the community that she lives, works and plays in.
Morgan Pearce, M.P.H., began her career in research at UAMS in July 2021. She received her bachelor’s in nutrition, health and wellness from UCA in 2016, a master’s in sustainable and resilient food systems from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2019, and Master of Public Health from George Washington University in 2020. She has experience volunteering with various nonprofits, such as Heifer International and the Red Cross. She has also spent nearly five years working in direct patient care within an ICU/CCU and urgent care setting as a patient care technician. Since joining UAMS as a research coordinator, she has gained skills in ARC GIS Pro, as well as improved her utilization and knowledge of Microsoft 365 applications, including Microsoft Forms, Planner, and various others. Ms. Pearce hopes to continue her journey through research, aiming to become a project manager, and possible work as a contract manager for a WHO or UN project.
Sarah Pollack, B.S., is a project manager with the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. She has a bachelor’s in family and human services. Prior to joining UAMS, she worked with nonprofit organizations, leading fundraising efforts, writing and reporting on grants, managing events, and developing community partnerships. She has experience developing and leading projects that engage with diverse groups of stakeholders. She has experience leading people and processes to create positive change for the communities that are being served. She also has extensive experience in community outreach and relationship building. Ms. Pollack’s professional goal is to use her organizational and relationship building skills to lead projects that create sustainable community impact.
Likkien Ralpho is a bilingual outreach associate with the Office of Community Health and Research at UAMS. Before moving to northwest Arkansas from southern California, she worked closely for 10 years with the community, assisting any way she could, working mostly with the youth as a director of operations for the nonprofit Marshallese Youth of Orange County (MYOC) and as an activity coordinator for one of the local churches. Ms. Ralpho hopes to continue her passion in helping the community through projects and community-based programs.
Lynda Riklon was born in the Marshall Islands and was raised in Micronesia. She moved to northwest Arkansas to work with the Marshallese community in 2016. She speaks fluent English, Marshallese, and Kosraean and has been a certified medical interpreter/translator and certified community health worker for over 10 years. During her time in Hawaii, Ms. Riklon worked with the Micronesian Health Advisory Coalition assisting the Marshallese community with maternal and child health. She also assisted the Hawaii court systems, area hospitals/ clinics, and schools, with navigation and enrollment in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act and provided interpreting/translating at health fairs and insurance enrollment outreach events.
Leigh Anne Robinson
Leigh Anne Robinson is a research associate with the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of Arkansas and a certificate in health data analytics from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and has four years of health research-related experience. Before joining UAMS, Ms. Robinson gained research experience as a research assistant in the University of Arkansas’ Sexuality Education and Consent Studies Lab where she participated in survey instrument development, data collection, and coding qualitative data. She also has extensive experience in scheduling and event coordination. Ms. Robinson’s career goal and passion is to improve the lives of others by understanding and addressing the barriers causing health disparities.
Crystal Torres is a program coordinator in the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. Ms. Torres holds a master’s degree in sociology and is a medical interpreter/translator. Prior to joining UAMS, Ms. Torres worked as a bilingual research associate at the University of Arkansas Center for Sexual & Reproductive Health and as a language consultant for Indiana University. She has experience in mixed methods, qualitative analysis, and English-Spanish co-construction of survey items. Ms. Torres has 15 years of experience working in health care with an emphasis on serving the Hispanic/Latinx community. Ms. Torres’ professional goal is to improve healthcare access and reduce health disparities among residents of northwest Arkansas with an emphasis on the Hispanic/Latinx community.
Meet the Community Health and Research Staff
The leadership team manages research programs and administrative duties related to community health and research programs.Learn More
The administration team oversees day-to-day operations of office procedures, finances and grant-writing.Learn More
Our faculty and research teams are leading the way toward better health in Arkansas and beyond.Learn More
The community programs team works with community partners to improve access to resources, healthy foods, health care, and safe places for physical activity for all.Learn More
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our outreach team has worked to ensure that our communities continue to have access to their best health.Learn More
Diabetes Health Team
The diabetes and cardiometabolic team engages with the community to better understand and address significant health issues that exist.Learn More
Family Wellness Team
The family wellness team provides and connects individuals and families to health services available in the community.Learn More
Healthy Food Systems Team
The Healthy Food Systems team works with schools and community to ensure that everyone has access to healthy food.Learn More