(LITTLE ROCK, Ark) Sept. 28, 2023 – Arkansas Children’s and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) celebrated the investiture of three health care professionals in a ceremony at CALS Ron Robinson Theater on Sept. 27.

The honorees included Mario G. Ferruzzi, Ph.D. as recipient and steward of the Arkansas Children’s Endowed Chair in Digestive Disease & Nutrition Research; Peter Mourani, M.D., as recipient and steward of the Ross and Mary Whipple Family Distinguished Research Scientist Endowed Chair in honor of Dr. Richard F. Jacobs; and William J. Steinbach, M.D., as the recipient and steward of the Robert H. Fiser Jr., M.D. Endowed Chair in Pediatrics.

“It is an honor to celebrate the exceptional talents of Dr. Ferruzzi, Dr. Mourani and Dr. Steinbach. I see firsthand how their work and dedication advance the Arkansas Children’s mission, ensuring that all children receive the highest level of care and best outcome," said Marcy Doderer, FACHE, president and CEO of Arkansas Children’s.

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.

“We are fortunate to have such talented and dedicated medical leaders working to advance health care in Arkansas,” said Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS chancellor and CEO of UAMS Health. “An endowed chair is the highest academic honor a university can bestow. It’s an indication of the work they have done, and it is an investment in their productivity in the future.”

Ferruzi is a professor and chief of the Developmental Nutrition Section in the UAMS Department of Pediatrics. He also serves as director of the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center, a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Arkansas Children’s Research Institute and UAMS. His research focuses on how agriculture, food and nutrition are connected and how they affect human health.

Mourani is president of the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute and senior vice president and chief research officer at Arkansas Children’s. He also serves as a professor in the UAMS Department of Pediatrics and practices as a critical care physician at Arkansas Children’s. Mourani is the principal investigator and steering committee member for the prestigious National Institute of Child Health and Human Development-supported Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network.

Steinbach is chair of the Department of Pediatrics and associate dean for Child Health at UAMS. He is the pediatrician-in-chief at Arkansas Children’s. For more than 20 years, Steinbach has led an NIH-funded, multidisciplinary clinical and research program supporting immunosuppressed children. He is the founder and director of the International Pediatric Fungal Network, an NIH-funded global consortium of 55 sites dedicated to investigating invasive fungal infections in children through multi-center studies.


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 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; 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 3,240 students, 913 medical residents and fellows, and five 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 www.uams.edu  or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.