Arkansas Children’s, UAMS Celebrate Three Honorees at Investiture Ceremony (2024)

LITTLE ROCK, AR. (April 25, 2024) – Arkansas Children’s and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences celebrated the investiture of three distinguished clinicians in a ceremony at CALS Ron Robinson Theater on April 24. The event marked the recognition and appointment of Raghu Ramakrishnaiah, M.D., FRCR; Jason Williams, Psy.D., M.S. Ed.; and V. Erin Willis, M.D., as recipients and stewards of prestigious endowed chairs.

Dr. Ramakrishnaiah is the recipient and steward of the Lee Roy and Melba T. Beasley Endowed Chair in Pediatric Radiology; Dr. Williams is the recipient and steward of the Belinda H. and Robert L. Shults Endowed Chair in Child Behavioral Health; and Dr. Willis is the recipient and steward of the John H. Bornhofen, M.D. Endowed Chair in Child Neurology.

“These leaders are remarkable individuals who are dedicated to delivering a healthier tomorrow for the children of Arkansas and the region,” said Marcy Doderer, FACHE, president and CEO of Arkansas Children’s. “Dr. Ramakrishnaiah, Dr. Williams and Dr. Willis are crafting a legacy of safety, teamwork, compassion and excellence. I’m extremely proud to recognize all three chairholders in front of their family, peers and generous supporters.”

The establishment of endowed chairs at Arkansas Children’s and UAMS allows for the recruitment of top medical leaders, ensuring the provision of the highest-quality care for patients. Those appointed to these prestigious positions are recognized as some of the most venerated scientists, practitioners and professors in their respective fields.

“It is an honor to celebrate the exceptional talents and contributions of these clinicians,” said Steven Webber, M.D., UAMS executive vice chancellor and dean of the UAMS College of Medicine. “They represent the pinnacle of academic achievement. I’m inspired by their unwavering commitment to patient care and look forward to supporting their continued impact in pediatric care.”

Dr. Ramakrishnaiah is the pediatric radiology fellowship director at Arkansas Children's and a UAMS professor. Triple board-certified in neuroradiology, pediatric radiology and diagnostic radiology, Dr. Ramakrishnaiah actively contributes to various professional organizations, including the American Society of Pediatric Neuroradiology and the Society for Pediatric Radiology. His contributions extend to editorial work, where he serves as a reviewer and moderator for esteemed medical journals and conferences, providing critical feedback and shaping the discourse in pediatric radiology. Dr. Williams came to Arkansas Children’s in 2023 as senior vice president and chief mental and behavioral health officer at Arkansas Children’s and professor and director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UAMS. He brings extensive expertise in psychiatry and psychology and a distinguished leadership record at local, regional and national levels. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Excellence in Supervision award from psychology trainees at Children’s Hospital Colorado and multiple Presidential Citations from the Colorado Psychological Association.

Dr. Willis is a fellowship-trained pediatric neurologist at Arkansas Children’s. She serves as an associate professor of pediatrics and as chief of pediatric neurology at UAMS. She is also the current Department of Medicine chief for Arkansas Children’s. Board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with special qualifications in both child neurology as well as epilepsy, Dr. Willis is also boarded as a diplomate with the American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology. Her clinical and research interests encompass epilepsy and pediatric demyelinating disorders.


Arkansas Children's is the only health care system in the state solely dedicated to caring for Arkansas' more than 700,000 children. The private, non-profit organization includes two pediatric hospitals, a pediatric research institute and USDA nutrition center, a philanthropic foundation, a nursery alliance, statewide clinics, and many education and outreach programs — all focused on fulfilling a promise to define and deliver unprecedented child health. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) is a 336-bed, Magnet-recognized facility in Little Rock operating the state’s only Level I pediatric trauma center; the state's only burn center; the state's only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit; the state's only pediatric intensive care unit; the state’s only pediatric surgery program with Level 1 verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS); and the state's only nationally recognized pediatric transport program. Arkansas Children’s is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in seven pediatric subspecialties (2023—2024): Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Nephrology, Orthopedics, Pulmonology & Lung Surgery and Urology. Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW), the first and only pediatric hospital in the northwest Arkansas region, is a level IV pediatric trauma center. ACNW operates a 24-bed inpatient unit; a surgical unit with five operating rooms; outpatient clinics offering over 20 subspecialties; diagnostic services; imaging capabilities; occupational therapy services; and northwest Arkansas' only pediatric emergency department, equipped with 30 exam rooms. Generous philanthropic and volunteer engagement has sustained Arkansas Children's since it began as an orphanage in 1912, and today ensures the system can deliver on its promise of unprecedented child health. To learn more, visit


UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.


Pictured left to right: Raghu Ramakrishnaiah, M.D., FRCR; V. Erin Willis, M.D., and Jason Williams, Psy.D., M.S. Ed. Photo credit: Karen E. Segrave

Arkansas Children’s, UAMS Celebrate Three Honorees at Investiture Ceremony (2024)


What is Arkansas Children's? ›

Arkansas Children's is the only hospital system in the state solely dedicated to caring for children, which allows our organization to uniquely shape the landscape of pediatric care in Arkansas. We are driven by four core values: safety, teamwork, compassion, and excellence.

What level of trauma is Arkansas children's? ›

The Arkansas Children's Emergency Room is a Level I trauma center and is fully staffed by pediatricians and pediatric medicine residents certified in pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine.

Where does Arkansas children's Hospital rank? ›

Arkansas Children's also ranked 7th in regional rankings released by U.S. News & World Report today. Arkansas Children's is ranked within the Southeast Region along with pediatric hospitals from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Is Arkansas children's part of UAMS? ›

Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) is the home of the Department of Pediatrics for UAMS. ACH is a 336-bed tertiary care facility and one of two freestanding pediatric hospitals within the Arkansas Children's Health System.

Who funds Arkansas children's Hospital? ›

Running for over 35 years, Arkansas Children's Foundation has funded Arkansas Children's Hospital in research and care. The largest gift to the Arkansas Children's Foundation helped complete the hospital's new facility in Springdale.

What is the mission statement of Arkansas children's? ›

Our Mission

At the Arkansas Children's Research Institute (ACRI), we champion children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow.

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