Kristie Hadden, Ph.D, Appointed to Nelson Chair

C. Lowry Barnes, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and director of the Musculoskeletal Service Line, has named health literacy researcher Kristie Hadden, Ph.D., the second Carl L. Nelson Chair of Orthopaedic Creativity at UAMS.

Kristie Hadden, Ph.D.

Kristie Hadden, Ph.D.

The chair was established and endowed by Nelson, who served as chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery from 1974 until his 2005 death, to recognize and promote creative solutions through research in orthopaedics. Larry Suva, Ph.D. was appointed as the first chair in 2009 by then-College of Medicine Dean Debra Fiser, M.D., and then-Orthopaedic Surgery Chair Richard Nicholas, M.D.

As the new chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at UAMS, Barnes said he wanted to optimize creativity in the department by converting the chair appointment to a rotating basis. A new chair will be named every two years.

“Creative innovation is how we do business in orthopaedics at UAMS so it seemed fitting to take a creative approach at recognizing and supporting collaborative faculty who help us with innovative solutions through research,” he said. “Dr. Hadden is working with our faculty on research that helps us understand how patients understand the information we give them, how we can improve that information and how that will affect outcomes for our patients.”

Hadden’s primary faculty appointment is in the College of Medicine in the Department of Medical Humanities and she holds secondary appointments in the Department of Orthopaedics, Colleges of Nursing, Public Health, Health Professions and Pharmacy.

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to dedicate a portion of my faculty time and effort to research in health literacy and orthopaedics,” said Hadden, director of the Center for Health Literacy in the UAMS Division of Academic Affairs. “I look forward to working with other faculty in the Department of Orthopaedics to establish UAMS as a leader in research that focuses on the importance of orthopaedic patient understanding and behaviors.”

The UAMS Center for Health Literacy was created in 2014 to focus efforts on improving health communication with patients and communities, establishing and promoting best practices for health literacy, and conducting research to improve population health and reduce health care costs through health literacy best practices and evidence-based approaches.

Hadden received a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from Radford University in Radford, Virginia, followed by a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from UAMS. She practiced as a speech-language pathologist and augmentative communication specialist and worked in public health as the state director of programs for March of Dimes before completing a Ph.D. in health promotion and prevention research at UAMS.