West Memphis – Cultural Competency Summits

Creating Safe Places: West Memphis

Culturally Appropriate Care for Special & Underserved Populations

9:00 - 9:15 am

Welcome & Introductions

9:15 - 10:00 am 

Keynote Speaker: Bassam Tariq

10:15 - 10:30 am

Break & Networking

10:30 - 11:30 am

LGBT: Robert Hess III

11:30 -12:30 pm

Faith Based Communities: Cary Goodman

12:30 - 1:00 pm


1:00 - 2:00 pm

HIV/AIDs: Dr. Joyce Simmons

2:00 - 2:15 pm

PM Break & Networking

2:15 - 3:00 pm

Hispanic: Dr. Rosa Hatch

3:10 - 4:00 pm

Marshallese: Dr. Eldon Alik 

Keynote Speaker: Bassam Tariq

Bassam Tariq is an independent filmmaker and producer born in Karachi, Pakistan. Tariq co-directed and produced the Sundance-funded documentary These Birds Walk (2013) with Omar Mullick, and he was named in Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2012. Tariq’s works aim to uncover the diversity of Muslim life and experience. In addition to filmmaking, his diverse projects include blogging and writing, co-founding a halal butcher shop, and being a TED fellow. His featured TED talk explores how his eclectic career reflects his perspective on what it means to be Muslim, and he relates his disparate professions as a response to the complicated history that America has with diversity and people who oversimplify Muslim beliefs and communities Tariq lives in New York City with his wife and son.


LGBT Speaker: Robert Hess III

Robert Hess III is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hess III Consulting, Inc. and has over 16 years of management and executive experience designing, implementing and optimizing health systems.

Robert's work has focused on defining health system strategy & policy, implementing over $10 billion in healthcare start-ups/mergers/acquisitions and optimizing process efficiency through quality management and performance improvement strategies. Robert’s work has been recognized and solicited nationally as well as internationally, including successful projects for multiple Fortune 50 and 500 companies, the United States federal government, in addition to working in Mexico, India, Costa Rica, the Republic of the Philippines, Kenya, Tanzania.

Robert completed his Bachelors degree in Social Work at Arizona State University and his Masters in Public Health at John's Hopkins University. Additionally, Robert is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Professional of Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) and LEAN Six Sigma Black Belt (SSBB).

Faith Based Communities Speaker: Cary Goodman

Cary Goodman serves as the National Program Director at The Balm In Gilead in Richmond, VA. For over 10 years, he has traveled extensively educating, advocating and empowering faith leaders, churches and the community on various public health issues such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Food/Nutrition, Alzheimer’s and various chronic diseases. He has recently served as the Keynote Speaker at the Black Treatment Advocates Network in Oakland, CA and currently serves as a national partner and faculty presenter for United States Conference on AIDS. Through his efforts, he has been dedicated and diligently working to strengthen the intersection of faith and public health.

HIV/AIDs Speaker: Dr. Joyce Simmons

Dr. Joyce Simmons is an Advanced Practice Nurse and Board Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult High Risk Populations at ARcare Medical Clinic in the Special Services Division. Dr. Simmons has extensive experience in Women’s and Children’s health, wellness, industrial medicine, and educational service areas. She received her BSN and MSN from Harding and her Doctorate from Walden University. Her practice reflects her expertise of more than 30 years Christian service.

She has served as a Physician Extender and was the originator of the wellness program at PrimeCare Medical Clinic. She assumed a leadership role as a primary APRN at a local Obstetricians office. In 2007 started teaching in higher education at Harding University BSN, FNP programs and AASN program at ASU. She has experience with televised teaching, online course development, Blackboard, Tegrity, Echo360, and online higher Ed teaching forums. Her teaching specializes in Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Leadership, Management, Political Policy, Pharmacology, Informatics, Medical Surgical, and was a Kaplan Educator. In the past she has been a Neonatal Resuscitation, Basic Life Support Instructor, and was a International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She was chosen to underwrite test questions for the National League of Nursing and certified in Basic Disaster Life Support along with ACLS.

She was asked by the Breastfeeding Coalition to represent ILCA IBCLC in Africa. She received a certificate in online course development from the ITTC. She has worked with EHR formats including eClinical, Docutap, Greenway and Evident. She is on the CAPCA Head Start Health Care Advisory Board. At Central Arkansas Hospital, she served on the Executive Staff Committee, Ethics Committee and was a team leader for the Physician Committee. She received a Leadership certificate in the Executive Staff Program. She is currently working on the American Academy of HIV Medicine certification.

Hispanic Expert: Dr. Rosa Hatch

Dr. Hatch is originally from Mexico, the state of Puebla. She graduated in 1986 as Medical Doctor from the Universidad Autónoma de Puebla Medical School in Mexico. In 1995 she finished her residency program and became an Ob/GYN from the same University. After graduating, she worked for the Health and Human Services Department in the State of Puebla, Mexico, and in her private practice until she moved to the US. She has worked in public health since 2001 as Nutrition Program Assistant and Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Programs. In 2007 she joined the Arkansas Department of Health as a Secondhand Smoke and Policy Specialist. In 2011, she moved to the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities of the same Department focusing on improving health outcomes of the Latino community of Arkansas.

Presentation Overview:

Latinos currently comprise 17% of the U.S. population. It is estimated that by 2050, 1 out of 3 U.S. residents will be Latino. According to the Census Bureau, from 2000 to 2010 Arkansas population increased 114.2%. The Latino population is a heterogeneous mix of people born in and outside the U.S., with different social, cultural, and behavioral attitudes that may affect health. The effects of acculturation are moderated not only by country of origin but also by sex, socioeconomic status, age of migration, immigration status and geographic location in the U.S. Inadequate access to care and lack of health insurance are important contributors to health care disparities and poor quality of care. During this presentation we will discuss how some of these factors influence Hispanic health outcomes and how we can be more effective in our outreach efforts.

Marshallese Speakers: Eldon Alik

Eldon Alik was born and raised in the Marshall Islands. He came to the United States when he was 17 to get his education. He also served 3 years in the U.S. Army in the pursuit of this dream. Mr. Alik has a Bachelor of Science in Technology Management from George Fox University. With a wife of 23 years, three children, and over 30+ years in the United States - Mr. Alik brings important perspectives to the life of a Marshallese family in the United States. Eldon Alik currently serves as the Consul General for the Marshall Islands Consulate in Springdale, Arkansas.


Mr. Alik will give a brief history of the Marshall islands, the geography, the government, it's connection to the U.S., culture and people.

This summit will take place at the Comfort Suites hotel in West Memphis. We will meet in the main conference room, where lunch will also be served. There are a limited number of rooms available for guests who would like to stay the night. For more information on rates and reservations, please contact Sandi Ganus at 501.492.8387