Appathurai Balamurugan, MD, DrPH, MPH, FAAFP
Arkansas, At Large Director
Appathurai Balamurugan, MD, DrPH, MPH, FAAFP (or Dr. Bala as he prefers to be called) is a licensed, board-certified family physician and epidemiologist. He obtained his medical degree from The Tamilnadu M.G.R Medical University in Chennai, India. He completed his family medicine residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine in Little Rock, Ark., and earned his Doctor of Medicine (MD). He obtained his master’s degree in public health with emphasis in epidemiology from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He further obtained his doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) with an emphasis in Health Policy and Epidemiology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health. He was awarded the degree of Fellow of American Academy of Family Physicians (FAAFP).
Dr. Balamurugan serves as the state Chronic Disease Director and the Medical Director for the Chronic Disease and Tobacco Branch at the Arkansas Department of Health. In this capacity, he provides clinical oversight and leadership to chronic disease programs such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco across the state through Arkansas Department of Health’s 94 Local Health Units. He also serves as an Associate Director for Science for the Center for Health Advancement, one of the five centers at the Arkansas Department of Health. Additionally, he serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor at UAMS Family Medical Center clinic, where he provides clinical care to patients and teaches medical students and residents. He also serves as an Associate Professor at the Department of Epidemiology in UAMS College of Public Health. He is widely published with more than 42 peer-reviewed publications, both in national and internationally reputed journals, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society and the Public Health Open Access journal. He currently serves as the Vice President for the American Academy of Family Physicians, Arkansas Chapter.
Dr. Bala has obtained numerous awards for his work, including: the Director’s Service in Science award for his contribution to Arkansas Department of Health; was honored as a Chronic Disease Champion by the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD); the Physician Volunteer of the Year award for his voluntary work at the Harmony Health Clinic, which serves the uninsured and underinsured residents of Central Arkansas; and Excellence in Community Service award recently from Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson for his work in Arkansas.