LITTLE ROCK, AR. (July 07, 2020) – Arkansas Children’s and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) have named Freedom F. “Fred” Perkins Jr., MD, as chief of Pediatric Neurology for both health systems. Dr. Perkins, who also serves as an associate professor of Pediatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine will lead the world-class Neuroscience Center at Arkansas Children’s, where he will also see patients, delivering comprehensive pediatric care for neurological disorders, brain, nervous system and neuromuscular disorders.
Dr. Perkins will serve as the director of the MEG laboratory at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, leading state-of-the-art brain mapping efforts for epilepsy, neurosurgery and research.
He most recently was the interim leader of the epilepsy program at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas, where he focused on children with epilepsy, autism, and developmental disorders. He also served as the director of the magnetoencephalography (MEG) laboratory at Dell Children’s Medical Center.
Perkins succeeds Greg Sharp, MD, who was appointed to chief medical officer of Arkansas Children's Hospital in 2019. Sharp is also a professor of Pediatrics at UAMS.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Perkins at the helm of our neurology center,” said Sharp. “His expertise, team-based approach to care, and passion for helping patients and their families achieve the highest quality of life is incomparable. He is an incredible asset to our unyielding commitment to making children better today and healthier tomorrow.”
Dr. Perkins was led to neuroscience through a combination of his own aspirations and environmental influences. His younger brother sustained a severe hypoxic brain injury as the result of a viral illness at 10 months old, which led to subsequent developmental difficulties and seizures. This personal experience drove Dr. Perkins to pursue a career that might help his brother or others like him.
“I love working in pediatrics, because I always start and end my day smiling – no matter how challenging,” said Dr. Perkins. “Children are at the center of everything at Arkansas Children’s. As the only hospital system in the state dedicated solely to caring for children, we have an opportunity to shape the landscape of pediatric care in Arkansas.”
Dr. Perkins was previously an assistant professor of pediatrics and neurology at the University of Texas Dell Medical School. He is a graduate of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and did his residency training at the University of Texas at Houston. He then completed his fellowship in clinical neurophysiology/epilepsy at the University of Texas at Houston and went on to be program director at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center at Memphis Pediatric Neurology Residency Program. Dr. Perkins joined Dell Children’s Medical Center in 2013 and has been practicing there since.
In his spare time, Dr. Perkins enjoys gardening with his wife and daughter.
About Arkansas Children’s
Arkansas Children's, Inc. is the only healthcare system in the state solely dedicated to caring for Arkansas' 710,000 children and transforming the health of children throughout the region. 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. 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); the state’s only magnetoencephalography (MEG) system for neurosurgical planning and cutting-edge research; and the state's only nationally recognized pediatric transport program. Additionally, ACH is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in five pediatric subspecialties (2019-2020): Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics and Pulmonology. ACH is one of only five hospitals in the nation that have achieved Magnet Status, ACS Level 1 verification and a Beacon award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW), the first and only pediatric hospital in the Northwest Arkansas region, opened in Springdale in early 2018. 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 fundamentally transform the health of children in Arkansas and beyond. To learn more, visit archildrens.org.
UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven 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 and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state’s Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — cancer, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.