LITTLE ROCK — After a national search, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Arkansas Children’s have named Jason Williams, Psy.D., M.S.Ed. to lead their work together to improve pediatric mental and behavioral health statewide.
Williams will serve as the new chief of UAMS’ Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the College of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and as Arkansas Children’s senior vice president and chief mental and behavioral health officer, a newly created position.
Williams comes from Children’s Hospital Colorado, where he served as an associate professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and as the director of operations in the Pediatric Mental Health Institute.
“I am thrilled that Dr. Williams has joined our executive leadership team in the Department of Psychiatry at UAMS, and that he will be serving as the first Chief Mental and Behavioral Health Officer at Arkansas Children’s,” said Laura Dunn, M.D., chair of the Department of Psychiatry and director of the UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute. “His extensive experience in children’s behavioral health, combined with his drive for excellence, will advance the overarching mission of enhancing the behavioral health of Arkansas’ youth.”
With more than 20 years of experience in the field of mental health, Williams is known for his leadership at the local, regional, and national level. He currently serves as the chair of the Commission on Accreditation for the American Psychological Association.
“Children are facing mental health crises in Arkansas and nationwide. With Dr. Williams’ leadership, we will develop innovative ways to help them right where they live, learn and play,” said Rick Barr, MD, MBA, executive vice president and chief clinical and academic officer of Arkansas Children’s. “Together with our partners statewide, he will help us create a healthier tomorrow, one where mental health care is prioritized so all children have unlimited opportunities to reach their potential.”
Dr. Williams received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Irvine and master’s and doctoral degrees from the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. He completed an internship and postdoctoral training program at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and worked at that institution for 12 years prior to his stint in Colorado.
He has previously served as president of the Colorado Psychological Association, chair of the Association of Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Internship Centers (APPIC) and chair of the Council of Chairs of Training Councils (CCTC).
Arkansas Children's is the only healthcare 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 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 Research Institute provides an on-site research environment for faculty and scientists of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences working on the Arkansas Children’s Hospital campus. 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.