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Doctor shortage

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Arkansas Children’s Hospital has closed its West Little Rock clinic because it’s been unable to fill two vacancies that have left the clinic shorthanded for at least a year.

Dan McFadden, spokesman for ACH, said the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has had trouble recruiting pediatricians to fill the vacancies. UAMS requires doctors to teach and do research as well as see patients, and they earn 30 to 40 percent less than private practice pediatricians, McFadden said.

The two doctors who left the clinic took teaching and administrative jobs at ACH.

The General Pediatrics Clinic on the ACH campus will treat patients seen at GPC west, which handled an average of 70 patients a day.

Conflict in the ACLU

Mara Leveritt has resigned as president of the Arkansas ACLU, because, she said, she was “exhausted and frustrated” from dealing with the ACLU’s executive director, Rita Sklar. Sklar wouldn’t comment on Leveritt’s resignation, but did say that the ACLU Board of Directors had elected former president Ernest Dumas to serve as president “at least until the end of this year.”

Leveritt, a journalist and author, resigned in November. She said that the secretary and the treasurer of the ACLU also resigned in the closing months of 2005. “The problem was with a sense of who manages the direction of the organization,” Leveritt said. “ACLU documents make it clear that the directors run the organization. Time and time again, it seems the will of the directors was not respected by the executive director, who is an employee of the organization.” Leveritt resigned from the board of directors as well as the presidency. She remains a member of the ACLU.

Leveritt said that Sklar had “served the ACLU well for years. Everyone on the board applauded and respected what she does.” Leveritt and Dumas are both regular contributors to the Arkansas Times.

Law school unlisted

The William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock was inadvertently omitted from the new AT&T telephone directory. The law school telephone number was at the end of a long list of UALR phone numbers in last year’s directory. This year, it’s nowhere. “Apparently, it was left on the cutting-room floor,” said Julia Ann Baldridge, a UALR spokesperson who was unaware of the omission until a reporter called by going through the main UALR number. “We’re going to inconvenience people for a year, and that’s unfortunate.” As for redress, Baldridge said, “I guess our accountants will talk to their accountants.”

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