Meet the Team

Dr. Jose RomeroDr. Jose Romero is a Professor (tenured) of Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock, Arkansas.  He is the Horace C. Cabe Professor of Pediatrics Infectious Diseases at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) and UAMS.  He is the Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at ACH and Director of Clinical Trials Research at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute.  He is board-certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Romero completed his residency at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook.  He also completed multiple fellowships from 1984-1993.  From 1984-1987 Dr. Romero was a Research Fellow in Molecular Microbiology, SUNY Stony Brook.  From 1989-1992 Dr. Romero completed a Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellowship at the University of Colorado and The Denver Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Romero also completed a research fellowship in the Neurovirology Training Program at the University of Colorado. Additionally, Dr. Romero was a Fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Minority Medical Faculty Development Program.


Dr. Vini VijayanDr. Vini Vijayan is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the section of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  She is also the medical director of Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology.

She completed her pediatric residency at The Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper Medical Center and completed her pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.  After completing her Pediatric Infectious Diseases training, she accepted her first faculty position as Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville in 2011.

Dr. Vijayan joined Arkansas Children’s Hospital in 2015 where her primary research interests include prevention of sexually transmitted infections including HIV among victims of sexual assault and improving vaccination coverage among adolescents and pregnant women. Areas of clinical interest include evaluation and treatment of infectious diseases among international travelers, children with autoimmune disorders and infections in the immunocompromised host.

Dr. Vijayan is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, as well as, by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. She is an affiliate of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases Society of America and American Academy of HIV Medicine.


Dr. Heather HighsmithDr. Heather Highsmith is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the section of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. She also serves as the medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.

After graduating from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine, Dr. Highsmith went on to complete an internal medicine-pediatrics residency at UAMS. She subsequently relocated to Houston, TX where she finished her training at the Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital Pediatric Infectious Disease fellowship program. She then joined the faculty here at UAMS/ACH in 2017.

Dr. Highsmith’s primary research interests include operational research targeting antimicrobial stewardship, hoping to promote providers to safely choose the correct antibiotics and prevent antibiotic over prescription. Dr. Highsmith is also interested in operational research on the diagnosis and treatment of childhood TB infection and disease in the United States as well as in TB endemic regions of the world.

Dr. Highsmith is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics. She is an affiliate of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease.


Haleigh Shumate, APRNHaleigh Shumate, APRN is the newest addition to the Pediatrics Infectious Diseases team with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  With over 5 1/2 years of PICU experience, Haleigh joined our team in August 2018.

 

 


Additional Team Members:

Pat Brady, BSN, RN, CCRP, CPN has 28 years of nursing experience and is nationally certified as a Certified Clinical Research Profession and a Certified Pediatric Nurse.  She has been with ACH since 2004 and with the Pediatrics Infectious Disease section since August 2016.

Beck Gibson, BSN, RN, CPN is a specialty nurse for the Pediatrics Infectious Disease team at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. She began her career at ACH in 2011 on the Intermediate Care Unit and joined the Infectious Disease team in January 2016. Beck is a Nationally Certified Pediatric Nurse.

Lisa Chapple, RN, CPN has been at Arkansas Children’s Hospital since 1983.  Lisa has been a specialty nurse with the Pediatrics Infectious Disease team since 2014.