The Arkansas Medical, Dental and Pharmaceutical Association, Inc. (AMDPA) is a professional association of minority doctors, dentists and pharmacists based in Little Rock and operating throughout the state of Arkansas.
The association was formed as a forum for practicing African American doctors, dentists and pharmacists who were excluded from membership in most professional organizations. The seed of the organization extends back to the early 1800s. In that year medical professionals gathered together to form Little Rock’s “Colored Medical Association”. The rapid expansion of the association required its renaming in 1893. Since then, AMDPA has become Arkansas’ leading minority health provider association. It is the largest and oldest organization of minority health professionals in Arkansas. Representing over 400 African American doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, the association has become a powerful voice for the health care rights of the underserved.
The organization believes that strategically implemented health education programs have the potential to transform the lives of many underserved Arkansans and bridge the major health disparities gap that exists within the population.
One of the goals of the AMDPA has been to address health disparities in underserved populations. AMDPA directed the African-American Adult and Youth Smoking Cessation and Prevention Program, funded by the Arkansas Department of Health with tobacco settlement funds. AMDPA plays a vital role in forming public policy and providing a voice for underserved communities experiencing a disproportionate burden of chronic diseases with a high mortality and morbidity rate. In addition to hosting annual professional conferences and lecture series, AMDPA is also involved in educating future doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals through scholarships provided to students and to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Members of the association are active in outreach, offering services during health fair events, mentoring high school and college students enrolled in UAMS summer programs; and are frequent guest speakers on radio talk show programs sponsored by the Arkansas Minority Health Commission and student-oriented programs at UAMS.
In 1983, AMDPA made a commitment to elevate the standards of education, enlighten and direct public opinion in the prevention of diseases, care of diseases and prolongation of life. Today, the organization still maintains its historical position of leadership and commitment to the minority and underserved people of Arkansas.