LITTLE ROCK, Ark) April 27, 2023 – Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) celebrated the investiture of four physicians in a ceremony at CALS Ron Robinson Theater on April 26.

The honorees included Sid Dassinger, M.D., FACS, FAAP, as a recipient and steward of the John Boyd Family Endowed Chair in Pediatric Surgery; David Kawatu, M.D., MSc, as a recipient and steward of the Jane and Frank Lyon Endowed Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology; Robert Lyle, M.D., as a recipient and steward of the Rockefeller Endowed Chair for Children with Special Healthcare Needs; and Tamara Perry, M.D., FAAP, FAAAAI, as a recipient and steward of the Dr. & Mrs. Leeman King Endowed Chair in Pediatric Allergy.

“Dr. Dassinger, Dr. Kawatu, Dr. Lyle and Dr. Perry are wonderful examples of our unyielding commitment to excellence,” said Marcy Doderer, president and CEO of Arkansas Children’s. “Each of these physicians plays an essential role in making Arkansas a safer and healthier place to be a child.”

Establishing endowed chairs provides Arkansas Children’s and UAMS the ability to recruit top leaders in the medical field who can provide the best care for patients.

“An endowed chair is the highest honor that we can bestow on our distinguished medical leaders,” said Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS chancellor and CEO of UAMS Health. “It is an indication of the work that they have done to advance health care, and it is an investment in their productivity in the future.”

Dassinger, who is board-certified in general surgery and pediatric surgery, joined ACH and UAMS in 2007. He is chief of the pediatric general surgery division and serves as director of the Pediatric Surgery Fellowship at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s. Dassinger is also active in research and plans to expand research efforts in his division. He is a member of many professional societies, such as the American College of Surgeons, American Pediatric Surgical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Kawatu, a board-certified pediatric gastroenterologist who joined ACH and UAMS in 2018, is chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition. His clinical work includes building a new program-based pediatric gastroenterology section, with a team of gastroenterologists and advanced practice nurses who work in clinics across the state of Arkansas. Kawatu is in constant pursuit to learn more about pediatric gastroenterology and serves as co-investigator or consulting investigator for several clinical research trials.

Lyle is a board-certified neonatologist and pediatrician at ACH and a professor of pediatrics at UAMS. He serves as medical director of the ACH Complex Care Program and the ACH High Risk Newborn Program. Since joining ACH in 1991, Lyle has been instrumental in improving patient care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). He also co-founded and co-developed, along with Dr. Patrick Casey, the ACH Medical Home Program for Special Needs Children, which led to multiple publications and numerous awards.

Perry is chief of allergy and immunology and a clinician scientist researcher at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute. She also serves as medical director of telemedicine at ACH and as a professor of pediatrics at UAMS. Dr. Perry is a member of many professional societies, including a fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics and in the American Academy of Asthma Allergy and Immunology (AAAAI). She was elected to the national AAAAI Board of Directors (2020–2024), where she also serves on the executive committee.


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); the state’s only magnetoencephalography (MEG) system for neurosurgical planning and cutting-edge research; and the state's only nationally recognized pediatric transport program. Arkansas Children’s Hospital is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in seven pediatric specialties (2022–2023): Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Pulmonology 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 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. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,047 students, 873 medical residents and fellows, and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer, with more than 11,000 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, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.