Mary E. Aitken, M.D., MPH, Director 

The Center for Applied Research and Evaluation (CARE) is a multidisciplinary group of researchers including faculty representing Pediatrics, Epidemiology, Medical Sociology, Health Economics, Health Services Research, and Nutrition.  CARE is committed to improving the health of children and families through research focused on children, their families, and their communities.  Research is ongoing in three primary areas: child health services, pediatric injury prevention, and child health development and nutrition.


Child Health Services Research

Anthony Goudie, Ph.D., Health services research and policy focusing on patient safety, childhood obesity, vulnerable populations, and health impact of system level changes in insurance

Mary E. Aitken, M.D., MPH Pediatric injury prevention, General pediatrics

Joseph W. Thompson, M.D., MPH Evaluation of delivery system quality and health care policies impacting physical, developmental, and emotional well-being of children and their families

Debra Fiser, M.D. Evidence-based medicine training, Pediatric comparative effectiveness research, junior faculty development

Rosemary Nabaweesi, Dr.P.H. Trauma systems evaluation and injury-related infant mortality prevention in underserved populations using implementation science methods

CARE houses health services research faculty devoted to child health services research. CARE faculty members study health services utilization and outcomes of health care for children and their families. Recent projects have evaluated outcomes of children following trauma, impact of injuries on rural populations, the health effects of hearing loss, quality of care in the pediatric intensive care unit, and the management of infants hospitalized with birth defects. Research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau among others. Faculty participate in multi-site collaborative research networks studying the quality of hospital care, outcomes of traumatic brain injury and other trauma, and the etiology of birth defects. CARE faculty has expertise in pediatrics, epidemiology, public policy, medical sociology, and health economics.

For further information on Child Health Services Research activities, please contact Dr. Goudie at


Child Health Development and Nutrition

Judith L. Weber, Ph.D., RD Obesity prevention and intervention in school-age children and adolescents; worksite and community-based obesity prevention interventions; development of dietary and physical activity assessment methodology

Patrick H. Casey, M.D. Physical growth and development in high-risk preschool children; intervention methods to enhance their growth and development; community interventions to improve child health and nutrition

CARE faculty members study the nutritional status of children and their families. Multi-site programs in the Mississippi Delta region of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi address the nutritional and physical activity needs of children and adults in selected communities. Programs at rural worksites seek to reduce the risk of obesity by monitoring diet and establishing a community walking program to increase physical activity.  Novel studies are also underway to gauge body fat distribution of children at risk factors for subsequent illness. These programs are sponsored by grants from the United States Department of Agriculture/Agriculture Research Service and internal awards from UAMS.

CARE also participates in the national Children’s Health Watch Program funded by the Kellogg Foundation. Children’s Health Watch is a multi-site research study that evaluates the impact over time of Welfare reform on the health and nutrition status of young children and food security of their families.

For further information on Nutrition Research activities, please contact Dr. Weber at


Pediatric Injury Prevention

Mary E. Aitken, M.D., MPH Pediatric Injury Prevention, General Pediatrics

Rosemary Nabaweesi, Dr.P.H. Trauma systems evaluation and injury-related infant mortality prevention in underserved populations using implementation science methods

CARE is home to the Injury Prevention Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  The goals of the IPC are to reduce injury-related deaths and disability among the children and youth of Arkansas. Strategies include research, public awareness and education, professional training, and identification of evidence-based policies to promote safety in motor vehicles, in recreation, and in the home. Particular focus areas for Arkansas include the increased and proper use of seatbelts and car seats for children, safer teenage driving initiatives, and the safe operation of all-terrain vehicles.


Associated Programs

Under the direction of John Chelonis, Ph.D., CARE provides administrative support for the Complex Brain Function Lab (in association with the National Center for Toxicological Research) that compares the behavior of normal children with those having diagnosed psychological or physiological conditions.

Contact information

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Slot 512-26
Arkansas Children’s Hospital
1 Children’s Way
Little Rock, AR   72202

Phone: 501.364.3300
Fax: 501.364.1552

CARE faculty members maintain a close affiliation with the Complex Brain Function Lab, Division of Biostatistics, Arkansas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention, Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center, UAMS College of Public Health, and Arkansas Center for Health Improvement.

Additional links:

UAMS Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center Injury Prevention Center Center for Birth Defects Research Arkansas Children’s Research Institute Arkansas Center for Health Improvement