Smotherman Promoted to Associate Administrator

(Batesville, Ark.)--Jody Smotherman, PharmD, Hospital Medicine Program Director, has been named Associate Administrator of Graduate Medical Education (GME) at White River Medical Center (WRMC), announced Gary Bebow, CEO of White River Health System (WRHS).

In October, WRMC obtained initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to establish a Medical Residency Program in Internal Medicine and Family Practice. The Internal Medicine Residency Program will begin in July of 2017; the Family Practice Residency Program will begin in July of 2018. A medical residency is a period of advanced medical training and education for students who have graduated medical school and obtained a medical license. Residency programs typically last from three to seven years and consist of the supervised practice of a specialty in a hospital and its outpatient departments. Physicians from the hospital’s medical staff will be available to train the residents.  The Internal Medicine and Family Medicine Residency Programs will be three years.

WRMC and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock are the only two institutions in the state that have achieved ACGME accreditation. The two healthcare organizations will be working together to build the programs in Batesville.

In his role as Associate Administrator of GME at WRMC, Smotherman will be responsible for building the infrastructure of the medical residency. He will also be responsible for the program’s academic, operational/administrative, and financial components.

“Traditionally, there are three components that make up a residency program,” said Smotherman. “Given that we are in a community hospital-based setting, and not in a metro area or an academic hospital setting, we will also focus on adding the component of community engagement.”

Smotherman will be working with the residency program directors and assistant program directors, WRHS administration, and UAMS to ensure the program provides high-quality education for the medical residents, improves the quality of care in the WRHS service area, and hires and retains highly qualified physicians for our community. 

“Having a GME program in our community brings many benefits to the area,” said Smotherman.

According to Smotherman, a GME program brings new physicians to the community and the WRHS service area that might have otherwise not had the opportunity to see and experience what WRMC and the region have to offer. It leads to improvements in quality care for patients by retaining/hiring residents; and it gives physicians the opportunity to pass along their knowledge and experience to the next generation of physicians.

Smotherman will continue as the Hospital Medicine Program Director while making the transition to his new role in the GME program. He expects that over the next two months the majority of his work will be within the GME program in order to properly prepare for the beginning of the Internal Medicine Residency in 2017; however, Smotherman will continue to be involved with the Hospitalist program as it will be a vital part of the success of the residency programs.

Smotherman has been with WRMC for almost 13 years. He did his undergraduate studies in Chemistry/Pre-pharmacy at Lyon College, earned a Doctor of Pharmacy from UAMS, and a Masters of Divinity in Biblical Studies from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.

In addition to his current titles, Smotherman has served in multiple leadership roles at WRMC including Assistant Director of Pharmacy in 2005, Director of Pharmacy in 2006, and Director of Quality and Case Management in 2010.

“Jody is an excellent leader within our organization,” said Bebow. “We are confident he will be essential in ensuring this program’s success, leading to greater access to quality healthcare for our patients.”

 Jody and his wife, Jami, are both life-long residents of the area and currently reside in Batesville. They have three daughters: Emma, Lauren, and Tessa.