During the August meeting, members of the Southeast Arkansas Medical Network (SAMN) voted to establish the Dr. Robert J. Smith Scholarship, which will award scholarships to eligible medical students from Southeast Arkansas.
Dr. Smith, who passed away in February of 2018, opened a private surgical practice in Pine Bluff in 1965. He was the first African American surgeon on staff at Jefferson Hospital (1965-1984) as well as the first board certified African American surgeon to practice in the state of Arkansas. He was also the co-founder of SAMN, a regionally based professional association established to meet the needs of under-served patients in Southeast Arkansas and promote diversity in the fields of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and other health professions.
The group of physicians, dentists, pharmacist and other health professions will begin awarding scholarships in Fall 2019.