“I like science; the idea of doing something that isn't always the same. And life as a pediatrician is definitely unpredictable!”
Rep. Vic Snyder
“OUTSTANDING PEDIATRICIAN AND EDUCATOR ”
When Betty Lowe retired after 26 years from the Department of Pediatrics faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the father of one her patients spoke in her honor. It was not just any patient, nor just any father.
The patient was Chelsea Clinton, the speaker her father, former President Bill Clinton!
President Clinton praised Lowe's lifelong commitment to children's health, her role as an educator and mentor of countless other pediatricians, and, especially, for taking such good care of Chelsea. It was a fitting tribute to a physician whose passion for pediatrics has defined her life.
Born in Grapevine, Texas, Lowe was raised in northwest Arkansas, graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and earned her M.D. from its School of Medicine in Little Rock. After completing a residency at Children's Medical Center in Boston, she became an instructor at Harvard Medical School. Later, she was appointed Chief Resident of Pediatrics at UAMS Medical Center, after which she maintained her own private practice for nearly twelve years before joining the University of Arkansas medical school faculty to teach.
Nominated as a Local Legend of Medicine by Rep. Vic Snyder (D-AK-2), Lowe became the Medical Director of Arkansas Children's Hospital (ASH) in 1977. At that point, the facility had only 45 beds and a handful of doctors and medical residents to care for patients. Lowe quickly set about building a comprehensive professional staff, playing a key role in the evolution of ASH into one of the nation's leaders in pediatric care with 260 patient beds and more than 70 specialty clinics.
In the late 1970s, then-Governor Bill Clinton appointed her to chair a task force on Integrated School Health Services to improve Arkansas' childhood mortality rate. Thanks to her efforts, in 1979 the state began funding the Arkansas Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the first of its kind in Arkansas.
She has served Arkansas in numerous capacities, including Professor of Pediatrics of the UAMS College of Medicine; Medical Director of Arkansas Children's Hospital; Associate Dean for Children's Affairs of the UAMS College of Medicine; and the inaugural recipient of the Harvey and Bernice Jones Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics at UAMS.
In 2002, she received the prestigious UAMS Chancellor's Award for distinguished achievements in science and medicine. Among the additional honors over her distinguished career was 2000 Paul Harris Fellow Award of Rotary International. She was designated one of Arkansas Business' Top 100 Women in Arkansas three times in the 1990s. Among her most cherished honors was the Golden Apple award, the teacher of the year accolade presented by students of the UAMS College of Medicine.
Rep. Vic Snyder describes Lowe as "a gifted pediatrician, strong medical administrator, and an entertaining and confident woman." Modestly, Lowe describes herself as lucky, happy to have been surrounded by people who nurtured her love of medicine, and by children, who are to her, "life's miracles."
Vice State Chairman, Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Receives Golden Apple Teaching Award, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences School of Medicine
Receives president's 75th Anniversary Award at Arkansas Children's Hospital
President, American Academy of Pediatrics
Betty Ann Lowe Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Education established at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR