Learn about the work of your peers and your association's leadership through these conversations with AMCHP's member-elected board of directors.
Retired Colonel on an MCH Mission: Bring Lessons from Beijing to Public Health in Arkansas
Alan Mease, M.D., FAAP
● Medical director for child and adolescent health, Arkansas Department of Health
● Adjunct associate professor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Public Health
● At-large member, AMCHP board of directors (elected February 2018)
"I am a global healthcare revolutionary! Healthcare in all countries is in serious need of transformation! This must start first with the doctor patient relationship!" (From www.arparentsupport.com.)
His vision for MCH
"Perhaps never before have we better understood the impact of mother-baby issues on the future of our society. Maternal child health is being transformed by major developments in developmental neurobiology, the biology of the stress, epigenetics, and life course science. Our new understanding will inform new interventions to improve all health outcomes.
"Mothers, babies and children in the U.S. should be the healthiest of all countries in the world."
A key career moment
Dr. Mease served in Bahrain during the Gulf War, and when his stint in the Army reserve ended he joined the Army full time. He believed he could have more of a "big picture" impact working in the military community than by working with individual patients back home.
"As the commander of a hospital on an Army base, I reported to and worked closely with the base commander to improve the health of the community. It was a true opportunity to use population health principles without the distractions of fee for service, health insurance's perverse incentives, and local politics."
A career contribution
Dr. Mease developed a high-quality pediatric department based on international quality standards in a Chinese environment, at Beijing United Family Hospital.
Something learned in the past that applies today
"Even developed countries experience a difficult time attracting medical professionals to rural places, so training local people seems to be the optimal solution to building sustainability in rural health care services. So my experience training what used to be called barefoot doctors in China certainly applies to the addressing the problems here in rural Arkansas."
Something focused on now
"The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)/Resilience initiative to develop agency and community awareness. I see transformative innovation as the key to preventing ACEs and developing community and family protective factors. This is the key to improving the health of all Arkansans, from conception through old age."
Motivation to guide AMCHP
"To contribute my training and experience toward improving the health of women and children and special needs children in the U.S. as I work toward the same goal in Arkansas."
Education and Career
● LIH-Olivia's Place (multidisciplinary clinic for special need children), Beijing, China – consultant; developmental behavioral pediatrician
● Guangzhou Family Health Clinic, Guangzhou, China – senior pediatrician, developmental behavioral pediatrics
● Beijing United Family Hospital, China – director of Pediatric Specialty Clinic; developmental behavioral pediatrician; chairman, Department of Pediatrics
● Surmang Foundation, Surmang Clinic, Rural Qinghai Province, China – medical director ● U.S. Army -- commander and deputy commander of military hospitals; director of the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center South (Ft. Gordon, Ga.). Retired from Army Medical Corps in 2000 as colonel.
● University of Missouri School of Medicine, M.D.
Learn more about Dr. Mease and other AMCHP board members on our Board of Directors page.