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Dr. W. Wayne Workman Collection

Identifier: ASTATE-2018-06-08

Scope and Contents

The Dr. W. Wayne Workman Collection (1.25 linear feet) consists of 13 series contained within 18 folders: Correspondence (2 subseries), Administrative Documents (1 subseries), "A Bold Step", Board Information, Resumes and Personnel, Regulations Guidelines and Policies, Manuals and Guides, Educational Information, Research (2 subseries), Statistics (4 subseries), Dr. W. Wayne Workman's Resumes and Speeches, Newspaper Clippings, Bernie Wiexelmen (1 subseries), DVD, Cassette Tapes, and Publications. The material in this collection was compiled by Dr. W. Wayne Workman and only pertains to his involvement with the Mississippi County Arkansas Nurse-Midwife Project.


  • 1973 - 1993


Conditions Governing Access

This manuscript collection consists of physical materials. This collection has not been digitized. This collection is open for research use only in the Reading Room. It is not available for request through Interlibrary Loan. Please contact the archive via email ( at least a week in advance of your arrival to ensure the availability of the material.

Dr. W. Wayne Workman

Dr. Wylie Wayne Workman (November 2,-present). In 1942, Wylie Wayne Workman joined the U.S. Naval Reserve. During his service he was stationed in the Pacific Theater during World War II from July 1943-May 1946. After leaving the Navy, Workman became a licensed physician in the state of Arkansas in 1951. In 1967 he married Betty Bush with whom he had six children.

Dr. Workman began clinical practice in Mississippi County Arkansas in 1952. He worked as a practicing Obstetrition-Gynocologist, was chief of staff at Chickasawba Hospital (1963-1987), and was Mississippi County Health Director (1974-1988). In 1975, he organized the Mississippi County Nurse-Midwife Program to combat the growing infant mortality problem in Arkansas. On April 1, 1988 Workman became the Medical Director of Women's Health at the Arkansas Department of Health in Little Rock, Arkansas. That same year he also began teaching Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), a career that lasted 16 years. UAMS named an award for Workman, shard with Dr. Haws, the Hawk-Workman award. This is awarded to recipients who are deemed tireless contributors to the commitment of providing women and infants in the state of Arkansas with the best possible medical care.

Biographical / Historical

Mississippi County Nurse-Midwife Project began through cooperative efforts on January 1, 1976 by Dr. Wayne Workman and Dr. Eva Dodge, from the Arkansas Department of health. A federal grant was obtained and a non-profit corporation was formed. The program had three objectives: 1. Ensure patients received better maternity care 2. Lower the infant mortality rate (Arkansas infant mortality rate in 1975 was 18.3; Mississippi County mortality rate was 34.9 in 1975.) 3. Expand the existing health care system.

A nurse-midwife would practice under the supervision of a board certified obstetrician. They would provide quality, low cost pre and post-natal care to both mother and child from offices located in the local county health department. Mothers would deliver in a hospital. On July 1, 1976 Barbara Upshaw became the first certified midwife of the project. The program did succeed and was responsible for the drop in infant mortality from 34.9 in 1975 to 11.6 in 1991 (per 1,000 births) and was able to provide many low income patients with quality maternity care. More than 6,000 children were delivered over the course of 26 years. However, the program never became self–sustainable and would always require government funding. Upon losing federal funds during the Reagan Administration, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) absorbed the program and later closed it.

Dr. Eva Dodge

(July 24, 1896-March 20, 1990). Dr. Eva Dodge was the daughter of a Maryland physician. She was the first woman to complete her residency at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. Dr. Eva Dodge was a pioneer physician and educator in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. She was an advocate for maternal health care and sex education for young people in Arkansas and across the United States. Dodge was a worldwide influence through her work with the Pan American Medical Women’s Alliance (PAMWA) as an obstetric consultant. In 1951 she was named woman of the year by the Arkansas Democrat. Dodge was also a leader in the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA). In 1977 she received the organization’s highest honor: the Elizabeth Blackwell Medal.


1.25 Linear Feet (This collection consists of 18 folders contained within three document cases.)




Dr. W. Wayne Workman began the Mississippi County Nurse-Midwife Project working in conjunction with Dr. Eva Doge from the Arkansas Department of Health in 1976. The aim of this project was to combat the high infant mortality rate in Mississippi County Arkansas. This collection consists of correspondence that spans a twenty year period (1973-1993), administrative information, research, newspaper clippings concerning midwifery, vital statistics, resume and personnel information, education resources, speeches, and publications concerning nurse-midwife education, and issues in health care. This collection is the personal papers of Dr. W. Wayne Workman as it pertains to the Mississippi County Nurse-Midwife project.


No further additions to this collection are expected.

Related Materials

Mississippi County Nurse Midwife Collection

Wayne Workman Collection Finding Aid
Flora Smith
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Archives & Special Collections - Dean B. Ellis Library Repository

Arkansas State University
Dean B. Ellis Library
P.O. Box 2040
State University AR 72467 United States
870-972-3199 (Fax)