Dr. William LaDell Douglas of Hope and Dr. Harvey Potts of Fort Smith were elected to the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care’s (AFMC) Board of Directors at its May 5 annual membership meeting. Both men will serve a two-year term beginning immediately. AFMC is a health improvement organization that has served Arkansas physicians and the health care community for 45 years.
Dr. Douglas has been a physician for 40 years, earning his medical degree in 1974 from Georgetown University Medical School, Washington, D.C. He did his residency in the pediatrics department of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., finishing in 1977. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1966 and a master’s of science degree in zoology from Howard University, Washington, DC, in 1968.
Upon completing his residency work, he began building a solo practice from the ground up, eventually serving 3,000 patients with a staff of four. He provided 24-hour on-call services to his patients, plus pediatric behavioral consultations three evenings per week.
From 1978-1990, he was an attending staff member in the department of pediatrics at Durham Regional Hospital. He was a clinical associate in the department of pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center in Durham from 1978-1988. He also served as a behavioral pediatric consultant at the Children’s Psychiatric Institute from 1978 to 1986 at the Regional AHEC in Butner, N.C. From 1990 through 1994, he provided primary care pediatrics as an independent contractor with PHP Healthcare Corporation’s Navcare Clinic, Jacksonville, N.C., becoming its medical director in 1992.
Moving to Hope in 1994, Dr. Douglas returned to private practice and continues to treat patients in the Hope area at the Quality Care Pediatric and Adolescent Clinic, 100 East 20th St. He served as chief of staff at Medical Park Hospital (now Wadley Regional Medical Center) in Hope from 1997-1999. Since 1994, he continues to be an active staff member at the hospital.
After moving to Hope, Dr. Douglas enjoyed serving his new community as a member of several boards of directors, including the University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana Foundation (2009 to present); Hope Water and Light Board (2010 to present); and Hempstead County Economic Development Council (2011 to present), where he serves as vice-president.
While still practicing in Durham, Dr. Douglas worked to develop important administrative changes concerning the hospital’s operation and practice of medicine at the Durham Regional Hospital. He was also a founding member of Coordinated Medical Services of North Carolina, Inc., and a member of its board of directors from 1985-1990.
Dr. Potts is an assistant professor at the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) in Fort Smith and also serves as the college’s director of program assessment and simulation center. A native Oklahoman, Dr. Potts earned his medical degree in 2012 from Windsor University School of Medicine in St. Kitts, West Indies. He earned his master’s of public health degree in health administration and policy in 2002 from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City and his bachelors of science in health care administration in 2000 from Langston University in Langston, Okla.
Before he decided on medical school, Dr. Potts worked for 12 years as a community health educator, largely in the Chicago area. Prior to moving to Arkansas to be part of one of two new Osteopathic medicine schools in Arkansas, he worked at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where he taught students and faculty how to use high-tech simulation mannequins to teach medicine. Since 2013, Dr. Potts has served as an assistant professor and admissions director for the American International School of Medicine in Guyana, South America, in Atlanta, Ga.
While working on his master’s in public health in Oklahoma City, he had an internship at Mercy Hospital Health Systems working on minority workforce recruitment and a health administration internship at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Oklahoma City focusing on prosthetics. At the University of Oklahoma Family Medical Center, he worked on prostate cancer screening decisions as a graduate research assistant. After medical school, Dr. Potts was a research assistant in the University of Illinois, Chicago. During medical school, he continued to be a community health educator at the Thapelo Institute and Loretto Hospital, both in Chicago.
Dr. Potts says his chief professional interest areas include medical education, community health and outreach to underserved communities, eliminating health care disparities, and promoting prevention.
Dr. Potts teaches students at ARCOM in the simulation lab where they can apply classroom knowledge to mannequin patients. The mannequins’ software allows faculty to present real-world medical cases to students. The lab records audio and video to evaluate both the “patient’s” treatment and the communication between “patient” and student/doctor.