Methodist Foundation for Arkansas Makes $250,000 Grant to support the Dr. Joycelyn Elders School of Allied and Public Health

Methodist Foundation for Arkansas Makes $250,000 Grant to support the Dr. Joycelyn Elders School of Allied and Public Health

The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas has awarded a $250,000 grant to improve public health across the state through the Dr. Joycelyn Elders School of Allied and Public Health at Philander Smith College. 

“Philander Smith College is delighted to receive this support from one of our most ardent partners, The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas, to benefit the Dr. Joycelyn Elders School of Allied and Public Health,” said PSC President Roderick L. Smothers Sr. “As we commit to addressing health disparities in Arkansas, a partnership such as this is critical to the realization of the dream of our treasured alumna Dr. Joycelyn Elders to ensure that equity is achieved in our healthcare system.” 

In part, the grant from The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas will help to fund programs to develop and graduate students in allied health professions, as well as create innovative strategies to decrease health disparities across the state. The Dr. Joycelyn Elders School of Allied and Public Health, named for the 1952 PSC graduate who was the first African American and the second female to serve as Surgeon General of the United States, was established by the College’s Board of Trustees in 2015. 

Currently, Philander Smith College is actively engaged in a drive, spearheaded by Rev. Chester Jones, the brother of Dr. Elders, and another distinguished alumnus, Dr. Charles Donaldson, to raise $2 million as part of the first phase of a $9.5 million campaign to strengthen the outreach and impact of the Elders School. Some goals of the campaign are to: 

● Renovate and expand existing research laboratory and clinical spaces; 

● Plan and develop a programmatic design and establish a timeline for accreditation; and

● Fund scholarships for students. 

“We are pleased The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas can help with the capital campaign,” said Rev. J. Wayne Clark, President and CEO of the Foundation. “Building on the great legacy of Dr. Elders and partnering with Philander Smith College will be a tremendous service to Arkansas and beyond.” 

The Elders School has also generated the financial support of the State of Arkansas, alumni and private contributors, and the Blue & You Foundation. 


THE METHODIST FOUNDATION FOR ARKANSAS manages over $215 million in endowment funds and other charitable assets that benefit local churches and other United Methodist ministries. The MFA is one of the largest United Methodist Foundations in the country. Founded in 1963, it is responsible for over 800 funds that support United Methodist ministries.