When word came down the other day that UAMS got a a $24.4 million grant for its Translational Research Institute to help rural communities in Arkansas, our first thought was: It's about time.
When somebody from back east, or out west, or up north, finds himself in Nevada County, Ark., somebody's going to need a translator. (Pronounced neh-VAY-da). It would take six or seven generations to scrub the accents out of some folks in these latitudes, if they'd ever even consider it. In fact, why would they? To pass as midwestern? Like all the newscasters these days?
So maybe this Translational Research for rural communities in Arkansas could explain some of the Rural American Vernacular, with more tenses than Latin, and why we drop our Gs, and draw out two-syllable words into four, and pronounce "oil" and "all" the same democratic way, and preface the most unlikely verbs with a-, as in a-fixin' to, and might could use "like" to mean "almost", and, by the way, explain the difference between might and might could--
But then we read further.
The Translational Research Institute at UAMS isn't about translating language for rural folks. It's more of a medical thing.
One of the agencies with the National Institutes of Health funded this $24.4 million grant to transform recent scientific findings into better health and therapies; thus the "translational" part. With a special focus on what may help the rural parts of Arkansas. That, according to Kat Stromquist's story Thursday.
And that, certainly, is more important than an interpreter. Consider the problems facing rural Arkansas, and not just rural Arkansas, when it comes to health care. The aforementioned Nevada County had its hospital shut down years ago. Folks there have to drive to Magnolia or Hope for emergency care. And maybe to Texarkana, or even Little Rock, for specialty care.
Consider a four-hour commute to see your doctor. That's not uncommon in this state. And we haven't even started in on the opioid crisis that has hit Arkansas along with every other Southern state.
And diabetes, tobacco use, veteran care, the lack of mental health services ... . These things are magnified the further a family gets away from the cities.
According to the paper, the grant will "fund 20 junior faculty members over two years, bring new clinical trials to the state, support pilot grants and start a training program on research commercialization at the business school at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville."
Also, researchers will work with veteran organizations using "biomedical informatics," which supposedly is a tool to analyze and understand information about your health.
Biomedical informatics. Maybe the health-care industry could use an interpreter, too.
Cam Patterson, the chancellor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, noted that the grant will help move the lab into neighborhoods and vice versa: "The idea behind this grant is that we do a lot of discovery work, but we often don't do a good enough job of making sure those discoveries have an impact on communities. For Arkansas, this award is significant because it will translate into improved health and treatment for people who live here."
Let's hope so. A wise man once said to keep the body in good health is a duty. Otherwise we shall not be able to keep our minds clear.
This effort at UAMS will go a long way toward that goal. Thanks to all involved.
Editorial on 07/07/2019
Print Headline: Found in translation