LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Children’s is promoting physician leader and child advocate Karen Farst, M.D., M.P.H., to senior vice president and chief medical officer for Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) in Little Rock, concluding a monthslong national search.
Farst leads the Child Maltreatment program at ACH, where she also serves as chief of medical staff. She was the first physician board-certified in Child Abuse Pediatrics in the state of Arkansas.
A professor of Pediatrics and Section Chief of Children at Risk in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine, Farst also served two terms on the Child Abuse sub-board of the American Board of Pediatrics.
“Dr. Farst is exceptional at building partnerships and adept at navigating some of the most challenging systems to ensure children’s safety and well-being,” said Rick Barr, M.D., executive vice president and chief clinical officer of Arkansas Children’s. “For the past 20 years, she has been the state’s leading advocate for the most vulnerable children, reducing trauma after trauma by building collaborations and partnerships that shine a light on the very dark subject of child abuse and neglect.”
Farst will move into the role over the course of the hospital’s fiscal year, ensuring coverage for her leadership responsibilities and a seamless transition.
She attended medical school at Texas Tech before completing her medicine-pediatric residency and chief pediatric residency at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s. Following three years of primary care practice in Northwest Arkansas, she completed her Child Abuse fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s before returning to the faculty at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s. She completed her MPH at the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health.